It's Time for the Word of the Year: What's Yours?

Wednesday, January 08, 2020
Every year around this time, I write a post about my Word of the Year. This is something I started doing in 2016 when I was going through a divorce and was feeling overwhelmed with every aspect of life. The thought of making new year's goals or resolutions was completely out of the picture. My critique group member had read the book: One Word That Will Change Your Life, and she had successfully navigated her way through an entire year, making positive changes focused on this one word she chose. So I thought--why not? If any of you have been through a life-changing time, you know you're often desperate to latch on to anything that will help you make your way through--you're surviving!

Even though, I'm mostly over that hump now and back to writing and enjoying life again, I still prefer the "one word" New Year's goal method rather than coming up with a bunch of goals and resolutions. This year, it's a little different for me because I do have some goals that I'm trying to accomplish each day--working 1 hour and 15 minutes on my own writing before working my day job, teaching WOW! classes, and helping editing clients. But luckily, that all falls under this most glorious word that I chose for 2020:


As you can see in the photo above, I included my words for each year since 2016: Organization, Peace, Calm, and Grow, so that I can build on them--I do make improvements in each area each year, but there's always room for more growth. 

I chose CREATE this year because I am ready to create the life  I want to live. I want to create books, my business, a better life for my daughter and me, a peaceful and beautiful home, a fun trip to visit my best friend, and who knows what else. But it is a year of creation, and I can't wait! 

Plus I got my daughter in on it, too. When I made that poster above, she also made hers (she's 9!) and hung it in in her room:

So how about you? Have you ever chosen one word to focus on throughout the year? My critique group member shared this site here with us, which helps you figure out your word by answering some questions. I just meditate on it each year, and my word comes to me. But there are all kinds of ways to do it: brainstorm, journal, talk to a friend, check out the site, read the book, and meditate. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts below. But whatever you decide, I hope 2020 is your best year yet! 

Margo L. Dill is the managing editor for WOW! Women On Writing and teaches classes throughout the year on novel writing, writing MG and YA novels, and school visits. Check out more about her here! 


Sioux Roslawski said...

Margo--I know people who create vision boards. I know people (you included) who make powerful changes in their lives... and it began with focusing on a word. Sometimes I'm skeptical (when it comes to me). Other times, I know (for certain) that we can do incredible things... if we only put our mind to it.

Scientists say we only use 10% of our brain's potential. What could we accomplish if we utilized our brain's capabilities more fully?

Off the top of my head, if I chose a word, it might be "now." I'll have to think about it.

Margo Dill said...

I like NOW! So far, with my friends, I've heard wellness, focus, and courage--the last one is especially powerful because her husband of over 45 years passed away before Christmas. It does seem like one word could not really change your life. But I agree that the mind is much more powerful than we give it credit for AND we so often get in our own way. That is the story of my life.

Another thing I vowed to do this year, we'll see if I stick to it, is DON'T PUT ANYTHING ON MY CALENDAR I DON'T WANT TO DO. In other words, say no sometimes, Margo. :)

Theresa Boedeker said...

Love your word of the year. Create. I have heard of using one word for your life in general, but I had never thought about it for my writing life. You have given me ideas.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

I think my word is CRAFT. Very similar to your own word.

And I agree. Remember to say NO. We get stuck in so many things that we loathe and they drain our energy.

And when that happens? We can't CREATE or CRAFT.

Margo Dill said...

@Therese: Awesome. I TRY (although it's hard) not to think of my writing as separate from the rest of my life which is why CREATE is applying to all aspects of my life. BUT I know it's hard and to be honest, the biggest thing I am focusing on in 2020 besides my daughter is my writing. (And then there's our crazy puppy too)

Sue: Craft--I love it. Let's help each other say no!

Cathy C. Hall said...

I'm more of a quote than a one word gal but this year, I want to remember what my focus is so one word will work better.

I'm choosing DARE for 2020 because I let fear hold me back in so many ways, not just in my writing life. And I want to step out and take risks again. Not necessarily anything huge...I don't need to skydive...but taking small chances every day--like trying a weird food--is practice for the time when I need to step out in a big way.

At least, that's the plan. We'll see how DARE works for me. :-)

Renee Roberson said...

I haven't really committed to a word yet, but I think I might go with INNOVATE. A lot of my writing/income goals I have this year are all tied to me being creative and learning new technology and innovation--writing podcast scripts, learning the equipment, creating products, an e-mail list, etc. These are all things that scare me but that I can do if I take the time to educate myself. And if I am INNOVATIVE I will most likely create the life I want to live!

Keep on CREATING! (I love that Katie chose Organized. My kids would never think to go there, and they are teens!)

Lori L. Robinett said...

Love including previous years' words on your poster. In previous years, I've done Create, Intention, etc. My favorite was Imperfect. This year, I went with Vision. Hey, it's 2020, it was natural, right?! I want 2020 to be the year I take the time to work toward the vision I've got in my mind, time to start taking action to make that vision a reality.

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