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One word: How to Use The Power to Change Your Life

Updated: Jan 25

As the new year rolls around, many embark on the tradition of setting resolutions, crafting a list of goals that often fade away as the months progress. However, an alternative approach that has gained momentum revolutionizes how we approach personal growth and change: choosing one word to guide us through the year. Read on to learn One word: How to Use The Power to Change Your Life!

Rather than burdening ourselves with a laundry list of resolutions that can become overwhelming and eventually forgotten, selecting a single word to encapsulate our intentions, aspirations, and focus for the year ahead can be our power tool for personal development.

Why Choose One Word?

Choosing one word for the year offers several advantages over traditional New Year's resolutions:

  1. Focus and Clarity: A single word acts as a guiding principle, providing clarity amidst life's complexities and serving as a touchstone for decision-making throughout the year.

  2. Simplicity and Manageability: Unlike resolutions, which can be overly specific or ambitious, a word of the year is broad enough to apply to various aspects of life, making it more adaptable and accessible to integrate into daily routines.

  3. Continuous Motivation: It constantly reminds you of your overarching goals, keeping you motivated and aligned with your intentions, even when faced with challenges. Instead of feeling down for not achieving your list of resolutions, you can refocus at any time, on your one word and apply it to your aspirations.

woman n beach looking at ocean
Reflect on your Values

How to Choose Your Word of the Year

Selecting your word of the year is a personal and introspective process. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you identify the word that resonates most with your aspirations:

  1. Reflect on Your Values: Consider the values that matter most to you. Are you seeking more balance, growth, courage, or gratitude? Your words should align with these core values.

  2. Assess Your Goals: What are your overarching goals for the upcoming year? Whether related to personal development, relationships, career, health, or lifestyle changes, look for a word that encapsulates these aspirations.

  3. Listen to Your Intuition: Trust your instincts. Pay attention to words that evoke a strong emotional response or resonate deeply with you. These intuitive responses often hold the key to your true intentions. I chose my word after listening to a podcast that hit the nail on the head- I knew instantly what my word for 2024 would be, but don't worry if yours doesn't come that easily- its good to take the time, listen to your heart and narrow down to the one that feels best.

I found this book helpful and enjoyable to read. If you need some inspiration and advice on how to make the most of choosing a word of the year, give this quick read a go!

One Word explains how to simplify your life and business by focusing on just ONE WORD for the entire year. The simplicity of choosing one word makes it a catalyst for life change. Clutter and complexity lead to procrastination and paralysis, while simplicity and focus lead to success and clarity. By celebrated authors Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, and Jon Gordon, One Word That Will Change Your Life shows you how to cut through to the core of your intention for the next year. It offers an action plan and a simple process to discover your word for the year. It also explains how your one word will impact the six dimensions of your life—mental, physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and financial. This beautifully illustrated full-color Second Edition includes even more stories demonstrating the impact of embracing the One Word call to action.

  • It explores the legacy of taking a focused approach to your life and outlines six new dimensions to the Action Plan.

  • Includes additional material on developing the One Word for teams and families, specifically how a group of people can also have a One Word.

  • Demonstrates how to establish a simple, disciplined, and focused approach to the next year of your life

Inspirational words- on white rocks
Inspirational words- Paint yours on a rock!

Examples and Fun Ideas

Need some inspiration? Here are a few examples of powerful words and how they might manifest throughout the year:

  1. "Balance": Striving for equilibrium between work and personal life, health and indulgence, or mental and emotional well-being.

  2. "Courage": Embracing new opportunities, facing fears, and taking bold steps toward personal growth.

  3. "Gratitude": Cultivating a daily practice of appreciation and thankfulness for life's blessings, no matter how small.

My watercolor painting of 2023 Word of the Year
My watercolor painting of 2023 Word of the Year I created during Color Snacks water color lesson

Embrace Your Word

Once you've chosen your word of the year, find creative ways to integrate it into your life:

  1. Visual Reminders: Create artwork or use sticky notes with your word displayed prominently in places you frequent daily. for 2023, I participated in Colorsnack Watercolor workshop

water color painting Resilient Word of the Year by Color Snack
Resilient Word of the Year by Color Snack

Check out Color Snacks water color lesson- this is how I did my word last year- quick, easy and feeds your artisict spirit-

(but you dont need to be a painter!)

Treat yourself to an afternoon of creativity, (anyone can do!!)- some recommended supplies to get you moving!

Journaling: Write about how your word shows up in your life,

reflecting on experiences and tracking your progress.

I really love the quality of this Journal by Offgift.

3. Accountability Partners: Share your word with friends or family and encourage each other throughout the year.

3 female friends happy
Girlfriends as accountability partners

As we welcome the new year, consider leaving behind the pressure of resolutions and embracing the simplicity and power of choosing one word to guide your journey. Whether it's courage, balance, gratitude, or any other word that speaks to you, allow it to be your guide, keeping you on the path toward personal growth, fulfillment, and purpose throughout the year.

By focusing on a single word, you invite a profound shift in perspective, allowing for deeper introspection, consistent mindfulness, and a more holistic approach to achieving your aspirations. So, take a moment, reflect on your intentions, and let your word of the year lead you toward a fulfilling and transformative journey ahead.

Looking back, here are some additional past Words of the Year:

Authentic; I was striving to be authentic in my communication, with my family, socially, spiritually- to let myself be more "real".

