On personal growth: Choosing a word of the year

Creativity Lifestyle Updates

'Choosing a word of the year, my own my word + a brief intro to the Rare Bird Co. Journal'

Hello and happy new year! As we start a new year, I like the popular practice that’s gained momentum in recent years of choosing a ‘word of the year’. Your word of the year is a word you choose as a guide and reminder for what you’d like to focus on in the new year.

Picking a word of the year is about taking stock of where you are now, reflecting back on how you felt last year, and then feeling out a general sense of what you’d like more of in the coming year.

Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash

How to choose your word of the year:

  1. Reflect back on that last year. What did you like about what you did in the last year and what would you like to change? 
  2. Based on your reflections, brainstorm and write down a list of words that describe the themes of the new year that might be important to you. Feel free to use a thesaurus!
  3. As you go through your list of words, think about which word resonates with you the most. What feels right? What direction are you most interested in going this year? What feels most important to focus on right now?

10 ‘word of the year’ examples:

  1. Connection
  2. Joy
  3. Peace
  4. Creativity
  5. Strength
  6. Focus
  7. Balance
  8. Growth
  9. Simplify
  10. Explore

Use your ‘word of the year’ as a guide

Once you’ve decided on a word. Write it down somewhere. It can serve as a reminder as you go about your days throughout the year. Share the word with others if that’s something you’d like to do. It can help to hold yourself accountable. 

Remember, this is a FUN practice to do in the new year. We don’t need to take it too seriously, it’s simply a way to reflect on your year and think about where you’d like to head in the near future. If as the year goes on, if you decide it doesn’t work for you anymore, or you’d like to change direction, that’s okay! Do it! There are no rules and you should do whatever feels right on your own personal growth journey.

My own ‘word of the year’ - synergy

My word for this year is synergy. I know this word usually carries a corporate feel, but I couldn’t think of a better fitting word for what I wanted out of this year. As I multifaceted, multi-disciplinary artist/designer/person/mother/all-the-things, I generally feel as though my life is a big mess with too many moving parts. I often hear people (especially those who work for themselves or run small businesses) vent about trying to attain the ever elusive work/life balance. I know all too well about striving for this balance myself.

In this coming year, instead of feeling pulled in all the directions and having them compete with each other, I’d like to have all my pieces working together in a more synergistic, holistic way. I want the messy-ness to coexist in harmony, as beautiful moving parts of me and my work’s essence. 

That’s where the Rare Bird Co. Journal comes in! I’m hoping to take the time this new year to have somewhere to pull it all together. All my moving parts, documented in one place. You can read the journal on our website, and it will also be mirrored on substack. You will find all the things going on with my art + business, plus my other interests as well (articles about growth + creativity, art + design inspiration, home + style inspiration, art + craft ideas, art + design history, music, books, entertainment and more).

Thanks for being here! Hoping you find a lovely word that’s just right for you. Cheers to the new year!

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