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Word of the Year

Choose Your Word Of The Year

If you could choose one word to sum up what you’d like out of your year ahead, what would it be?

Maybe it’s a word that describes how you want to feel? Or something you wish to accomplish?

I’ve been choosing an annual word of the year for the past few years. I just go with whatever seems to call me.

Then I write it down and hang it somewhere visible as a steady reminder. I also write it in my journal and put it on a sticky note next to my computer. I’ve sometimes made a bookmark featuring my word of the year which I transfer across to whatever I’m reading each month and I make the lock screen on my phone.

And you know what? I really believe it makes a difference! Here are some examples from over the past few years. *2018 now added at the end! 

In 2013 I decided my word needed to be Simplify.

simplify

I recognised that I was over-complicating my life too often. I wanted to learn to how to KISS – ‘Keep It Simple Sista!’

By reminding myself over and over to keep things simple, I actually began to. That year I proved to myself that dropping perfection and taking the easy option was good for my state of mind. After a while, I felt noticeably liberated and free and this has continued to stick with me, several years later.

In 2014 I chose the word Connected.

Connected

I felt too connected to my iPhone and social media and wanted to disconnect from technology more and re-connect with whomever I’m with – including myself!

This ended up being the year I ignited my simple morning practice of waking up 20 minutes before the kids and spending time connecting to myself and the Universe by meditating and journal writing. I now wake up 30 minutes before the kids, which would have been unthinkable a couple of years ago when I was still telling the, ‘I’m not a morning person’ story.

My word of the year for 2015 was Balance.

balance

My choice kind of surprised me at first. I mean, I’m the Queen of Balance and the whole premise of Project Me is based on the Project Me Life Wheel® and keeping a happy balance!

But I’d become aware that I was becoming a tad work obsessed. The Work petal on my Life Wheel was beginning to tip me in one direction and even though that wasn’t causing me any major problems yet, I knew all too well that the potential was there.

So with Balance as my new guiding word of the year, I began to pay more attention to this. It made me realise how often I was working through lunch and also listening to online business-related podcasts even at the gym or during my downtime.

It inspired me to start a new lunch break ritual of eating away from my desk – screen free. I deliberately made a practice out of reconnecting with my kids over a snack after school. And stopping what I was doing to physically connect with my husband for a kiss or a hug a lot more often. It was a great word to choose and set me up with some healthy, long-lasting habits.

 

In 2016 my word was Flow.

It came to me during my morning meditation. I knew I wanted to push less and flow more, to feel guided by my intuition and by the Universe. Be less in my head and more in my heart – feeling what I could be doing rather than over thinking things.

It also meant letting things go and being more easy-going.

Go with the flow! Everything I want lives downstream, not upstream. Once I’m clear about what I want, I just need to let go, allow and flow towards what I desire. Doesn’t that sound nice?

Vinyasa Flow is also one of my very favourite types of yoga. I love how free-flowing and natural the movements are.

This picture beautifully captures my visual interpretation of how I want my life to flow downstream.

flow

My word of the year for 2017 started off as Intuition, but that soon morphed into more of a theme when I made this into my phone screen image:

Throughout 2017 I discovered more about energy and how to raise my vibrational frequency to connect to the Universe and Source Energy. I began to tune into my emotions more than ever and use them as an indicator of whether or not I was in vibrational alignment. My previous word of Flow became easier for me once I understood that all I need to do is be aware of how I’m feeling. And if I’m not feeling good, I’m not in flow and so the best thing I can do in that moment is stop pushing and striving and do anything that makes me feel good.

And now it’s 2018 and my word is… Open.  

Open-minded, open-hearted, open to new possibilities and opportunities. Open to learning, open to experiencing. Opening my heart-chakra to give and receive love without fear of hurt or vulnerability . Opening my throat chakra and letting my authentic voice be heard. A wide open sense of eager anticipation for what’s to come. I’m so in love with my life that all I can be right now is open to receiving even more. I’ve experienced how living in vibrational connection to the Universe makes me feel guided and switched on and ALIVE and I’m open to all that 2018 has in store for me.

I had no idea why I was so drawn to this exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2015, but now I know. It was to be my future word of the year! Open in every language.

So, what about you? Have a think about a word that describes how you want to feel or be this year. Ask yourself why you’re drawn to that word.

Once you’ve got your word, think what you can be doing more of (or less of) to live in alignment with your word of the year. Make it your mantra. Put it somewhere you’ll see it often. Use the cool App WordSwag which lets you create a beautiful graphic out of your Word of the Year like the ones I’ve done above. Save it as your phone lock screen. 

I’d love to hear your word of the year and why you chose it. Or if you’re stuck between two or more words, let’s hash it out together in the comments below. (As this is a post I keep adding onto, maybe you’ll find your previous word in the comments if you left one!) 

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  1. Tina on January 25, 2016 at 12:03 PM

    You never cease to inspire me Kelly! i always love your ideas. I started a vision board with my kids after reading about yours, I made a toolbox of calm, I use the apps you’ve recommended, I’ve read some of the books and listened to the podcasts on your love page and I use your worksheets. Keep them coming!

