Start the New Year with Intention: Choose a Word of the Year

black woman writing her intentions and goals for the new year

Unleashing the Power of Words: Your Guide to Transformative Intentions

A New Year, A New Beginning

Wow, can you believe it's already 2024? Time flies, and as we embark on this new year, many of us reflect on our goals, aspirations, and those infamous New Year's resolutions. We all start with great intentions, but how often do we find ourselves veering off course by February or March?

In this episode of the podcast, I'm sharing an easy way to positively transform your life.


Beyond Goals: The Pitfalls of Traditional Resolutions

Setting goals is fantastic, but for many, it's a fleeting endeavor. By February, those once-burning resolutions may be nothing more than a distant memory, leaving us feeling a bit defeated. But fear not, there's a more sustainable approach to make 2024 truly transformative.


The Power of Intentions: Choosing Your Word

Several years ago, I stumbled upon a game-changing concept – setting an intention for the year by choosing a word that embodies what you want to manifest. It's not about rigid goals but about fostering a mindset and lifestyle shift. Let me share with you my journey and the impact it had on my life.


My Journey with "Present"

My first chosen word was "present." As someone with ADHD, I tend to be preoccupied with thoughts, often missing out on the present moment. I'm oftentimes in my brain thinking about something or processing something. And even though I may look like I'm in the room with everybody else, I may be a hundred million miles away. I'm sure many people can relate to that.

“Present” was really important to me because using the word present helped me to stay more grounded in where I was and what I was doing. And I ended up using this word all the time to bring me kind of back into the situation, into reality, and to stop me from being distracted by my thoughts.

Being present is kind of a mindfulness technique because many people end up spending a lot of their energy worrying about the past or worrying about the future, planning the future. And when you do that or you're preoccupied in your mind, you really miss what's going on in the present moment and you miss the happiness and the joy and the peace of the present moment. So this word was especially meaningful because of all those different things that it meant.

I religiously used this word for a year. I would be in the family room with my kids hanging out and I would find myself starting to think about something and literally the word present would just flash in front of my mind and it would pull me back into what I was doing with my kids.

"Present" became my anchor, pulling me back into reality and allowing me to savor the joy and peace of each moment.


The Ripple Effect: Words That Stick

Over the years, I've embraced various words like "health," "peace," and "slow." However, "relationships" is the one that resonated the most. Amidst a busy life, this word became a reminder to prioritize connections at work with co-workers, managers and direct reports and in my personal life, with my friends and family. Focusing on relationships led to a profound positive impact on my life.

Relationships became my word one year because I found myself working too much. ( I have a tendency to be one of those people that works a lot.๐Ÿ˜‰)

By having the word relationships as my word of the year, I ended up shifting from work to family when my kids needed me. So if I had a child call me, (and when I say child, I mean my adult kids in their twenties and thirties), I would respond in a way that strengthened our relationship. They would call me and say, “Hey, mom, you want to talk or, Hey, mom, you want to get together today or, Hey, mom, we're doing this. You want to join us?”

I would think about how my intention for the year was building stronger relationships. So I would go ahead and stop what I was doing even if I was knee-deep in some type of work project, knowing that the work will always be there. If we live our lives with work as our highest priority, then we miss out on those relationships. Focusing on relationships as my word for the year helped me have better work-life balance.

I learned that work is always going to be there. I don't care if you finish it all today, it's just like dirty laundry. The minute you get the laundry done, there's more laundry. The minute you get the dishes done, there's another dish in the sink. There's always going to be more work.

So I started focusing more on relationships and wow, the payoff was absolutely ginormous. And that's a thing I will never regret and I will continue to do every year. And for me, that became so much of who I am, it's really one of the reasons I started the podcast because relationships are the most important value to me. They're the most important thing in my life and I put a lot of time and energy into them. I don't do that with everybody but rather with a select few. All the research shows that it's the quality of your relationships that's the most important for your happiness not the quantity of the relationships you have. So it's better to have three close friends that you pour into versus twelve friends that are very surface.


Your Word, Your Destiny

As we embark on this new year, consider what word could set the tone for your journey. What intention could guide you towards a more fulfilling life? It's a simple yet profound concept that can genuinely alter the course of your year, making it a memorable and transformative experience.


Reflecting on Your Word

Take a moment to contemplate your word of the year. Is it "balance," "growth," or perhaps "joy"? Choose something that resonates with your aspirations and continually reminds you of the direction you want to head. Let your word be your North Star, guiding you through the twists and turns of life.


The Possibilities are Endless for You to Transform Your Life

I invite you to keep your chosen word top of mind. Post it on your mirror, on your computer and even on your car dashboard. Choosing a word to focus your energy and intentions is one of the easiest ways to create change. The possibilities are endless, and this small yet impactful practice could be the catalyst for significant positive change in your life.

For a fun way to close out 2023 and organize your thoughts and goals for 2024, check out this cool planner on Etsy by YarBar Studios.


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