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How To Choose Your Word for the Year

The PowerSheets Facebook Group is a wonderful place for inspiration and encouragement for friends as they dig into their PowerSheets. I recently saw a thread of comments from someone in the group feeling overwhelmed about how to choose a word of the year and asking for advice!

I completely understand the overwhelm-even though it isn't necessary! It often feels like there is a lot of pressure to choose the "perfect" word for your year, but I wanted to offer a pep talk and some advice that has been helpful to me, personally, to anyone who is feeling paralyzed by the choice!

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Photo by Lara Casey

Remind yourself that you don't have to be perfect. The PowerSheets process is not about doing everything perfectly; it's about discovering the perfect goals for you in this season. The same is true for your word of the year! If you start to feel overwhelmed, remind yourself that this isn't traditional goal-setting. This is grace-filled goal-setting, and there is plenty of room for you to get messy and change your mind!

Read through your Prep Work with a fresh set of eyes. Go back to page one of your PowerSheets (yes, page one!) and start from the beginning! Take a highlighter or colored pencil and start circling or underlining any themes that you see! (That's how Lara discovered her unexpected word for 2017!) When you look at all you’ve written so far, what word keeps popping up in your mind? Ask yourself what one word most resonates with you for the year ahead, pulling together all that you want to make happen?

Brain dump. Once you've read through your Prep Work again, find an empty page in your PowerSheets and start brainstorming a list of words you think could work, even if they aren't exactly right! Writing it down will get all your ideas on paper and give you a chance to see them all at once!

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Photo by Stephanie Williamson

Open a dictionary and thesaurus. Take your brainstorm list and use an old-fashioned dictionary/thesaurus to start researching your words! Look at the definition of each word, it's origin, and synonyms and antonyms. You may be amazed at what you discover!

Choose a word (or a few!) Don't box yourself into only choosing one word if multiple words or a phrase resonate with you. There is no word limit on this portion, so choose something that resonates with you!

Write your word down! Whether it's written on your Word of the Year Card or a post-it notes, write it down, and put it somewhere you'll see it every single day! It can go on your desk, on your bathroom mirror, or in your car, just make sure that you are being reminded of what you are focusing on for the next season!

Give yourself permission to change your mind! One of the greatest things about the PowerSheets process is how we've built in opportunities for you to reflect and redirect your goals every three months! In the Goal Refresh section, you can choose a new word or phrase to focus on in the next three months. You don't have to wait until three months to change your mind. Grab a post-it note or an old-fashioned bottle of white-out and add your new word over the old one! Progress, not perfection, friends!

Have you chosen your word for 2017? If so, leave it in the comments and let us know! We can't wait to see what you're focusing on in this next season!

Show Comments (19)
  1. Em
    Em
    reply

    My word is "prepared"! I hesitated over it, because it didn't seem 100% right at first, but I'm slowly settling into it and it feels good! :) And, I know that I can always change it if I feel the need.

    • Jess Metcalf
      Jess Metcalf
      reply

      After reading through your goals, I'm quite sure that's going to be a great word for you! Xo!

  2. DeAnna Witzenburger
    DeAnna Witzenburger
    reply

    My word is GRACE! I am trying to learn to give myself the grace that God has freely given me. I am so excited with this word beacuse the opposite word, guilt, has been present in my life for too long!

    • Jess Metcalf
      Jess Metcalf
      reply

      Love that you intentionally chose a word that is the opposite of guilt! Cheering you on! Xo!

  3. Allison Ossorio
    Allison Ossorio
    reply

    My word is PRESENT. Last fall, I felt very unfocused and my coping mechanism was to start going down the social media scroll-hole... not productive and not at all being present. This kept coming up in the prep sheets and it feels so right to me.

    • Jess Metcalf
      Jess Metcalf
      reply

      Love this, Allison! If you haven't read Shauna Neiquest's book, Present Over Perfect, I highly recommend it! Cheering you on! Xo!