    My word of the year needs to be Action. I want to implement more and do the things I say I’m going to do instead of just thinking about them! I’m going to get the word app you mention and make mine now. Thank you so much again for all that you do to keep me inspired.

  2. Kelly Pietrangeli on January 25, 2016 at 12:27 PM

    Oh wow! You have no idea how wonderful it is to read this Tina, thank you! Given how many of my ideas you’ve already actioned, I’d say that you’re going to be on fire with your Word of the Year! Look out!! 🙂

  3. Nicole on January 25, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    My word is “opportunity” – I need to take back the power in my life and stop doing things because “I have to”; my overwhelming sense of responsibility holds me back from doing the things that can make me happier and more fulfilled. So I need to maximise those opportunities!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on January 25, 2016 at 1:50 PM

      Nicole, this is a wonderful example of how self-awareness shines a light on our lives and shows us what we can be doing to feel more happy and fulfilled.

      Doing things just because you feel you ‘have to’ or you ‘should’ takes up valuable time and energy on things that aren’t serving you.

      I love your WOTY and I hope you’ll report back next year on what OPPORTUNITIES you’ve grabbed since you wrote this!

  4. Fiona Wiseman on January 25, 2016 at 1:41 PM

    Hi Kelly, I think my word for 2016 is going to be “Mindfulness” – recently the simple act of colouring in both by myself, with my kids and even my husband has allowed me to take a step back and be mindful of my surroundings and all that I have to be grateful for in life etc etc. Bye for now , Fiona 🙂

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on January 25, 2016 at 1:54 PM

      Fiona, I spotted your WOTY for last year in the Facebook link I included above: BRAVE! (and I created a courageous lion image for you.) How did that word shape your year?

      I love your new word too: Mindfulness. 🙂

      I’ve heard about the raging popularity of these colouring in books and hadn’t associated it with Mindfulness yet – but YES! I can see how that would work and I feel inspired to do this myself! xx

  5. Catarina on January 25, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    My word of the year is Expansive. This feels so right in every area of my life 🙂 The two tributaries are Trust and Receive, so I have a little word pyramid this year!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on January 25, 2016 at 1:56 PM

      Ooooh – I love your three-word pyramid Catarina! That’s a wonderful combo – thanks so much for sharing 🙂 xx

  6. Tracy on January 25, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    I’m new to all of this…. but I had three words I have tossed around this morning. “Calm, Mindful, and Purposeful”…. maybe I need a pyramid as well.

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on January 25, 2016 at 3:25 PM

      Tracy, imagine you wake up every morning and you see your Word of the Day and it serves as a daily reminder of who you want to be / how you want to feel.

      Which of those three words speaks to you the most? Ask yourself WHY you want to feel ______ for each of them. See if one of them becomes the clear, outright winner.

      The other words will still have meaning and you can write them somewhere too, but having one theme word for the year can be very powerful. I’d love to hear which one you choose!

      • Tracy on January 26, 2016 at 12:44 AM

        Accomplished. I want to go to bed at night feeling like I accomplished the tasks of the day. And I want to wake up every morning KNOWING I CAN accomplish what needs to be done. Thanks for the response that helped me work through my morning confusion. I don’t have an apple product, but was wondering what picture was associated with my word?

        • Kelly Pietrangeli on January 26, 2016 at 5:18 PM

          LOVE your WOTY Tracy: ACCOMPLISHED!
          That has so much positive power attached to it!!

          Email me hello@myprojectme.com and I’ll make you a graphic to go with it 🙂

  7. Mariah on January 25, 2016 at 3:26 PM

    My word of the year is *GRATITUDE*

    I’ve always been one to find the positive in any situation (definitely a glass-is-half-full sort of gal!) but I noticed I started getting a bad case of comparison-itis.

    Our house isn’t big enough…
    Our cars are old…
    We rarely go on vacation…

    It always seemed like those around us had it ALL (or so it seemed!)

    So, I started turning inward and and REALLY started appreciating how blessed we are.

    We have a beautiful home that gives us safety and protection from the elements…thank you
    Our cars get us reliably to and from work…thank you
    We got to go to Mexico this year for our anniversary…thank you

    We’re only three weeks into January and I feel so much better already!

    Love your word of “flow!”

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on January 25, 2016 at 9:47 PM

      Ahhh Mariah! So beautifully explained! YES to feeling these surges of gratitude for what we DO have, rather than focusing on what we don’t.

      Have you read “The Magic” by Rhonda Byrne? It’s a 28 days of gratitude book with a short written exercise to do each morning. It will absolutely solidify your amazing word of the year! 🙂

  8. Jan on January 26, 2016 at 6:11 PM

    I love the word of the year (I remember last year my word was focus). The word that sprang to mind for this year is Harmony. My intent for the year is to be more positivite by focusing on gratitude and I think harmony encapsulates this along with being more at peace with myself, creating a more calm and ordered environment at home, enjoying and valuing relationships etc.

