3 Simple Steps for Finding & Maximizing My Word of the Year

Choose Your Words Wisely

Happy 2016! At the start of each new year, I love the idea of selecting one meaningful, motivating word to serve as a personal guide for the next 12 months. And I have three simple steps to do it.

STEP 1: Choose it wisely. To choose my word each year, I first imagine how I want to feel on December 31st, looking back at what I’ve experienced and achieved. What positive theme do I want to be able to see weaving through my life as I reflect on the past year? Sometimes it helps to notice the experiences and patterns I’m tired of and want to release from, and then figure out what the flip side of that would look like. Sometimes I want to build upon awesomeness that’s begun sprouting up; I want a word that reminds me to nurture and nourish that.

STEP 2: Use it wisely. And then, throughout the year, I use my word as a litmus test. In any situation, I can ask myself if it lines up with my word of the year. If it doesn’t, that’s a good indication that I’m off-track and need to recalibrate.

STEP 3: Don’t forget it. Take it from someone who’s been there, done that. It’s a bummer to reach December 31st and realize you left your word (and, likely, dreams) in the dust. Your word of the year is meant to stick with you through thick and thin. So post it somewhere you’ll see it frequently. Paste it on your vision board. Illustrate it and frame it. Write it on your bathroom mirror with a dry-erase marker. Keep it front and center to lead the way all year long.

Last year, I chose the word SERENITY and it served me well. I wanted to point my inner compass towards feeling good in all ways – physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, professionally, personally – with a constant foundation of peace and calm holding me steady through it all.

Right away last January, I had to put that word to good use. Our little guy, Tru, had been sick for nearly a month and only got worse while on our trip to Texas during New Year’s week. Once we returned home, we had three days straight of doctors appointments, pharmacy runs and blood tests. While juggling that with work and other commitments, I continually asked myself, “What are the choices I need to make to achieve serenity now?”

Sometimes, the answer was about expressing gratitude for the positives – a flexible schedule, good doctors, access to medicine, the ability to afford treatment. Sometimes, it meant taking a nap or talking to a friend on the phone while Tru rested. Sometimes, it meant choosing not to stress over unreturned emails or looming deadlines. And while we waited for test results (which wound up being inconclusive and he eventually got better), it meant not freaking out over what I didn’t know or obsessing about the possibilities, but just living in the present and celebrating any sign of progress with our little guy. By leaning on my word of the year, I surrendered to serenity and felt so much better for it.

This year, I’ve chosen a word that makes me smile from ear-to-ear…

glee - word of the year

Yep, this is my year to dance with GLEE! I knew I wanted to focus on cultivating joy this year, but that particular word didn’t feel quite right. I wanted something lighter, something brighter, something unique. I flipped through the thesaurus and when I saw “glee,” it jumped out at me. And then, I looked up the definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

“Exultant high-spirited joy,” it said. And I felt a shiver of truth and light buzz through me. There it is, I thought! GLEE is my word of the year. My guidepost for living, my companion in decision-making, my best bud in cultivating joy.

christine kane - word of the yearSo, what word will guide you this year? If you need a little extra guidance to choose your word, there are two FREE (also a favorite word!) resources that I highly recommend and thousands of people have used: Christine Kane offers an awesome online Word of the Year Discovery Tool  and Susannah Conway offers a five-day Find Your Word email class. Both are brilliant.

Wishing you a year that lives up to your highest expectations, dear hearts!


Shedding Shame: Come See Who Floats My Boat

see who floats my boat (diving into affiliate programs)

Today, I’m guest posting over at one of my favorite sites, Kind Over Matter, for Amanda’s Kindness in Business series. I’m shedding a little light (and a lotta love) on a subject – a marketing strategy – that many online entrepreneurs use but don’t like to talk about. I’m hoping it opens up a conversation that needs to be had. Go over here to read it.

I figured the post might make you curious about whom and what I promote as an affiliate. Cool – I’m all for transparency! This entrepreneurial life is a joyful one, but a tricky one, too; there are definitely days I miss that regular paycheck! So, heartfelt THANKS to those who opt to click the links below and purchase from these beauties! If you do, I’ll get a small commission, which is one of the ways I stay afloat in these virtual waters. Here are a handful of peeps and programs I happily support and promote with affiliate marketing. Hope you wind up loving them as much as I do…

CHRISTINE KANE: I stand behind everything Christine Kane does as a “Mentor To Women Who Are Changing the World.” She used to be a frequent guest on my radio show and I lurve her.

FABIENNE FREDRICKSON: I had a great experience diving into a program with client attraction coach Fabienne Fredrickson last winter, so I’m happy to share her empowering work with others. P.S. Tomorrow, she’s hosting a free webinar about her Client Attraction System (yep, that’s an affiliate link…in case you decide to purchase something from her down the road).

KELLY RAE ROBERTS: Three years ago, Kelly Rae Roberts’ Flying Lessons class gave me the confidence I needed to call myself an artist. So I promote her Flying Lessons ebook to anyone looking to spread their creative wings.

AMANDA OAKS/KIND OVER MATTER: As mentioned in my guest post, I’ve been part of several ebooks created by Amanda and just love what this mama puts into the world.

DARREN ROWSE/PROBLOGGER: Even though I teach my own blogging ecourse, I really respect Darren Rowse and love so much of the content provided by his site, ProBlogger. He creates awesome resources for bloggers at all levels.

ANDREA SCHER/SUPERHERO LIFE: I have been part of Andrea’s amazing programs online and in-person. Her photography is gorgeous, her teaching is masterful and her heart is big. P.S. Loving the concept behind her new summer course, Start a Foolish Project!!

SPROUT: Amanda Fall creates a beautiful, soul-stirring online ‘zine each month called Sprout, with themes like Courage and Finding Your Roots plus tons of wonderful contributors. You can peruse the archives here. 


P.S. If you want to sign up to be one of my affiliates, please do! Just click here.