How to Pick One Word for the Year 2022 [+Free Printable]

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Your “word of the year” provides an intentional framework for all your actions throughout the year by giving you a single word on which to focus that embodies the vision you have for your life. It’s your one word that provides a theme for your year; a map to guide all the actions you take. Here are some ideas on choosing the word that’s right for you this year and a printable workbook with a list of words to help you choose the word that’s right for you. (Updated for 2022!)

It’s the time of year where many people will make resolutions, but what if you could get more out of your New Year than just a few resolutions? What if you could make one word that would inspire and motivate you for an entire year? Here’s why I think it’s time to make a word of the year instead of resolutions, how to pick your own word of the year, and some ideas to help you get starting picking your word of the year.

I stopped making resolutions and started picking a “word of the year” a few years ago. You might remember that my word of the year in 2017 was hygge. I’ve been enjoying many cozy moments ever since.

Choosing hygge as my word of the year was a meaningful experience for me. I started the year as a woman who vaguely felt like she needed to focus a bit more on self-care and ended the year a confirmed lover of baths and jigsaw puzzles and living in a cozy, beautiful house filled with candles and other items that gave me pleasure.

How to Pick One Word for the Year 2022 [+Free Printable] 1

The entire year was full of small moments I wouldn’t have explored if I had not chosen the word “hygge” as my word of 2017, and I’m so happy that I did.

I’m not knocking resolutions if that’s something you like to do, but I believe picking a word for the year is much more powerful than making resolutions.

The Benefits of Having a ‘Word of the Year’ Instead of Making a Resolution

If you’ve ever made resolutions, then I’m sure you know how hard it can be to keep up with them. They often fall by the wayside as other events take priority in your life. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider picking a word of the year instead of making a New Year’s Resolution.

Your Word of the Year is Shorthand for the Person You Want to Become

Your word of the year can be a sort of quick shorthand to help you remember the person you want to become as you go through the year. It’s something that will help remind you why it is important to make good choices in life and how doing so can make your life more rewarding each day.

Last year’s Word of the Year was “Intentional.” I selected it because I wanted to make sure I slowed down and make careful plans for my life during the year, rather than flying by the seat of my pants, as I so often do.

Your Word of the Year Helps Keep You Focused Throughout the Year

Having a word of the year can help you focus on what’s important, especially when things get busy. When your focus is clear, it’s easier to stay on track and achieve your goals.

Your word of the year is like having a personal guiding light throughout your year to help you stay focused on what’s important to you.

Your “Word of the Year” Provides a Framework for the Actions You Take During the Year

What if you started the year by resolving to cut out fast food? If you’re like most of us, you’ll be pulling into a McDonald’s drive-thru before the month of January is out. Your resolution is simply an action you want to take and that can easily become a chore.

But what if your word of the year is “health?” Now, you’ve got a vision of yourself at the end of the year: a healthier, stronger, fitter version of you. With that vision in place, it’s so much easier to avoid the fast-food drive-thru because eating fast food is not something a healthy person does.

When you choose your actions based on the vision you have of yourself, it’s much easier to create habits that support that vision than simply following a resolution.

Resolutions are Limiting while a Word of the Year is all-Encompassing

I tripled the number of candles I own and how often I light them during my year of hygge. So, if I had simply made a resolution to light more candles in 2017, I could accurately report that I had kept it. Yay me!

But simply resolving to light more candles turns candle-lighting into a task I need to complete. I can do that mindlessly and move on to the next item on my to-do list. But lighting candles to support a more hygge lifestyle means I light my candles more mindfully. When I light a candle, I’m putting myself into a calm and cozy mindset; I’m signaling that it’s time to relax and slow down. My attitude makes all the difference.

Your Word of the Year Can Help You Navigate Tough Times

Therapists often recommend choosing a mantra to lean on during tough times. A mantra is a simple word or phrase that helps you find peace during a challenging moment. Your Word of the Year can provide this same benefit, but it’s an ongoing mantra throughout your year, not just when things get tough.

What if your word was “family”? When life gets hectic and tough, the word “family” helps keep you grounded by reminding you that you are choosing to put family first throughout the year.

FREE Guide to Creating Your Own Word of the Year

Sign up now to get your free guide to creating your own word of the year along with a ton of suggestions to help you pick the one word that’s right for you!

It’s on the way! Check your email for your free workbook!

You’ll also receive the Midlife Rambler weekly newsletter where you’ll be the first to hear about new freebies. Unsubscribe at any time.

How to Pick One Word for the Year 2022 [+Free Printable] 2

How to Decide on Your Own Word of the Year

Here are some suggestions for creating your own word of the year.

1. Take some quiet time for reflection.

You’ll probably want a journal to record your impressions. Or check out the free printable at the end of this post to help you create your own word of the year.