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on January 27, 2016 at 4:28 PM

      Harmony is such a beautiful word Jan! I love your added explanation for why you chose it and I agree that Harmony encapsulates all of that so wonderfully. Here’s to a harmonious year ahead! x

  9. Beth on January 29, 2016 at 9:37 AM

    I’ll be stealing one of yours, Kelly, but having had a pretty unsettled January after a lot of change, I think my word of the year will have to be ‘balance’. I need to remember to look after my needs as well as everyone else’s AND not feel guilty about it!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on January 29, 2016 at 7:15 PM

      I’m so happy for you to pimp my word Beth! Sorry you;ve had an unsettled start. YES to looking after yourself GUILT FREE. xx

  10. […] 1. I began attending a weekly Kundalini yoga class with Gabrielle Thill. I’ve done many types of yoga before, but Kundalini is so deeply spiritual and I float out of each class feeling light, free and in the flow. (Flow is my word of the year!) […]

  11. Mimi on January 8, 2017 at 4:59 PM

    Shine.

    Things have been a bit grey lately. I need to pick up, dust down, move on. And always find the shiny silver lining.

    I’m going to start by remembering to start each encounter with a smile!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on January 9, 2017 at 3:11 PM

      I love your word: SHINE! And a very lovely intention to start each encounter with a smile. I’m going to borrow that one 🙂

      • Trina Pecina on January 8, 2018 at 7:22 PM

        I am torn between Flow, Action or Inspire but this word just made me smile & say Yes!! I may borrow it. I will let you know. ( One of my favorite quotes is “Do what makes your soul SHINE.”)

        • Kelly Pietrangeli on January 10, 2018 at 8:53 PM

          Shine on you crazy diamond ????!! (My favourite Pink Floyd track…) Have a shiny new year Trina! X

  12. […] January I choose a Word of the Year. (You can read about that process here and see what my previous words have been and how they’ve helped my personal […]

  13. Jennifer on January 8, 2018 at 9:26 PM

    Determined

  14. RoseViolet on January 9, 2018 at 4:12 AM

    Introspection.

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on January 10, 2018 at 8:51 PM

      Oooh – I’d love to hear more on this RoseViolet! X

  15. Fiona Wiseman on January 10, 2018 at 12:37 AM

    I think I will chose the word “Achieve” for this year – I don’t know if that puts extra pressure on me or not but I’m currently studying and I would like to achieve good results. I would also like to achieve more balance in my life and achieve spending more time with my husband. There are also some financial goals I would like to achieve. See how we go….

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on January 10, 2018 at 8:49 PM

      What about Achievement?

      When I say the word Achieve to myself it makes me feel a lack of what I want : what I don’t have YET . Like something I have to push and strive for.

      Whereas achievement feels more present tense. Like I already have it.

      I’m certain you already have many achievements under your belt and so you can be encompassing all of those alongside future achievements in the same word. What do you think?

      A sense of Achievement is a wonderful feeling and I wish you all the best with all of those wonderful goals. Be sure to enjoy the process and journey too! Love that your commenting here every year and keeping this record of your words. xx

      • Fiona Wiseman on January 11, 2018 at 12:40 AM

        That sounds much better Kelly – I struggled a bit to think of one word for myself for this year as I’ve got so much inside my head at present – I have an English assignment due on Monday which is consuming every moment. I’m going to be cheeky and add another word for this year which came to me today and that is BREATHE – think i’ll need to remind myself to do this a bit this year and I think only if I do that will my ACHIEVEMENT be possible. Cheers, Fiona ????

  16. Cathryn on January 10, 2018 at 9:43 PM

    My word for 2018 is THRIVE. The past couple of years especially I feel like I’ve been surviving, allowing others/other things to shape my days/weeks. In 2018 I will take charge of my life, I will create the changes to allow me to thrive on an emotional and physical level. I have a new job too, which will allow me to feel both achievement and to grow.

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on January 13, 2018 at 3:25 PM

      May you THRIVE in all areas of your life this year Cathryn! xx

  17. StormY on January 15, 2018 at 3:53 PM

    I really enjoyed reading this post. It really puts things into perspective. I’ve decided this even before coming across the article, but I want 2018 to be the year I gain as much knowledge as I can; knowledge that will help me move forward and toward the right career path. My word of the 2018 year is “Learning”

  18. Marie Bradek on January 15, 2018 at 7:08 PM

    My word for 2018 is kindness to myself and others. I especially need to work on being kind in how I speak to myself. Also I want to schedule little bits of me time in my day week. Little acts of kindness not only makes others feel valued and seen, but help me feel connected and valuable too.

  19. Meg on January 18, 2018 at 3:23 PM

    With clarity and focus as near second choices, I’ve chosen the word ‘Hone’. Aiming to trim the fat, clear the clutter and refine; everything. My husband likes this word, too, and has joined me in claiming it for our shared endeavors. Thanks for the sustained inspiration to engage in this exercise!

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