How To Make Your ‘Word of the Year’ More Meaningful (plus a recap of my 2015)

How To Make Your 'Word of the Year' More Meaningful (plus a recap of my 2015) by Kendra Kantor |

It’s that time of the year when we all start thinking about goals and resolutions and new beginnings. The last few years, it’s been a popular idea to come up with a Word of the Year for yourself, to guide you, to try to emulate and embrace throughout the coming 365 days.

But how do we come up with the word, phrase or idea we want to embrace for 1 whole year? In the past, I’ve done tarot readings and free writing in my journal to help me find the way. There are a lot of blog posts out there with ideas (here, here and here among many many others).

The most important thing I’ve found for my Word of the Year that I want to offer up for you is to pick a word to focus on that is a value you can and will continue to focus on in your life.

Your word becomes infinitely more meaningful if it’s a value that you hold dear to your heart. There are times when short term (month long or even year long) goals can be helpful. But when choosing a Word of the Year, you are so much more likely to pay attention and to actively use the word as guidance if it’s something that you will value and utilize for the rest of you life.

Before I started looking at my Word of the Year as a life long purist rather than a goal or resolution I had to follow for 1 calendar year, I never stuck to it. I don’t even remember what my words were!

But the past few years I remember: roots and health, being present, growth and stability.

I remember them because they are core values for me. I will always be focusing on these attributes, some more often than others but they will always be there.

This year, when coming up with your Word of the Year I want to challenge you to try focusing on a life long goal or value. Find something that will last for a long time, something that means something to you deep down.

Journal It! prompts to help make your Word of the Year more meaningful:

At the end of my life, I will look back and be most proud that I…

I’ve really been neglecting…in my life. Is this truly important to me or is it just important to others?

If I had to boil down my happiness and the richness of my life to 3 points, what would they include?

Here’s An Update on My 2015

I wanted to share a quick update on how my Word(s) for 2015 went. My two words for 2015 were growth and stability and I think I really rocked them this year!

In 2015, I took two courses to grow my business. A creativity coaching course and a training course in acceptance and commitment therapy. My business hasn’t grown exponentially but my knowledge has grown in leaps and bounds because of these courses. My pride has grown too. I can’t believe I WENT FOR IT and FINISHED these courses!

My emotions and routine aren’t yet stable. I had a relapse of depression this year due to medication tolerance but since then, I’ve gotten to a really good place. A few days ago, I said to my husband: “I think I’m actually happy.”

Our finances have grown and are immensely stable now. We just moved 800 miles for a better job opportunity for my husband. Not only is he so much happier and now LOVES his job, he got a raise that has really helped. We no longer live paycheck to paycheck.

2015 was…

full of big decisions
big emotional growth for me
an 800 mile move
for snail mail
the year of the ABCs and 123s
full of mandalas and canvases
intense emotions (both good and bad)
our first family vacation

Share in the comments: What is your word for 2016?

heart kendra

(ps: I’m taking a break from blogging from now until January 12th or so. I’m taking time to be slow, enjoy just my family of three and then my son and I are flying to spend time with my family in early January. I’ll also be taking this time to do lots of brainstorming and planning for my business in 2016. I already have some plans and I’m so excited for them! Have a safe and happy holidays!)

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  1. Posted December 10, 2015 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    My words/phrase for 2016 is Focus and Convert. This year I did a lot of planning, educating myself, journaling, exploring different ideas, etc. Next year, I need to focus on the right actions and convert readers to customers/clients.


  2. Rebecca
    Posted December 13, 2015 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    My word for this year is courage. It’s a bit nerdy, but I spent most of my life wanting to be brave like characters that I read about in my books. It has been a word that I always come back to and now it is a word that I am dedicating my time to.


  3. Posted December 18, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    congratulations on a big year! i’ve also struggled with depression so i can extra appreciate the power behind your sentence of “i feel happy!”

    excited for 2016!


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