Why You Should Choose A Word of the Year Instead of New Year’s Resolutions {FREE DOWNLOAD}

How to choose a word of the year

Happy New Year folks! I truly hope 2018 brings you plenty of joy, opportunities and adventure.

Today I have had a dreamy time with my husband. We went out for brunch at a local boutique hotel (photo above was a sneaky snap the husband took as I was staring out at the dogs playing on the church grounds opposite!), taking our time to sip coffee and go over our plans for the year ahead. We talked about our hopes for the year, the project we have in mind, and what we’d like to achieve over the next 12 months.

We also talked through our ideas for our WORD OF THE YEAR, something we have been doing for a number of years now.

Longtime readers might remember this post but in a short recap …

My Word of The Year Process

Every year, at the start of each year, I choose a WORD OF THE YEAR instead of New Year’s Resolutions. It’s a word that resonates with where I am in life and will guide me for the entire year. Usually, it is something I feel might be lacking, or a weakness, or something that I want to build on.

I have the process of choosing a WORD OF THE YEAR to be incredibly satisfying. It requires a great level of mindfulness and intention to focus on what matters to me. I also find that by choosing a word of the year I maintain a focus throughout the year when life does it’s thing and times get tough.

Why Choose a WORD OF THE YEAR?

Unlike New Year’s Resolution which often have a kind of ‘pass or fail’ mentality to them, and more often than not just set you up for failure, a WORD OF THE YEAR allows for flexibility. It allows for things going wrong, for times getting tough, for losing track.

Using a WORD OF THE YEAR instead of a New Year’s Resolution is a kinder way to grow. It is a softer way to develop. It is a gentle guide through the year.

Picking a WORD OF THE YEAR has given me the guidance and focus I need without the option to fail. And that is a far more productive and efficient way to grow.

My Previous WORD OF THE YEAR choices

2017 – Joy

2016 – Strength

2015 – Connect

2014 – Abundance

How To Choose a WORD OF THE YEAR

1. Reflect on the past year and project forward on the kind of things you want to achieve in all areas of your life.

2. Consider the parts of your personality/mindset that you would like to improve upon.

3. Focus on the position you would like to be in 12 months ahead of now.

4. Start running through potential words that you like (make a list or use the free worksheet below I have created for you)

5. Stop at the word that you keep repeating back to yourself time and time again.

The word that resonates the most with you is your WORD OF THE YEAR.

It will be your promise, your guide, your mantra.


To help you pick the right word for your year I have created a worksheet to help you work through the words that resonate with you. Inside the worksheet, you will find I compiled an epic list of potential words to guide you. Simply read through the list and highlight the ones that resonate with you.

Word of the Year Worksheet

Go over that list again and note all of those words (I have provided note boxes to record them all). Now start narrowing down the list until you find the WORD OF THE YEAR for you.

>>>Download the WORD OF THE YEAR worksheet here<<<

Word of the Year Worksheet Rosalilium

Sometimes it can take a bit of time to settle on the right WORD OF THE YEAR for you. I recommend starting off with a long list of potential words, then walk away from the exercise for a bit.

Perhaps mull over the words with a cuppa, repeat them out loud to yourself. Or do a totally different task and revisit the list to see if anything stands out after a break.

I truly hope my worksheet helps you. Do let me know if you give it a go and which WORD OF THE YEAR you pick.

Good luck!


>>>Download the WORD OF THE YEAR worksheet here<<<






  1. 1 January 2018 / 5:55 pm

    Love this idea – I decided to continue with my word from last year which is Simplify. There are so many aspects of life that just need to be simplified even further than last year so I’m hoping it works well this year.

    • 1 January 2018 / 7:57 pm

      Yey! I’m so pleased you like it Hannah. And I love your word, I could definitely do with more simplification in my like too.

  2. 1 January 2018 / 11:14 pm

    That list is amazing. I am between quite a few and one that’s not on there (unless I missed it!) ‘development’

    I hope you have a great year ahead hun x

    • 5 January 2018 / 5:35 pm

      That’s a great word! Good luck with it for 2018. 🙂

  3. 2 January 2018 / 12:43 pm

    Hi Elisabeht and Happy New Year!

    This year I chose challenge, because I need to challenge myself in order to avoid getting lost on everyday life. Because there are many things I want to do or try that I will never do otherwise.
    It’s nice to know other people do the same!

    Hasta pronto,

    • 5 January 2018 / 5:35 pm

      Challenge is a fantastic word. Good luck with it this year and I’d love to know how you get on.

  4. 2 January 2018 / 9:46 pm

    What a lovely inspiring post. Ours is more of a moto than a word. We are Seeing the Good in Everything. I like to be positive and happy. I had a dip last year and couldn’t get out of it but my ever bouncy husband helped me see the way.

    • 5 January 2018 / 5:36 pm

      I love that you have a family motto for the year! Good luck with it this year and I hope it helps!x

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