Think about the person you would like to become and jot down some words describing that person. You can use the list at the end of this post for inspiration.

Don’t censor yourself; just write anything that comes to your mind. For example, I might write something like, “Calm. Centered. Financially abundant. Successful. Generous. Healthy.”

2. Look Back at your list. Do any of the words you wrote resonate with you?

If not, use those words as a jumping off point to brainstorm more descriptive words. Keep going until you find a word that you that excites you.

Your word of the year should excite you because it’s a representation of who you want to become. When you’re excited about your goal, it’s easier to stay motivated and on track.

3. Don’t feel you have to come up with your word right away

If you’re having a hard time coming up with a word for your year, don’t stress about. Think about it for a few days until you find the word that’s right for you. Try reading over a list of words and circling the ones that speak to you.

4. Once you find your word, put it some place where you can see it.

I include my word of the year in the front of my planner so I can look at it every day. If you create a vision board for the year, include your word of the year on the vision board.

Make a plan for how you’ll live out your word throughout the year. Write some specific actions or habits you can adopt to support your goal.

I’ve created a free guide to help you pick the word of the year that’s right for you. It includes a worksheet for brainstorming and tons of words to inspire you to pick just the right word for you. 

FREE Guide to Creating Your Own Word of the Year

Sign up now to get your free guide to creating your own word of the year along with a ton of suggestions to help you pick the one word that’s right for you!

It’s on the way! Check your email for your free workbook!

You’ll also receive the Midlife Rambler weekly newsletter where you’ll be the first to hear about new freebies. Unsubscribe at any time.

How to Pick One Word for the Year 2022 [+Free Printable] 2

What do Do Once You’ve Selected Your Word of the Year

Once you’ve picked your word for your year, keep some kind of reminder of your word where you can see it regularly. That way, you’ll stay motivated and focused on your goals.

I like to make a vision board to support my word of the year because it helps keep me focused and also helps me get clarity around just what I mean when I say my word of the year.

I go through a special process for creating my vision board about my word to make it even more powerful.

Some Ideas for Your Word of the Year

I suffer from “blank sheet of paper” syndrome. If you sit me down in an empty room and tell me to brainstorm a list of words, my mind immediately goes blank. I need something to help inspire me as a starting point!

If you’re like me, then you’ll appreciate this list of over 300 ideas you could consider for your word of the year. You can also download this list as a printable along with the questions I use to help clarify just what my theme for the year should be.

I hope this helps you get started. If you pick a word for the year, let me know if the comments!

A

  • Abundant
  • Acceptance
  • Achieve
  • Action
  • Adapt
  • Add
  • Adore
  • Advance
  • Adventure
  • Aligned
  • Allow
  • Ambition
  • Anchor
  • Appreciate
  • Attention
  • Awaken
  • Awareness
  • Awe

B

  • Balance
  • Be
  • Beauty
  • Begin
  • Believe
  • Belong
  • Beloved
  • Best
  • Better
  • Big
  • Bliss
  • Bloom
  • Boldness
  • Boss
  • Boundaries
  • Bounty
  • Brave
  • Breathe
  • Build

C

  • Calm
  • Capable
  • Care
  • Celebrate
  • Center
  • Challenge
  • Change
  • Cherished
  • Clarity
  • Clear
  • Comfort
  • Commit
  • Communicate
  • Community
  • Companionship
  • Compassion
  • Complete
  • Confidence
  • Connection
  • Conscious
  • Consistent
  • Contribute
  • Courage
  • Creative
  • Cultivate

D

  • Declutter
  • Dedicate
  • Deliberate
  • Delight
  • Desire
  • Determination
  • Devoted
  • Diligence
  • Direction
  • Discipline
  • Discover
  • Divine
  • Dream
  • Driven

E

  • Ease
  • Educate
  • Elevate
  • Embody
  • Embrace
  • Emerge
  • Encourage
  • Energy
  • Enjoy
  • Enlightened
  • Enough
  • Enthusiasm
  • Environment
  • Examine
  • Excitement
  • Expand
  • Experience
  • Explore
  • Exquisite
  • Extraordinary

F

  • Faith
  • Family
  • Fast
  • Favorite
  • Fearless
  • Feminine
  • Finish
  • Fitness
  • Flourish
  • Flow
  • Fly
  • Focus
  • Forgive
  • Forward
  • Foundation
  • Free
  • Friend
  • Fulfilling
  • Fun
  • Future

G

  • Generous
  • Gentle
  • Giving
  • Glorious
  • Glowing
  • Go
  • Goals
  • Grace
  • Gracious
  • Grateful
  • Gratitude
  • Grounded
  • Growth

FREE Guide to Creating Your Own Word of the Year

Sign up now to get your free guide to creating your own word of the year along with a ton of suggestions to help you pick the one word that’s right for you!

It’s on the way! Check your email for your free workbook!

