do you have a word of the year?


Happy New Year! 

Do you make resolutions for the new year? Do you have a word for 2024? I’m not one of those people. In recent years, I’ve adopted the practice of selecting a personal “word of the year” for myself, a theme word that best describes where I am or where I want and need to be.

During the holidays, I like to reflect on the previous year, both its trials and tribulations, and the small victories. With all of the learning and observations from that year, I prefer to choose one word to represent my aspirations for the coming year. Because one simple word can help you focus your intentions more easily, it can also serve as your mantra when you get off track or lose focus.

Here’s a look back at some of my theme words over the past 10 years:

2014 – flourish
2015 – focus, be, leisure
2016 – nurture
2017 – manifest
2018 – clarify, courage, celebration
2019 – pivot
2020 – open
2021 – grounding
2022 –  grounding* though I didn’t write a new word, the word ‘grounding’ trickled into 2022
2023 –

How to choose a theme word of the year?

I find it always a challenge to come up with one word that best sums up what you aspire to be, do, and accomplish. What is one word that you can use to describe the general theme of feeling you hope to have for 2024? If you reflect long enough, I’m sure you can find one… or even three, as I did in 2018.

Take some time to think about your personal and professional goals for the upcoming year. Reflect on the emotions and feelings you want to cultivate in the coming year. Do you find a recurring theme or pattern that stands out?
Where do you see yourself in the future? Do you want to focus on joy, resilience, growth, or gratitude? Choose a word that encapsulates the emotional tone you aim for. Picture yourself achieving your goals and embodying the qualities associated with your theme word. Sitting or lying down and doing some deep breathing and visualizing where you see yourself can also help allow the word to pop into your mind’s eye.
What you want to achieve? What are some experiences you hope to have? Habits you want to form and/or break? What principles are most important to you? Your theme word should align with these values and reflect the kind of person you want to be. At the same time, allow yourself the flexibility to adapt your theme word as the year unfolds. Nothing is permanent and things are always changing. Your priorities or circumstances may shift, so be open to adjusting your focus.

Once you’ve chosen your theme word, create a visual reminder such as a vision board or a desktop wallpaper on your computer, with the word prominently displayed. Or you can simply add a reminder on your phone every morning with your word and an additional inspirational/motivational message if it fits. These little reminders can help reinforce your commitment to your theme word of the year, and keep your focus on track.

What is my word for 2024? 

My theme word for 2023 was “cultivate”. But I didn’t have the opportunity to cultivate – my professional life anyway – in 2023. My life was put on a huge pause because of personal reasons… my father’s health issues suddenly became worse literally overnight, and his health deteriorated within weeks. Within a few months, my father was gone.

The grief process is ongoing and I’m sure will never have an end date. I’m still learning to cope with the huge loss. I’m still learning to get used to the ‘new normal’, whatever that is as it varies from day to day. The mind also plays tricks on us in some ways with timelines and memories, and shifting from sadness to hopefulness.

So I don’t have a new word for 2024 and I don’t think I will other than the word “healing” is all I can manage right now. I’m trying to focus on the good memories rather than be consumed by the grief. I’m trying to find a little bit of joy every day where I can and practice gratitude as often as I can. 

What is your word for 2024?

Word for 2023

Let’s never speak of 2020 again, shall we? I don’t think there’s ever been a year people around the world have collectively wished to be OVER than this past year.  While the pandemic won’t magically disappear in 2021, there is a renewed sense of hope for better days ahead.

With the promise of a number of vaccines, and the eventual trickle down of people receiving it, we can hopefully see our lives returning to normal at some point this year. But the process will be slow… and it makes me wonder how many more months of this limbo-state will we have to endure.

Usually, I like to take time during the first few days of January to reflect on the past year, and then create a WORD, an intention for the upcoming year. A mantra of sorts.

But because of Covid, I think it’s fair to say we’ve all had much more time and reason to reflect. Many of us have been forced to get back to the basics, and practice gratitude for good health, family, and even food and shelter.

So how can I drum up the desire to create a new word for 2021 when 2020 was such a disaster?

Well, it was also an eye-opener, in many respects. Sure, it was frightening and precarious. But it was also eye-opener in many respects. Grounding. There are always lessons to be learned from difficult periods, as long as we realize them and use them towards positive change. And we must hang onto those simple yet profound moments (and people) that make life truly meaningful.

Despite the hardships and challenges of last year, I do think it’s still worthwhile to create a WORD for 2021. After all, with all of the lessons and reflections, that word might be greatly different than previous years – and possibly simpler too.

Do you have a word of the year?

Choosing one word to sum up a theme for the upcoming year is no easy task. What one word can represent all of the things you hope to be, do and achieve?

My word in 2014 was flourish as I looked to expand my business. I couldn’t choose one word in 2015 so I opted for three, while in 2016, my word was nurture. In 2017, my word was manifest; In 2018, I chose three theme words as I couldn’t narrow down to one. My 2019 word was pivot, and open in 2020.  

What is your word for 2021?

Do you have a theme word for 2021? Narrowing your goals for the year to just one word can be a challenge. But what would your word be?

My word is a simple one this year.

Most of us spend many of our waking ours thinking, planning, analyzing, and worrying. Add in technology and social media, and it’s a recipe for mental overload, overstimulation and exhaustion.  This past year has been particularly challenging, pushing many of us into a psychological tailspin. Those who never suffered anxiety or depression were suddenly catapulted into caring for their mental health and prioritizing self-care.

Part of that self-care means more people were taking walks outdoors, going on nature hikes, baking and cooking, spending more time with family, taking up a new hobby, starting a new exercise regimen, practicing yoga or meditation – simpler things in life, unmaterialistic things, that ground us.

So my word for this year is grounding.


A practice I began some time ago but truly made priority this past year. It must continue through 2021 – and always for that matter.

There’s a scientific reason why grounding, or earthing, is good for you; connecting with the Earth’s electrons has been found to promote physiological changes including better sleep and reduced pain.  

Grounding also connects us with the here and now, the present moment. Grounding creates calm, contentment, decreases stress and anxiety, and allows us to live in the moment and appreciate what matters most in life. It’s a way to connect deeply with the earth and our own bodies and souls, reminding us of our part in this vast universe.

Grounding for me also means feeling stability and security, something that has been lacking for some time. While last year, I was open to receive opportunities, this year I must stay grounded and nurture what I have.

What is your word for 2021?

Do you have a word of the year? amotherworld.com

Do You Have a Word of the Year for 2021?