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Happy New Year! Being intentional with a Word of the Year as you prepare for 2024

You don't have to stick to the same old story of setting resolutions that you don't fulfill each year. Learn how you can be more intentional with setting goals for 2024.

A Black woman celebrating the New Year
Celebrate the New Year

As 2023 ends, you’re probably reflecting on what happened (and didn’t happen) over the year. Yes, there were probably some disappointing moments, or maybe you had many disappointing ones. But I know two things for sure: you had some beautiful moments this year, and you still have a purpose to fulfill in this world.

There will be a lot of messages, social media posts, and content around major successes that people had. Don’t let that discourage you. Don’t let their highlight reel make you feel like you didn’t do or accomplish enough. You did enough, and you accomplished a lot.

Before listing your tips below, add one last sentence that sums up your paragraph or offers a smooth transition to your listicle.

My word for 2023

For 2023, my word of the year was DISCIPLINE. Now, when I chose this word, I thought I would be disciplined with going hard in my business and disciplined with losing weight. Instead, it turned into something I wasn’t expecting.

2023 began with me being super sick. December to February was physically painful, from a severely persistent cough to getting COVID the day after Christmas to random stomach pains and nausea here and there. 


I had so many plans for the beginning of the year that didn’t even come close to happening!


One thing that did happen was I left my full-time job to work for myself. The amount of preparation I was planning to do to make sure I had a smooth transition didn’t happen because of my illnesses. That caused me to experience more anxiety about an already terrifying step, but I quickly realized my discipline was coming in the form of self-care. 


The more I cared for my body and mind, and the more I rested when my body needed it, the better I felt and the more productive I became. It was the complete opposite of what I planned for my word, but it was exactly what I needed. Despite the challenges I faced at the beginning of the year, I had a wildly successful year. 

A woman thinking with a pen in her mouth, a notepad in her hand, and a laptop on her lap
Why do I have a word of the year?

Why do I have a Word of the Year?

Before I share my word for this year, I want to talk about why I use a word instead of setting goals or resolutions. I can’t tell you the number of times I set a goal or resolution, dropped it by February, and beat myself up the whole year for not achieving my goals. Can you relate to that, or am I the only one? That was my life for way too long. I hated feeling like I was a failure, so I stopped challenging myself so I wouldn’t fail. I took the easy route or quit if I thought I couldn’t win. Instead of spinning my wheels each year, I decided to focus on a word that I could use throughout the year. 


So, using DISCIPLINE as an example, I focused on moments that required discipline throughout the year instead of setting specific goals. Whether creating products or being more present with my kids, I found moments I didn’t think of in January where I got to use my word, which works so much better for me. 


Using a word or phrase for the year forced me to find ways to use that word or phrase throughout the year. The pressure to succeed at specific goals was gone, so I had more freedom to succeed with opportunities I didn’t even know were possible!

" I can’t tell you the number of times I set a goal or resolution, dropped it by February, and beat myself up the whole year for not achieving my goals."

A woman writing on a notepad
Writing your word

My Word of the Year for 2024

Now for my word for 2024. My word for 2024 is S T R E T C H. No, not physically stretching (although that could become part of it); I plan on stretching myself to do the hard things personally, professionally, physically, mentally, financially, and adventurously. 


Throughout December 2023, I uncovered some things about myself in therapy that I didn’t even realize were a significant problem in my life until recently. So, in 2024, I will stretch myself to face those challenges and the things I’ve been avoiding because of my traumas or fears. 

Creating your Word of the Year for the New Year

Here is a simple way for you to create your Word of the Year for the New Year. Download the worksheets below for you to do an activity I love each year, and find a word that works for you. You can use a word on the list or one you come up with yourself. Fun fact: I pray about it and let God guide me to my word. Then, use the coloring sheet to write your word down, decorate it, and add it to your vision board or put it on your wall like I do. That way, it’s a constant reminder for the year.

If you're having a hard time coming up with something, here are some questions you can ask yourself to set meaningful intentions for 2024:

  1. Who do I want to be when I grow up? 

  2. How do I want my life to look? 

  3. What kind of parent do I want to be for my kids?

  4. What kind of people do I want in my life?

  5. What do I want to avoid?

  6. What do I know about myself that I love?

  7. What do I know about myself that I want to change or improve?

  8. How do I define success?

What about you?

Let me know if you like to make resolutions or if you use a word for the year. And when you come up with one, SHARE IT WITH ME because I love to see them and cheer you on! Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to share this blog post with one of your great friends to help them have an intentional 2024. I’m so excited to go through this year with you!

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