  4. Caley
    Caley
    reply

    My word is DISCIPLINE - and it covers so many areas in life! x

    • Jess Metcalf
      Jess Metcalf
      reply

      What a great word Caley! Many people might cringe at that word, but I can't wait to see how you implement that in all areas of you life so that you can simplify and focus on what matters! Xo!

  5. Catherine
    Catherine
    reply

    My word is THRIVE. My divorce a couple of years ago resulted in some painful challenges-back to work full-time, downsizing my home, financial stress, single parenthood, and grieving the loss of a life-long dream. I was in survival mode for a long time, and I'm so thankful to be entering into a new season. It's time to stop just getting by, and instead to actively grow and pursue what really matters. Jesus said he came to give us abundant life and I am ready to seek all He has planned!

    • Jess Metcalf
      Jess Metcalf
      reply

      Catherine! We are thrilled to celebrate you in this new season! Can't wait to see what is in store! Xo!

  6. Courtney
    Courtney
    reply

    I just read "Make it Happen" and other than the Bible, it has probably been the most life-changing book I've ever read! Now I've been so inspired to intentionally look at the year ahead and set some realistic, grace-filled, but still passionate goals! My word for this year is INTIMATE. 1) This year I'm praying to develop an intimacy with the Lord like I've never had before. 2) Prioritize my relationship with my husband and our baby (coming in May!) over work, etc. and truly cherish the little moments. 3) I'm a high school teacher and softball coach and I love my job, but I want to "work like Jesus" and intentionally build meaningful, encouraging relationships with my students/athletes!

    • Jess Metcalf
      Jess Metcalf
      reply

      What sweet encouragement, Courtney! Congratulations on your growing family! Wishing you a continued focus on what matters most to you! Xo!

  7. Kimberly Wood
    Kimberly Wood
    reply

    My word of the year is LESS: Less weight, less debt, less sickness, less negativity, less stress! I see my word of Less as a positive, not a negative!

    • Jess Metcalf
      Jess Metcalf
      reply

      Love the way you are redefining the word LESS, Kimberly! Can't wait to see what lies ahead for you! Xo!

  8. Tara Lantieri
    Tara Lantieri
    reply

    I'm brand new to power sheets. I have been setting personal goals for a few years now as well choosing a word of the year but decided to get a bit more "official" about it. I had my word for the year picked out before I received my power sheets the 2nd week in Jan but after slowly working through the process of setting my goals (which still have to be written down) I've decided to change my word. Yay for graceFULL planning. My word was actually GRACE but now I'm changing it BRAVE...I attempted to squish them together to make make one word out of both words for my year but all I could come up with GRAVE or BRACE - neither sounded positive - so for now it's BRAVE. LOL

    • Jess Metcalf
      Jess Metcalf
      reply

      Love this, Tara! Welcome to the PowerSheets family! Your combined words made me giggle! Cheering you on this year as you step into new goals for the year! Xo!

  9. Kay Hobbs
    Kay Hobbs
    reply

    My Word for the Year is RELATIONSHIPS. I have many people in my life that I have lost touch with because of time, distance, and "issues." I have nieces and nephews who have extremely busy lives; I have friends I knew back in college and high school that I wish I still knew; I have relatives that live far away and do not "do" technology. A friend from high school- we used to hang together in band, run off to the beach to chill on "those" high school days- recently passed away only eight months after reconnecting with her! I do not want this to happen again! These reasons for not staying in touch are not excuses, so many my goals- yearly, daily, weekly- focus on maintaining the relationships of these important people in my life.

    • Jess Metcalf
      Jess Metcalf
      reply

      Kay! What a welcome and challenging perspective for me this morning! A necessary reminder that it's important to love the people in your life well. Can't wait to cheer you on this year in this goal! Xo!

  10. A WordPress Site | August 2017 Goals
    A WordPress Site | August 2017 Goals
    reply

    […] important things….relationships and personal time! Which I think aligns well for my August focus word (that’s right…I have monthly focus […]

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