Journaling,  Uncategorized

Journaling: Y = Yearly Word

For several years now I have participated in the Word of the Year movement.

The concept is fairly simple. Select one word you wish to focus on to help with personal and spiritual growth. Typically I try to choose a word that helps to combat or overcome certain deficiencies in my life.

Brainstorming which word has been the subject of many journaling sessions.


iPhone wallpaper 2016

For example, the first year I chose the word BALANCE. At that time in my life, I was teaching eight classes (all different and based in Language Arts, which meant eight different class preps and way too many research papers to count), as well as tending to three adolescent teenagers and a chronically ill parent. My life was severely out of whack.

What I discovered fairly early on, however, is that balance is quite elusive. It is impossible to achieve on a daily or even weekly basis. Sometimes I might feel balanced over the course of a month, but overall… this word was not as helpful as I had hoped.

What I really wanted, I decided, was the PEACE that a balanced life would bring. Interestingly, this word had value. While my circumstances didn’t change, my outlook and perception did. I discovered if I intentionally search for peace, I will find it in hidden moments throughout the day.

The next year I knew I needed to stop being so serious and add a little joy to life. I journaled through several synonyms and chose DELIGHT as my yearly word. I liked the weightlessness of the word (light as opposed to heavy) and the scriptural application: Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4).

iPhone wallpaper 2017

While I found myself more joyful, I knew I was still too serious. It was time to ramp it up a notch. I considered the word,Β play, but ultimately (through word association) chose FUN as my word for 2016. Interestingly, ten days into the new year I fell and broke my humerus bone in my left arm. God sometimes has a wacky sense of humor. However, when I fell again five months later and broke the humerus in my right bone, I took notice. As my daughter proclaimed, “Mom, your body is literally rejecting fun.” Hmmm…. lots to journal there.

After the double-bone break (and hip fracture) of 2016, I decided I needed to focus on health this year. Again, I used the word association method of brainstorming to ultimately land on the word NOURISH. I liked the definition: to sustain or supply what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to strengthen and build up.

I want to live life to the fullest – especially in these “latter” years. That necessitates I have a body that is healthy and fit. Diet, exercise, water intake, and brain stimulation are all necessary components to quality of life.

At the end of January, I journaled about my first month of Nourishment. I then took the first quarterly assessment at the end of March. When I feel a bit out of sorts, I begin the journal session by asking what do I need to nourish to overcome this malaise?

* * *
Do you participate in the Word of the Year movement? If so, which words have you chosen? If not, which word would you choose for this phase of life?

This Journaling series will conclude tomorrow with Z is of Zzzzz


  • Tamara Gerber

    Up to now I haven't heard of a "Word of the Year" you choose for yourself, but why not? I like balance because it includes everything really: health, fun, work, family,…
    Have you fully recovered from your injuries?

  • My Cozy Book Nook

    Well… I have a rod in my left arm and three screws in my left hip πŸ™‚ Those are permanent additions. My right arm's range of motion is about 95%, which is probably as good as it will get. I'm not complaining though πŸ™‚

    Thanks so much for asking!

  • lorig

    A few years ago I chose a word for the year. I ended up with create and focused on many different aspects of creativity. I have not worked with a word for the year since.

  • Karen O'Connor

    I have done Ali Edward's One Little Word project which sounds similar to your Word of the Year. The first year I selected "embrace", the second year "adventure" and the third "learn". The third year was when I launched my blog so I thought it was a good choice but in the end I was too busy "learning" to keep up with the word project. It's something I will revisit again in the future. I really loved picking a word for the year. I hope you are doing better after your break. That sounds stressful. WeekendsInMaine

  • Alice Gerard

    Until I read this blog post, I had never heard of the word of the year movement. Maybe I should pick a word. Hmm, adventure. Life is an adventure, and I try to portray it that way in my blog.

  • Preethi Venugopala

    I have chosen a word for 2017 and this is my first time trying this. My word for 2017 is Upgrade. I am finding ways to learn something new every day and upgrade my knowledge and life. So far, I am loving it.
    I loved your theme. I am sure you can create a best seller eBook from these blog posts. All the best.

  • My Cozy Book Nook

    Learn is also a great word. I am a huge advocate of life-long learning, but I fear if I made it my word of the year, I would as you mention and miss a lot of life by focusing on "learning" πŸ™‚

  • My Cozy Book Nook

    I LOVE Upgrade… it is unique but also comprehensive. It can be applied to many different facets of life πŸ™‚

    Thank you so much for the encouragement! I hope to have the Journaling book published by the end of May.

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