Choosing a word for the year may seem silly or frivolous, but I’m here to tell you, the practice has been epic for me. Last week I shared with you why choosing a word for the year may be right for you instead of resolutions. This week I want to share with you how to choose your word for the year.

The first year I began the practice of choosing a word for the year, I just picked a word, without putting too much thought into it. I quickly realized, not being intentional with my choice, kept my word darting around the periphery of my priorities. Once I took the time to focus my intentions with the meaning of my word, a shift happened. As I explained last week, my word five years ago was Celebrate. Using Celebrate as a banner word opened my eyes to opportunities of celebration I could have otherwise missed. The unexpected results I experienced helped motivate me to keep my word front and center. 

When Choosing a Word For the Year, be Intentional

To help make this process easier for you, I’ve developed a worksheet to help you decide on your word for the year. Not only have I created a worksheet, but you can join me on Tuesday, December 17th at 7:30 P.M. via Facebook Live or Instagram Live and we’ll fill out the worksheet together. Of course you can also watch the replay at any time.

After working through the three sections of the worksheet you will begin to see a pattern or a theme. Your word will come from that theme. Read over the worksheet before beginning. Then, grab a pen or pencil, give yourself time to focus and begin. Ready? Click here to download and print your worksheet.

Choosing Gratitude

First thing on the list is gratitude. I know I talk about gratitude a lot, but it really is that important. In fact, I believe gratitude is extremely vital in every aspect of life. You see, the practice of gratitude allows us to look around and see all that we have, rather than what we don’t have. Resentment is the opposite of gratitude and happens as a result of taking one’s eyes off of what one has and onto what others have.

Choosing a word for the year sam jerry

So, what three things are you thankful for? Sounds simple doesn’t it? Before you hastily write down family, health and friends, take a moment to reflect. As I write in my book Resolve, I believe we should be specific with our gratitude. For instance, instead of writing FAMILY, write, “I’m thankful for the time spent laughing and sharing and playing games with my family.” Or, “I’m thankful I have worked up to working out three days a week. I feel stronger in my body and my mind.”

This year one of the things I wrote was, “I’m thankful for consistently doing the hard work of digging in to write and launch a book.” 


Next, we’ll look at listing three words used to describe you in this season. What is a season? A season is a period of time that requires transition and lasts for an undetermined amount of time. Just like Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, we as humans oscillate in and out of seasons. Here are examples of possible seasons of life:

A Spring life season may offer new beginnings. Birth, marriage, a new job, deciding to work on your physical or mental health, or rededicating your resolve are all examples of being in a Spring season. 

Summer looks like adventure and warmth. Perhaps weeding has become necessary after transitioning from a time of planting and new beginnings. Think of it in the context of looking forward to summer break when you were a kid. Summer offers respite and opportunity.

Fall is a time of harvest and preparation. If your hard work is beginning to pay off you may be in a fall life season. Gathering, reflection and preparation are all parts of Fall. What words describe you in this season?

Finally, Winter. Winter represents dormancy and stillness. During a winter season we notice above ground things look lifeless, dormant, or even dead. It is easy to become discouraged during this season. The sneaky thing about Winter, is that below ground, roots are diving deeper into the rich soil and foundation that came from the Spring and Summer seasons. 

As you can see, we are busy creatures whether we are aware or not. Are you able to see which season you are in? Take your time. There isn’t any reason to rush this. Remember, this is an exercise of focus and intention. When you are ready, write three words used to describe you in this season.

Looking Ahead

Now that we’ve taken inventory of all that we have and gotten a sense of where we are in our journey, let’s look ahead. What three things would you like to accomplish in 2020? Looking ahead to where you want to be is important because we must know where we are going in order to know how to get there. Is it your physical or mental health you want to work on? Maybe learn a new language or craft? Are there relationships you would like to mend or enhance? Or, is tackling and organizing the dreaded hall closet on your list? Again, take your time.

Pulling it all together

Last, but not least, let’s take a moment to pull it all together. You’ve done great. Step back and take a moment to look over your worksheet. Do you see a theme running through? Words should begin to come to mind. I suggest having a dictionary nearby or looking up possible words on your phone. If you’re somewhat of a word nerd like I am, you can utilize a thesaurus for synonyms and whatnot. Usually, for me, the meaning of the word helps seal the deal when choosing a word for the year.

Write it out

Once you’ve decided on your word write it in the box at the top of the worksheet. In addition to helping you decide on your word the worksheet is also meant to be framed or posted on your refrigerator, or bulletin board. Put it somewhere obvious so that it is a reminder. Additionally, sharing your word with friends and family serves as a source of accountability and may well inspire those around you. Bonus! 

I enjoy recognizing mile markers along life’s journey. Subsequently, I believe this worksheet can serve as a mile marker as we enter a new year and a new decade. Then, at the end of 2020 you can look back and see where you were a year ago. Noting my hopes, dreams and obstacles helps me have clarity. Drifting through the days and years of our lives creates space for regret, and no one is here for that. Let’s decide now to be present and participate in our lives. I’m here to encourage you, cheer for you and cry with you.


My word for 2020 is Momentum. Something has to begin before it can gain momentum, doesn’t it? In 2020 I plan on building with and from the momentum of opportunity and effort in every area of my life. The definition of Momentum is strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events. 

Choosing a word for the year sam jerry

Feel free to print the worksheet and get started or print it and think about. Then join me either via Facebook Live or Instagram Live on December 17th at 7:30 and we can work through this together. If you have finished the worksheet and decided on your word please join me anyway and share your word with me. I can’t wait to hear what you come up with. 

Be you…be beautiful…be imperfect.



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