Luminous; I like this word as it reminded me that I could radiate light and energy, warmth, and joy to myself and others around me.

Present; To live in the present, to BE present for others around me & to enjoy the moment, spending less time thinking about the past or the future.

Girl holding balloons in the sunset with the word EXPAND
My Word of the Year for 2024

So what's my word of the year for 2024? EXPAND!

Using Expand as an example, here are some ideas to "expand" upon (pun intended):

"Expand" is a powerful and captivating word to guide one's journey through the upcoming year. Here's how I elaborate on the word "expand" and its significance as my chosen word of the year:

Embracing "Expand" as the Word of the Year

"Expand" encapsulates many possibilities and opportunities, representing growth, exploration, and stretching beyond comfort zones. This word holds the promise of reaching new personal and professional horizons, which I am aiming for in 2024.

Let's start the journey quote graphic
Let's start the journey

Embracing Growth and Possibilities (my word last year was GROWTH!).

For 2024, "expand" invites me to push boundaries, explore new avenues, and embrace the unfamiliar. It encourages a mindset of continual learning, fostering an openness to new experiences, ideas, and perspectives.

Professional Development and Ambitions

In your career or professional aspirations, "expanding" could mean broadening your skill set, taking on new challenges, seeking leadership roles, or venturing into uncharted territories. It's about nurturing a mindset of innovation, progress, and advancement.

Personal Growth and Exploration

On a personal level, "expand" urges exploring passions, hobbies, and relationships. It could involve stepping out of your comfort zone, meeting new people, or diving into activities that nurture your soul and broaden your experiences.

3 females in bright colored suits arm in arm
Gals bonding together

Expanding Perspectives and Awareness

"Expand" also signifies broadening perspectives and fostering inclusivity. It encourages seeking diverse viewpoints, engaging in conversations that challenge assumptions, and embracing empathy and understanding.

Integrating "Expand" into Daily Life

To fully embrace "expand" as a word of the year, consider implementing these practices:

  1. Setting Intentional Goals: Frame your goals around expansion – learning a new language, exploring a different culture, or developing a new skill set.

  2. Exploration and Adventure: Seek out new experiences, travel to unfamiliar places, or engage in activities that expand your horizons and comfort zones.

  3. Continuous Learning: Commit to lifelong learning by reading diverse books, attending workshops, or taking courses that broaden your knowledge base.

  4. Cultivating Relationships: Foster relationships that encourage growth, challenge you positively and introduce you to new perspectives.

A Masterclass on Navigating the Fashion Design Process and achieving Work with Purpose and Positive Change.

"Expand" is an empowering and transformative word that will undoubtedly shape my journey in 2024. By embracing this word, I hope to open up to a year filled with opportunities, growth, and personal evolution.

Harnessing the Power of One Word: Science-Backed Approach to Personal Growth

The Science Behind Choosing One Word

Scientific research in psychology and neuroscience provides compelling evidence supporting the efficacy of focusing on a single word for personal development:

  1. Neuroplasticity: Studies indicate that intentional focus and repetition, such as concentrating on a single word, can rewire neural pathways, leading to behavioral changes and enhanced cognitive functions.

  2. Goal Setting and Motivation: Psychologists suggest that setting broad themes or guiding words allows for more flexibility and adaptability in goal pursuit, increasing motivation and sustained behavior change.

Practical Ways to Embrace Your Word Daily

Integrating your chosen word into daily routines fosters consistent growth and development. Here are practical examples to incorporate this concept into everyday life:

  1. Mindful Reflection: Begin or end each day with a few moments of reflection centered around your word. Consider how it can influence your actions and decisions that day.

  2. Daily Affirmations: Create affirmations related to your word and repeat them throughout the day. This practice reinforces your intentions and keeps your focus aligned.

  3. Journaling (mentioned again!): Dedicate time for journaling, exploring how your chosen word manifests in different aspects of your life. Documenting experiences helps reinforce its significance.

  4. Visual Reminders as mentioned above: Use cues like sticky notes, wallpapers, or accessories to keep your words visible. Surround yourself with reminders to strengthen its influence.

watercolore painting of the word Resilient
Resilient Word of the Year from Color Snack

Why One Word Works Better than Resolutions

Unlike traditional resolutions that can feel restrictive and quickly abandoned, choosing one word offers a more fluid and adaptable approach to personal growth:

  • Flexibility: A single word allows for interpretation across various life domains, fostering a more holistic approach to development.

  • Consistency: It consistently reminds you of your intentions.

  • Adaptability: The flexibility of a word allows for adjustments and evolution as circumstances change, promoting sustainable progress.

A Path to Holistic Growth

woman at sunrise raising her arms up to the sky
Rise up for Growth!

Scientifically backed and embraced by psychology experts, choosing one word for the year provides a versatile and practical framework for personal growth. It transcends the limitations of traditional resolutions, fostering adaptability, consistency, and a holistic approach to development.

As you travel on your journey in 2024, guided by a single word, may it serve as a compass, shining a light on the path toward personal transformation and fulfillment. Embrace the power of your word, and let it shape and enrich every facet of your life throughout the year.

Here's to a year of growth, exploration, and endless possibilities as you embody the essence of "expand" in 2024!

Tell us, what is your word for 2024? Post it on our IG and tag #wordoftheyear!!

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