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Imagine if you could approach an entire year with laser focus on one concept. If every decision and commitment was run through that concept before you put it on your calendar. How would life be different this year if you chose just one thing to focus on? Here’s 3 Keys to Choosing a Word of the Year that Changes Everything.
In 2018, my Word of the Year was “Simplify”. In that year, I completed two major decluttering challenges – The Minimalist Game and 5 a Day in May. In those challenges combined, I intentionally decluttered 561 items from our home in the course of two months.
I also did regular decluttering throughout the home and made significant simplifying progress in areas like the kitchen, playroom, living room, dining room, and bedroom.
In 2019, my Word of the Year is “Slow Down”. It’s a manifestation that has been on my heart for several months now. Fall 2018 was extremely busy for us and I quickly realized that too many activities and packed schedules were taking a toll on my body, mind, and soul.
Embracing a slower routine will allow us more freedom to enjoy life and be more spontaneous if we desire.
Know What Your Word Really Means – And Doesn’t Mean
First, you need to clarify exactly what your word means, and doesn’t mean.
For me, “slow down” means being present in the moment. Able to enjoy everyday things like bubbles and baking and reading books. Not having to rush out of the house each morning (because that seriously stresses me out).
Feeling less stressed and more fulfilled with a slower pace of life. I use my Living Well Planner to plot out what my word is and how it will affect my life.
It also does not mean that we will never leave the house or have playdates or meet with friends. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. A slower life is less busywork and more intentionally focused on relationships.
It does mean that we are only committing to one out of the house program a week, but it leaves room for less structured activities as well.
- When did this word first come to your mind?
- What do you feel it means to your life?
- Why do you think it’s meaningful to you at this stage of your life?
Design Your Goals to Align with Your Word
Picking a word on January 1st and rushing into the new year may not have the effect you’re desiring, unless you put some planning and goal setting into it.
Align your word with your goals.
For example, I want to slow down and enjoy my family time more. With this in mind, I am intentionally cutting back my daily work hours so that I have a clear block of time in the late morning and early afternoon to play with and homeschool my preschool daughter.
If I’m stressed and my to-do list is looming over me, I am unable to focus on simply enjoying the moments with her, and I’m more likely to be edgy, angry or uptight.
To truly enjoy a slower life and be present in the moment, I have to leave work behind me, which also means I need to be more efficient with my work so unfinished business isn’t on my mind.
- How does your life currently align with your word?
- What small shifts need to be made to allow for alignment?
Build Your Year With Intention
Once you’ve identified the changes that need to be made in your current life, it’s time to use your schedule or calendar with intention. You know if it’s too full or too empty. Fill in or erase the spaces that need a makeover.
Block out time for building that business.
Block out time for reading aloud to your kids each night.
Block out time for coffee with your friend each weekend.
Block. It. Out.
If you don’t make it an appointment, you are less likely to take it seriously. Change takes intention and sacrifice, but making the change will ultimately give you the results you desire.
- What 1-2 reasonable changes can you make on your calendar today to implement your word into your life?
- Imagine if you can commit to keeping these changes for a month – how different would your life look?
- How strongly do you want those results?
When One Word Changes Everything
Filtering your life through an intentional word connects with the core of your being. When you have a word that your heart deeply desires, you have the passion and vision to identify needed change and stick with it.
The stronger your desire for change, the more likely your goals and action steps will align and your commitment will move you forward.
This could be the year that your heart becomes the center of how you live your life. This could be the word that radically transforms your family, home and life. This could be a catalyst that changes everything.