Now is the time that every life coach on the planet is writing a blog post about New Year’s resolutions. I know it’s overdone, but I still do like this time of year for reflecting on what has gone right in the past year and mapping out what I want the next year to look like. In fact, I’m relishing spending a nice chunk of time today doing just that. Not tomorrow, though. Tomorrow I will be curled up with my laptop completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). I’m not relishing that so much, but my oldest child is applying to colleges this year, so this will become my newest ritual for the new year.


Anyway, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite ways for viewing the coming year…choosing a word of the year!


The beauty of the word of the year is that it is short, sweet, and much easier to remember than a bunch of resolutions. Let’s face it, we all usually forget those by February.


The word you choose becomes a sacred reminder of where you want to expend your energies this year.


It is a lens through which you filter where you will focus your attention. For example, if your word for the year is “balance,” as you go through the year, making decisions about where to spend your time, you need to consider if that particular activity will make you feel balanced. If you decide that the answer is no, then it makes sense not to do that activity.


I’ve done this for the past few years. Here are some of the words I have chosen:


2014   CREATE

2013   SHINE

2012   JOY


And for 2015 (drumroll, please):    FREEDOM


Freedom Sculpture by Zenos Frudakis

Freedom Sculpture by Zenos Frudakis

I had some difficulty choosing a word this year, but when I hit on freedom, it just felt right. Liberating, you know.


Go with you gut when choosing a word. It really needs to resonate with you.




Another great idea is to choose or create a visual image of your word as a reminder.  Above is one of my favorite sculptures in Philadelphia, a visual representation of freedom.  Love it!


In terms of freedom, here are some things I want to focus on:


Health: I don’t want my health issues to keep me from enjoying life. I want the freedom to do the things I like to do without pain, exhaustion, or limited mobility stopping me. To achieve this, I know I need to take certain actions to safeguard my health. This is a great case of boundaries actually providing more freedom.


Business: I want more freedom in my business model so that I can continue to make family a priority. As I decide which projects to take on this year, I will examine whether or not the project will give me more freedom or less.


Finances: I want to have more freedom financially. This means I plan to increase my income (see above for how I will do that in a way that aligns with my goals for the year.) It also means that as I make spending/budgeting decisions I will be applying the “freedom test” to make sure that those decisions are in my best interest for how I want to feel this year.


Are you choosing a word of the year? What is it? Let me know in the comments section.