You’ll also receive the Midlife Rambler weekly newsletter where you’ll be the first to hear about new freebies. Unsubscribe at any time.

How to Pick One Word for the Year 2022 [+Free Printable] 2

H

  • Habit
  • Happy
  • Harmony
  • Heal
  • Healthy
  • Heart
  • Helping
  • Here
  • Heroine
  • Higher
  • Home
  • Honest
  • Hope
  • Hustle


I

  • Illuminate
  • Imagine
  • Immerse
  • Improve
  • Inspiration
  • Integrity
  • Intention
  • Intimacy
  • Intuition


J

  • Journey
  • Joy

K

  • Kindness

L

  • Laugh
  • Lead
  • Learn
  • Less
  • Life
  • Light
  • Listen
  • Live
  • Love
  • Luminous


M

  • Magic
  • Magnificence
  • Manifest
  • Meditate
  • Mindful
  • Mission
  • Moment
  • Money
  • More
  • Move

N

  • New
  • Nature
  • Now
  • Nourish
  • Nurture

O

  • Observe
  • Open
  • Opportunity
  • Organize
  • Overcome

P

  • Partner
  • Passion
  • Patience
  • Pause
  • Peaceful
  • Permission
  • Persevere
  • Persist
  • Perspective
  • Play
  • Positivity
  • Possibility
  • Power
  • Practice
  • Pray
  • Presence
  • Present
  • Prime
  • Probability
  • Progress
  • Prosper
  • Purpose

FREE Guide to Creating Your Own Word of the Year

Sign up now to get your free guide to creating your own word of the year along with a ton of suggestions to help you pick the one word that’s right for you!

It’s on the way! Check your email for your free workbook!

You’ll also receive the Midlife Rambler weekly newsletter where you’ll be the first to hear about new freebies. Unsubscribe at any time.

How to Pick One Word for the Year 2022 [+Free Printable] 2

Q

  • Question
  • Quiet

R

  • Radiant
  • Reassurance
  • Receive
  • Reclaim
  • Recognition
  • Reconnect
  • Reflect
  • Relationships
  • Relax
  • Release
  • Renewal
  • Represent
  • Reset
  • Resolve
  • Respect
  • Rest
  • Retreat
  • Reverence
  • Revolution
  • Revive
  • Rise
  • Romance

S

  • Sacred
  • Satisfaction
  • Savor
  • Savvy
  • Seek
  • Seen
  • Self-care
  • Self-love
  • Serene
  • Sexy
  • Share
  • Shift
  • Shine
  • Simple
  • Simplify
  • Sisterhood
  • Slay
  • Slow
  • Smile
  • Soulful
  • Spark
  • Sparkle
  • Speak
  • Spirit
  • Spiritual
  • Still
  • Stretch
  • Strive
  • Strong
  • Success
  • Support
  • Surrender
  • Survivor

T

  • Teach
  • Think
  • Thoughtful
  • Thrive
  • Today
  • Touch
  • Transformation
  • Travel
  • Treasured
  • Trust
  • Truth


U

  • Unafraid
  • Unconditional
  • Understand
  • Unique
  • Unlimited
  • Unstoppable

V

  • Validation
  • Valuable
  • Value
  • Vibrant
  • Vigilant
  • Visible
  • Vision
  • Vivacious
  • Vulnerable

W – Z

  • Wake
  • Wander
  • Warm
  • Wealthy
  • Wellness
  • Wholehearted
  • Why
  • Wild
  • Win
  • Wisdom
  • Wish
  • Wonder
  • Work
  • Worship
  • Worthy
  • Wow
  • Yes
  • Youthful
  • Zeal
  • Zest

FREE Guide to Creating Your Own Word of the Year

Sign up now to get your free guide to creating your own word of the year along with a ton of suggestions to help you pick the one word that’s right for you!

It’s on the way! Check your email for your free workbook!

You’ll also receive the Midlife Rambler weekly newsletter where you’ll be the first to hear about new freebies. Unsubscribe at any time.

How to Pick One Word for the Year 2022 [+Free Printable] 2
300 Ideas for Your Word of the Year
How to Pick One Word for the Year 2022 [+Free Printable] 7
How to Pick One Word for the Year 2022 [+Free Printable] 8
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A word of the year helps you to give a focus to your actions throughout the year. Here's how to come up with your own word of the year for 2020 and a printable worksheet with questions to help you clarify your goals and a list of words as a starting point for brainstorming.
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Katy Kozee | Midlife Rambler

Hi! I'm Katy and I started Midlife Rambler when my youngest child was a senior in high school. I was staring at the coming empty nest and wondering what was next for me. Does that sound like you? Then you’ll love our community of fun, feisty women. We’re looking forward to finally focusing (just a little) on ourselves and talking about all the things we enjoy: fashion, beauty, travel, entertaining, and being the best possible you.

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