This is the time of year when I get emails and Facebook notes from people who downloaded my Word of the Year Discovery Tool last year at this time. They’re writing to share the breakthroughs that happened to them as they let a single word “guide” them throughout the past 365 days.
This practice of choosing a word-of-the-year (rather than making resolutions) is something I wrote about in a blog post back in 2006. The post went mildly viral. Since then, all kinds of articles have been written about it, jewelry artists create custom-made word jewelry for people who want to wear their word, and Facebook is alive and kicking with discussions about it. (My Platinum Mastermind group has already started talking in our private forum about their word for next year.)
I now believe that choosing a word for the year is so compelling because it takes the “should” out of our own upleveling. Our word calls us out, rather than driving us to work harder.
In the world of business ownership and entrepreneurship, the idea of intention all too often revolves around ego-driven achievement. So it goes like this:
If you have a goal, you name that goal. You go for that goal. You make it happen. You reach that goal. You get the reward. Then you make another goal. You are almost always going for “more” or “better” or “faster.”
And yes, this is a completely valid way to do things. And it works, too! Hell, it’s what makes many businesses successful!
However, the thing about goals and intentions when created from such a hardcore place of drive is that often, what we say we want is actually coming from a place of lack or shame or fear. So, yes, we can make lots of stuff happen, but the true thing we desire – our own freedom – doesn’t ever happen.
And this is what strikes me about these messages from people who chose a word based on my coaching in that little tool I created. They are most excited about the strength and freedom that unfolded within. Not just the results they created. Almost always, they report that they had a little bit of resistance to their word at first. Or they were surprised at their word. Or they wanted a “cooler” word. Or a “bigger” word. But the word they ended up choosing was the perfect word for their true upleveling.
When we step back and just allow, our word of the year seems to simply choose us.
This is not to say that you can’t go forth and achieve and get things done and be your big badass self. (In fact, action is required!) But it is to say that setting an intention is often much more fun when there’s mystery involved. When you open up to a word that will truly guide you, you’re doing much more than playing some kitschy little new year’s game. You are letting your soul show you the way to your own wild open-hearted custom-made path of happy.
So, I’d rather hear from you than me on this topic. If you’ve ever chosen a word of the year, what was your experience during that year? What happened? What didn’t happen? And most important, how did it open you up? Share away and let’s inspire some peeps!
Oh, and if you want to grab my Word-Of-The-Year Discovery Tool, it’s here for the taking.