Exploring Word of the Year

I thought I might share some of my thought-process in choosing a 2020 WOTY to encourage others to think through their own word selection. I blogged about How-To find your word-of-the-year a couple of years ago (link here) and also did a review of what worked on some of my recent words (link here).

I definitely started with thinking, “What do you need more of in the coming year?”  I also looked at what I was currently reading in my inspirational space, what I was learning in my contemplation, and where I needed personal growth. I also asked folks for ideas – in my blog and in my life. All that began my starter word list which included Duality (This & That as in Doing & Being), Flip (This, Not That as in Compassion, not Judgment), Release (release limiting beliefs), Resolve (unresolved issues), Coast (creative, open, active, savoring, time), Creative, Flow, Engage, Align, Empower, Evolve, Change, Becoming, and Believe.

Looking further at my current journaling on self-limiting beliefs (my growth area), reviewing some past journaling on Ego, listening to a recent Empowerment Meditation Series (Chopra), finishing reading a Rachel Hollis book on empowerment, and more exploration into Chakra Healing, my Word of the Year choice began narrowing with Coast, Heal, Believe, or Release as the front runners.

Looking at each in detail:

  • COAST feels too contrived. I loved how my past word SOAR had complexity, nuance, and depth.  Coast’s 5 words just do not have the same connection for me.   I like the dual meaning of slowing down and moving to the coast (of Florida).  But the idea of coast versus pursuing ambition still feels against societal expectations; hard for me to be so bold with a WOTY choice!


  • BELIEVE is a very positive word. Believe in yourself – your strengths, your innate goodness, your ability to think and plan and execute. But it has so many religious connotations – belief in a higher power – and that is not my intent.


  • RELEASE feels very of-the-moment for me – it is definitely my growth area. Release my self-limiting beliefs. Release resentments. Release expectations – real or imagined. Release chakra blockage. It could be a 6-month word, or it could take me all year!


  • HEAL has similar connotations to Release, but it implies I’ve been injured and that could hurt others. And I worry it will fight (internally) against the guilt I feel (and need to release!) of not having suffered enough in life. I actually do not have deep scars that require healing.


I do believe that RELEASE is going to be my 2020 WOTY.  I also think it can link to my retirement lifestyle vision, one of the things I felt last years WOTY did not do well.

RELEASE so I can be the true me – active, connected, creative, contemplative.

I am off to explore quotes relating to Release. Possibly create a vision board or some poetry.  And then create a 20 for 2020 – 20 Activities for Release.  All those activities will either help solidify my choice, or help me see if it’s not a fit.

If you choose a Word-of-the-Year, how is your selection going?

25 thoughts on “Exploring Word of the Year

  1. Hi Pat,
    Interesting choice. Not sure if I will choose a word or not…it feels strangely to me like a New Year’s resolution and we know how those go!
    However, I do like the thought of Release…especially regarding hard feelings , or defeatist self-talk. Whether I choose a word or not, your process has given me food for thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Pat, release works for many reasons, as you suggested. I would suggest that you try Brendon Burchard’s Release meditation and see if it works for you! I do not love guided meditation, but something about this one works for me. https://youtu.be/v2mY36Ho1Sk

    I gave up having a word. Now I have three words that describe how I want to be in the world. I will change them out when I feel the need to or if I have new ways I want to be. I want to be gracious, inspiring and centered. It may be a life long quest!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michele, thanks for the link! I’m not good at regularly doing traditional meditation, but I do keep trying it! One of the big elements in Chakra Blockage Release is meditation, so it will be something on my “to-do” list next year. I will bookmark the link for that moment.

      Your chosen words are intriguing to me, especially “gracious”. It’s not a word commonly used… and yet it captures the concept of kindness and compassion! Lovely.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Initially, I didn’t reply because I thought I would stick with the same word, DANCE, because I still really like it and maybe I’m really too lazy to put in the work of contemplation of the next perfect word but, again without much effort of contemplation (it hurts if my brain works too hard LOL) I am going to change my word to POWER. It just hit me. I wasn’t really doing any serious work on finding my word, it just came to me. Since I retired I’ve been trying to get stronger in so many ways and have been taking some baby and some good size steps towards these goals. So, this year I am going beyond getting stronger to actually getting powerful. This is the year of me finding and using my POWER. Power in the Lord. Power in my spirit. Power in my self. Power in my body. Power in my dance. Power in my family. Yup, POWER is my word for 2020!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Pat – I chose Release as my first ever WOTY back in 2015 – when I was at the beginning of this whole journey into discovering myself and it was about releasing my need to base my worth on the opinions of others, people pleasing, letting go of my adult kids etc. I found it really helpful and the following year I chose Embrace – where I got to choose what I wanted to draw back into my life. I’m having two W(s)OTY for 2020 and looking for guest posts – I hope you’ll be putting your hand up xx
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m looking forward to hearing about your words for this year! Yes, you totally get the reasons behind Release… I’ve identified quite a few thins I need to work on releasing, especially at the start of this new decade. I’ll most probably put my hand up, as soon as I know what topic/theme you’re looking for!


  5. I’ve never had a word of the year. But now I’m thinking perhaps it should be AWAKE — which to me means try new things, meet new people, travel to new places, be open to other opinions and points of view, think outside my own comfortable box.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I attended a women’s mental health Conference. We gathered rocks from the grounds, wrote our keys words on them, went for a hike and threw them in the water while yelling the word and releasing it from our system. It was very cathartic

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Pat, I love your WOTY it actually makes me feel peaceful and contented. Releasing all of our negative energy and feeling lighter. I like Leslie’s idea of a re-lease on life as well. You’ve chosen well and although I’m not selecting one word for 2020 I do have a theme that I want to focus on. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and may 2020 be happy in your new home in Florida. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sue, I’m looking forward hearing more about your theme. As I’m exploring Release, it is feeling “right” for me. I’ve got a few things created/planned now … and will be talking about them in a future blog. It’s one thing to say release, it’s another to do the work to make it happen. That’s that I want to do this year…make it happen.


  7. I like the way you talked through this decision with us. My word for 2019 was peace. I learned from my quest for more peace in my life, that I am never going to have complete peace. Or days of endless peace. Instead I need to settle for and embrace the moments of peace I can secure in each day.

    The word release could kind of reflect your new lease on life or you lease on a new life! A life in Florida that will bring new opportunities and lots of wonderful experiences. A re-lease on life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leslie – I like that additional spin on release! Had not considered a re-lease on life… and perhaps that new element will take it to the whole year now. I’m focusing first on some more traditional releasing. As for Peace…. I think embracing the moments of peace in each day is wonderful. I had the same thing with my WOTY JOY a few years ago – recognizing and appreciating those moments.


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