Word Of The Year - Focus Word

How To Make Your ‘Word of The Year’ Really Stick!

How To Make Your ‘Word of The Year’ Really Stick!


Choosing a focus word, a theme or a 'word of the year' is a great way to really hone in on what you want more of in your life. It sets a great tone for the year ahead and allows you to make decisions and choices that honor it.

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When deciding on your word of the year, (check out this list of 300+ word of the year ideas), I’m a big believer in trusting your instinct. You know what you need to focus on, and the word (or words) that you need, will jump out at you.

But that doesn’t mean it will be easy.

It’s not going to work if you just pick a word and then do nothing with it. And then wonder why nothing changed. You really do need to focus on your focus word (pun intended).

The key is to have you:

  • seeing it,
  • reviewing it,
  • thinking about it,
  • feeling it,
  • experiencing it and
  • owning it -  as much as possible.

So that it sticks and becomes a guiding theme in your life.

In order to keep that theme of yours front and center in your life, here are a few great ideas to help make it ‘stick’:


Define Your Focus Word


Writing out your chosen word, plus a clear definition and what it means to you is a great way to create emotion with the word.

You might want to start with the dictionary definition, but also flesh it out further with what the word means to you personally and why it’s important to you.

You might choose to include this in your planner/bullet journal, on a vision board or simply on your computer screen.


Create a Vision Board


The idea of a vision board (also known as a 'dream board') is to create a visual display (with images and text) of the feelings, things and experiences that you want in your life. And therefore, it’s a great way to incorporate your word of the year.

See How to Make A Vision Board

Creating your own vision board is a fun, creative and relaxing process. It’s designed to appeal to your feelings and emotions – and therefore provides an effective source of motivation.

But setting up a vision board is only effective as how much you use it. Make sure to place it somewhere you will see it often for the best results.


Compile a Reading List


Reading books, blogs and online forums about your chosen word of the year is a great way to expand your thinking and knowledge on the subject.

For example, if your focus for the year is ‘Self-Love’, you may compile a reading list such as:





A List of Things to Watch


Find yourself watching any old thing when you finally get to have some tv time?

Just like a reading list, you can compile a list of things to watch, YouTube videos, documentaries, television shows or films that are related to your focus word.

For example, my word of the year in 2018 was ‘Simplify’ and I was drawn to the following things to watch on the subject:

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things :

In Praise of Slowness: 

Carl Honore: 

How to gain control of your free time:

Laura Vanderkam

Related Quotes

A quick google search on ‘your word + quotes’ will provide you with plenty of inspiration on some quotes to include.

Quotes can offer an alternative way of thinking about things and can motivate you towards your focus word.

Check out the following inspirational quotes page for further ideas:

Vision Board Quotes – To Encourage & Inspire!​​​


List of Affirmations


Affirmations are positive written statements, designed to be repeated often and with conviction.

To be effective, self-affirmations should be written in present tense, they should be personal and very specific. You can say them aloud or write them in a journal – whatever way works best for you, but the trick is that they do need to be said often.

In order to get your word of the year to really stick, you could try building your own carefully worded affirmations based on your word.

For example, if your focus word is ‘Abundance’, you could use the following affirmations:

“I live an abundant life”

“I am surrounded by wealth”

Play around with some positive affirmations and find some that inspire you.


Songs That Inspire


Earlier today, I was checking on the status of a trampoline delivery and was put on-hold. With a more than 10 minute wait time, I started to notice that all the on-hold music had a very fitting theme to it - they all included the word 'jump' , such as:

  • The Pointer Sisters - Jump (For My Love)
  • Madonna - Jump
  • Kris Kross - Jump

Which of course had me thinking....creating a playlist of inspiring songs with and/or about your focus word could really help to keep the inspiration going. So maybe your word of the year isn't 'jump', but I'm sure you could find a list of songs that fit your theme well.

Wear Your Word - With Custom Jewellery


So, having your word of the year tattooed on your body may be a little too extreme - but you could always wear a personalised piece of jewellery or wristband?

While necklaces are great, you won’t actually see it very often. A wristband or bracelet (like the one below) is a private, yet effective way to keep your focus word in view:

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Source: jewelryforher2018 via Etsy


Make Your Screensavers Inspiring


Work on your computer a lot? How about your phone?

Because these are great places to set up a screensaver that can showcase your word of the year. It doesn’t have to be the word – you could simple include images that relate to your word.

For example, here is a simple collection of images about ‘adventure’ that will provide frequent visual motivation throughout your day.

Word Of The Year Adventure


Other High-Traffic Areas


Depending on your lifestyle, there will be places of your home, car or work-space that you see often and therefore they make great places to add your word of the year or theme to.

Just some of the various places that you will see at least a few times each day:

  • The front of the fridge
  • The bathroom mirror (try a marker)
  • Your coffee mug
  • Your bedside table
  • Your mouse pad
  • Post it notes on your computer
  • The dashboard of your car
  • Your treadmill

There you have it. A few ideas on how to really get your word of the year to stick. Try any or all of the ideas and I'm sure it will no longer be a forgotten word or theme to you!

If you have any other ideas for making your word 'stick', I would love to hear them!

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