Thanks to a wonderful Find-Your-Word-of-the-Year 5-day process from susannahconway.com I was able to do some fun self-discovery work as I identified my word-of-the-year. I went into the process thinking I had a word in mind but through the insightful questioning and inspirational Facebook links, I ended up in a different place.
I thought I would share some of the elements I found most powerful in this great HOW-TO:
On Day 1 Susannah challenged me to answer “What do you need more of in the coming year?” and “Want do you need less of in the coming year?” I was pleased that I immediately did not go to stuff! What actually came to mind on “more of” was Self-acceptance. On the “less of”… there were so many things I am not going to start writing them down here, but many had to do with lack of self-acceptance.
Day 2 she encouraged taking a broader view of the year with “what is happening in the coming year – what are your big plans, big hopes, big needs, big wants?” I supplemented this day’s on-line exercise with relooking at my 2017 review on Values-versus-Activities (where am I spending my time and energy versus what are my values?) and my 2018 planning. I had a hard time looking beyond the next three months of Kick Cancer. Perhaps I need to just give myself the time to focus there and revisit the whole visioning thing later? Who says you can only do a yearly vision on January 1st? But I continued.
Day 3: Susannah had me starting to focus on specific words. She encourages to have a list of 10-20 words and even provides a starter list. I so love lists! She talks about feeling words and action words; word progression from previous years; and layering word meanings. The on-line workshop links to a Facebook group so you can read other people’s word-pick journey and final pick why’s. I found it inspirational (there is so much creativity out there!) and it added some possible words to my own list – flourish, cultivate, becoming, soar.
Day 4 is the beginning of narrowing down. Susannah again gives tools to help you select – visual boards to complete, a coin flip exercise. I liked her discussion of forward-moving action words (power, fly, ignite) versus more passive, let-it-go words (peace, calm, ease) and the difference between inward words (nourish, glow, inspired) and outward words (expand, adventure, stretch). There was additional thinking about layering words as well or having one for work and one for home. Basically, there is not any rule for choosing, just different approaches to help you find the word(s) that is (are) right for you.
On day 4, since I am a visual person, I supplemented the activity with creating my own vision board of “what do I want to do/be in 2018?”. The last 2 years, this helped me find my word of the year – the successful 2016 JOY and not so successful 2017 LIVE. I’ve blogged about this activity before (vision board blog).
Day 5 was mostly about activating your word. I recalled the wonderful mug I bought for my 2016 word JOY that said “Find Joy in Each Day”. I still drink coffee with that mug every morning, and it still makes me smile. I didn’t do as well activating my 2017 word. Perhaps after the detour I received last January I should have rethought my word of the year. With that detour, I wasn’t ready to LIVE (chosen word), I needed to DISCOVER a new path forward or NAVIGATE the uncertainty ahead. So as I look forward: How will I manifest my chosen word this year? A new coffee mug? LOL.
I really enjoyed Susannah’s process as it provided tools for how-to! And the Facebook group was both inspirational and supportive. If you enjoy having a Word of the Year, and you’re stuck with discovering what it is, check her workbook out. It’s free!
BTW – my word of the year is:
SOAR : Savoring, Optimistic, Activating, Resilient
Do you have a word of the year? If you’re struggling, check out Susannah’s approach.
Picture Credit: Soar – Pexels.com