Your Word Of The Year

What word describes your year?

This post might seem more appropriate in January, but today is the start of a new year as well. In fact, every day is the start of a new year and an opportunity for all of us to change our lives for the better.

Several years ago one of my friends and fellow coaches described a process he goes through every year. He probably stole the idea from a book, but I don’t recall. While he is setting his goals for the upcoming year, he decides on a word that will represent his actions for that year. It can be any word at all. But it needs to be something that speaks to you and is a reminder to stay focused on what’s important to you.

At the time, my friend was battling a rare blood disease with a treatment protocol similar to cancer. His word for the year? Recover. Nothing else was more important to him at that time. He knew that if he focused on his recovery, it would go more smoothly and he would have more time and energy to focus on more enjoyable things in the future.

That’s not to say he ONLY focused on his recovery. Of course he continued to live the rest of his life, but having his one word always gave him a place to return when he found himself getting spread too thinly or when he needed to make a decision on a where to take his life. All he had to do was ask if what he was doing was helping his recovery. If it wasn’t, he made a change.

To be perfectly honest, I appreciated the idea of a single word to represent a year, but it never spoke to me enough to actually sit down and figure out what represented me. Then I set a new goal. A really big goal. One that scared me to think about. For whatever reason, the one word concept popped back in my head and I knew my word almost instantly.


I knew as soon as I started working towards my goal it was going to take all my free energy and focus until I accomplished the task. I also knew that my success rested entirely on whether I put the work in. Now when I get tired or lose focus, I think about hustle and hunker back down and complete another task. I think about the goal as well, but the word hustle encased the goal and all the work that needs to go into it. It’s been an anchor for me.

I would like to encourage you to find your own word for this year. Think about what you want to define your 2016. Think about which area of your life is most important to you right now and find a word the represents what you want out of that area. It could be related to health, fitness, relationships, money, career, family, or anything else. You get to decide what’s most important to you. I’m certain the time you spend in this exercise will be time well spent.