Who comes up with their word of the year 1/4 of the way through it? Well, me for starters! I was listening to an old podcast where the presenters were discussing their word of the year and mine just exploded into my head.

“Renew – give fresh life or strength to”

I didn’t do a word of the year last year, but if I had, it would have been Survive. That was the main thought in my head for the majority of the year. To get through each day, each week, each month. But by the end of the year, I’d started to feel like a seedling poking its head above the soil, feeling the sunshine, ready to venture out into the world.

This year I feel like I’m going to really take off – I have a new job as a marketing assistant – a role I never thought I’d be doing but which seems custom-made for my varied skill-set; my confidence has returned; and I finally feel like I can make long-term plans for the future again.

Why choose a word of the year?

In a blog post titled Choose your Conscious Writing Word for 2018, writer Marilyn Bousquin talks about what she gets from the practice.

Some years ago I ditched New Year’s resolutions, which felt more like giving up something for Lent—i.e., depriving myself of something I wanted—than evolving myself into the person I wanted to become. In place of making a resolution, I began choosing a “word of the year.”


Choosing a word of the year is akin to setting an intention that guides you toward your purpose, moving you from where you are now to where you want to be. Instead of pushing upstream toward a hard-to-achieve resolution, you embody your word and allow it to permeate your consciousness. In a sense, you become your word as you take action in your day-to-day life that puts your word into practice. Your life, then, begins to mirror your word. Your word becomes your way of being in the world.

What she says really resonates with me. I like the way RENEW implies how I should be living my life. To me it says discarding the things that aren’t working for me, trying new things, growing in a new direction.

I’ve already given up (or given notice) on a couple of commitments that were no longer where I needed to be – or perhaps who I needed to be. They’d previously served me well, and I’d gotten a lot from them, but now it’s time to move on. There are some pangs as I walk away, but also a lot of relief.

I’m learning new skills already this year – and I have no doubt I will learn many more before the year is up. New software packages, new writing skills, new business skills.

I’m trying new things. I’m planning to start a new business later this year. And I have some very, very exciting writing news to announce quite soon!

Do you have a word of the year?

If so, is it inspiring you to live your life in accordance with that word? Do you have the word displayed somewhere to remind you of it often? Or is it something that’s simply in the back of your mind?

If you don’t have one and think it sounds like a good idea, let me know what word resonates with you.