2015: Choosing Your Guiding Word

December 30, 2014

I love to see this concept spreading far and wide year after year.

It certainly wasn’t my original idea, but choosing a word (or two or three), rather than setting solid goals or resolutions that set me up for “failure” has made such a difference in my life and what I accomplish every single year.

2012 was the first year I chose a word instead of setting a plethora of goals or resolutions. It was about choosing a primary focus for the next 52 weeks of my life. Sure, I still set personal and professional goals, but having that guiding word made a huge difference. It allowed me to step back and look at the big picture.

What do I want to feel this year?
What kind of experiences do I want to have?
What results, effects, or changes do I want to see?

2012 was abundance.
2013 was connect.
2014 was truth.
2015 is expansion.

Over the last year, letting truth be my guiding word was a powerful, challenging, and life altering experience. I had a lot of hard conversations, got really uncomfortable, took risks, and started showing up in a whole new way. When I started, truth telling was really hard. I mean, really, really hard. I often had to repeat truth, truth, truth to myself to work up the courage to speak it. But as the year comes to a close, wow, totally different experience. Truth telling is still hard… but it’s also really easy, because I know it’s going to lead to greater alignment in my life, relationships, and work.

Because truth was so powerful, I really didn’t know what word to choose for the next year… but as the year came to a close, it became really apparent: expansion. Expansion to me sums up so much of what I want to create in myself, my life, my relationships, and my business.

I want to experience expansion from the core of who I am… to step more deeply into my truth and my purpose. I want to experience expansion in my work… growing my client/member base, income, team, and reach. I want to show up more deeply in my work, fully embodying my purpose and message, and continually expanding creatively. I want to experience expansion in my relationships… growth, depth, connection, and inspiration from and with those around me. I want to be in relationships that lift me higher in my life and work. I want to experience expansion of self… pushing myself to grow in new, exciting, and challenging ways. Experiencing everything this life and world has to offer.

Expansion is about growth, inspiration, showing up, living and breathing my truth, learning, loving, exploring, inspiring and being inspired, connecting, and pushing my edges. Expansion is my word, and just saying it feels incredibly expansive.

This year, I invite you to try something different.

Rather than set resolutions or create a huge list of goals and plans for the year, I want you to think about what you want to create in the next 52 weeks of your life.

While we haven’t talked about specifics of your goals, you already know the kind of life you want to create. Even if you think you don’t, you do, I promise. It may be buried deep below the “have to do” and “should be doing” lists that are crowding your mind.


Start by making a word list.

What are all the things you want to do, be, or have in this next chapter of your life? Simply list out everything that comes to mind. Take your time with this, maybe even carry the list around with you for a week or so, so that you’re certain to get everything down. And don’t leave anything out! If it’s something you desire, then it deserves a spot on the list. Absolutely NO over thinking or talking yourself out of anything.

Look for common themes or ideas and uncover your word.

Comb back through your list and begin to mark or highlight related items. Don’t just put fitness with fitness and career with career, look beyond the obvious for items that have a general mood, essence or idea behind them.

Maybe you wrote down the words fit, soccer, active and tone. Perhaps you also wrote down happy, accomplished and successful. Think about what trait these items have in common. Maybe it’s energetic… healthy… powerful? A good word for you may be vibrant.

Maybe you wrote down the words husband, best friend and communication. Perhaps you also wrote down speaker, writing and mastermind. What do these items have in common? What is the general essence? A good word in this case might be connection.

Remember, it doesn’t have to cover everything perfectly, but think about what’s really motivating to you RIGHT NOW. Do you want more abundance, to have a richer life? Do you want more connection, through self expression as well as your work and relationships? Do you want more energy, to feel alive and powerful?

Place your word in prominent places!

Once you have your word, be sure to place it next to your work computer or space, create a vision board with images and words that represent what that word means for YOU and  YOUR life. It’s important to have a daily reminder of what it is you’re working to create. The more visual, the better.

Take action now!

Grab your journal and start creating your word list. Once you’ve worked through the process, share your word with me below. 🙂

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