Choosing Your Word of the Year

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
~Albert Einstein

Words are extremely powerful and creative forces in our lives.

Although we may not think about it when using them all day every day, they really do embody energy, assign meaning, conjure up images and ignite our imagination. When we choose in awareness and intention for something more, words can powerfully excite our senses, influence our outcomes, inspire our souls and transform our lives.

So, imagine the power of selecting a Word of the Year to represent your over-arching theme for the year!

I had my own hallelujah moment many years ago, when a mentor of mine introduced me to the Word of the Year ritual.

Having never been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions that had me looking through a punitive lens of “shoulds” and then trying to create something positive and sustainable, this has since become the perfect approach to launching my New Year, every year.

Sometimes I choose my Word of the Year and sometimes it magically chooses me, and others who embrace this ritual.

It can come as a soulful whisper, in a lively conversation, on an unexpected sign, on a fob at the end of a key chain, and this year for me, on a forgotten coffee mug randomly purchased over a year ago. It’s been sitting on a shelf in my closet, just waiting for me to notice what I need and am being called to this year.

Oh how I adore the Universal forces that lovingly conspire to wake each of us up to our fullness and future!

When we fully enroll in this process we are answering the soul’s call to expansion and experiencing itself in new ways. It’s a higher request to embrace, engage and up-level our lives and have a little more fun along the way.

Personally, I love the process of choosing and attending to this sacred invitation and welcome you to do the same!


Let the authentic YOU shine through your word. Allow it to be absolutely and totally resonant.

When I originally began this practice, I chose generic words from my head; words that required a whole lot of doing, like “Grow.” “Power.” “Excellence.”

I was a Coach, you know, and I felt I had to adhere to a different standard … until I websitepurchased 1.5.2017Copy of shutterstock_397908292realized that I was back in my ‘shoulds’ disguised in a prettier process that kept me away from my truthful and genuine self. Looking back, I see how exhausting I first allowed it to become in my striving for a little <wink> bit of perfection.

I’ve learned well from the old process and continue to master my ability to choose words, real words (even if a little scary in their calling me to bigger, better and more), that are personally and soulfully resonant; words that are a gracious mix of being and doing.

I quiet myself, I ask, I listen, and in opening to this soulful process, I allow myself to meet my Word of the Year.


Your Word of the Year is designed to teach you all about yourself; where you are, where you default to patterns or familiarity, and where you block what you are ready to attract and hinder the very creative powers that you own.

I’ve found my reactions, irritations, judgments and justifications to be great teachers, even if the learning has come in less than gracious and emotionally elegant ways at times. While that used to be source of frustration, I now know that’s life and how we often times best learn.

Yes, awareness is definitely a key component.

Remember that the main thrust is to get into partnership with your word with an open heart and mind where you live into possibilities and recognize that everything in life has the potential to teach and take you to higher ground. Give yourself permission to be surprised and amazed at what your word teaches you throughout the year.


Outcomes are created by either design or default. When using your Word of the Year as a consistent and purposeful guiding light, that very clarity serves as intention, motivation and accountability to live equal to what you are now ready to attract and who you are ready to be.

And I’ve learned that with a little practice, well, maybe more than ‘a little,’ that we no longer have to micro-manage all the overwhelmingly wicked ‘hows.’

When we consistently use our word as our north star, adding a little spiritual partnership trust, new opportunities in alignment with our word appear and only ask for our resounding YES!

When we choose to play in the field of potential and manifestation, clarity, focus, and chill are king.


  • Write the word or words you are considering for the coming year.
  • Choose only one. Why is this the perfect word for you this year?
  • If you embraced this word daily, what would be different for you?
  • How do you now embody the word? How do you not embody the word?
  • If you were to live this word daily, how would life be different a year from now?
  • Who would you be and what would you have created, manifested or attracted?
  • Share Your Word of the Year with someone trustworthy. Give voice to your intention.

When you choose to open up to an authentically resonant word that will truly guide you as you launch your New Year, you’re letting your soul show you the way to your own unique, open-hearted, customized pathway to happiness

Relinquish the outmoded process of resolutions and choose positive and compelling potential instead all wrapped up in your Word of the Year.


If you’d like guidance in the process of choosing your powerful Word of the Year, I’m here to help! Leave a message in the comment box below or reach out via email or phone to schedule a lively, complimentary conversation to discuss your personal process and payoff as well as how a coaching partnership can help you deliberately create more of what you are ready for in the year ahead!

Happy New Word! Happy New Year!

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About Nancy Carlstrom

Professional Life Coach, Nancy Carlstrom, CDC, has been awakening and guiding her international client base to create positive, sustainable change in their lives and careers for well over 12 years. She works closely with individuals, leaders, teams and businesses to develop transformational strength-based strategies, practices and mindsets that support one’s dreams and goals for a meaningful life – personally and professionally. As an accountability partner, ‘hold your feet to the fire’ instigator and unwavering champion for every client’s success, Nancy is passionately committed to helping people ignite their passion and initiate lasting change.

One Response to Choosing Your Word of the Year

  1. Michelle says:

    Wow, such a simple, powerful idea. Thanks Nancy! Looking forward to “finding” my word.

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