Word of the Year

The Wisdom of Selecting a New Focus Word Every Year

I have found the process of selecting a new focus word every year to be a fascinating journey. Last year’s focus word, Wisdom, was an interesting find. (you can learn all about how I came to select that word in this blog post from last year, A Year to Focus On Wisdom.)

Blog header left side words say The Wisdom of Selecting a New Focus Word Every Year and right side stack of rocks balancing on each other

Something I didn’t share is that as I look back over all the words I’ve chosen for the past eight years, I learned something: they all build on each other. And it took the word year Wisdom to figure that out.

There’s a pattern that unfolds with each focus word

Each word represents where I am at a particular time in my life journey – both in writing and personally. And as the year unfolds, I grow into that word more and more. Which then leads to the next word. Again, the idea that they build on each other.

How did I figure that out?

Well, when I was writing in my word journal, I came to an ah-ha moment.

I found an old scripture card with my name on it. Can you guess what it said?

Denise: Wise Discerner

Two name cards on top of wood background. Name is Denise is a Wise Discerner

To find my name Denise linked to the phrase “Wise Discerner” was a shock. Especially with my word being Wisdom. Just one more sign that I was on the correct path.

And so the goal for 2021 became something more. 

I guess you could say I wanted to grow into my name.

But at the same time I had to admit something.

I never considered myself wise. Oh, I wanted to be. But I respond without thinking, and have a hard time making decisions on things because I worry about making the wrong one (even in my writing). All things that I hoped by choosing the word wisdom would help me improve.

What I didn’t realize, is that all the words that came before: Hope, Believe, Strength, Steadfast, Purposeful, and Courage had to happen first before I could embrace Wisdom.

It definitely provided some clarity and knowledge to chew on.

This whole building on each other thing. Which adds credence to the idea that I’m never really done with a word I’ve chosen. I actually find myself still referencing all those words in my life.

And you could say in some cases I have grown in wisdom this past year.

I’m not as quick to rush in as I used to be, and I hope to seek God in everything more, as well as make decisions a bit better. I grew in understanding that the words knowledge and wisdom are different and you need both to make wise decisions.

And I took time to really think about things. My writing and finding balance. I think I did some of that, although I know I could always do it better.

By the end of the year, I sort of took a break from all the inputs and outputs of my writing (newletters, blogs, writing groups), which is helping me come back in 2022 with a fresh perspective.

So as I venture into another new year, with another new word, I love to evaluate the process of selecting one.

Again I thought about what was important in the next year for my writing goals and my life goals

I wrote a list of words that communicated that and then moved on, coming back to the list periodically. 

It wasn’t until I dove into my Bible to find verses with some of them, that the list grew smaller. Then I received a Christmas card from one of the writing groups I belong to and the verse in the middle?

He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.

Philippians 1:6

And I knew what my 2022 word had to be.

WORK

Something I chose because God isn’t finished with me yet. And I am not finished with this writing journey. 

But I have to get to WORK if I’m going to be a published author.

I took time at the end of last year to find verses and quotes and figure out how I wanted to use the word, and several ideas began to pop into my thoughts. Energy to dive in and get to work.

laptop, notepad, glasses, pencil case, planner with word work

And that is so exciting.

Welcome 2022! Now, let’s get to work.

To read more about my why I chose the word work, check out my blog post at A Slice of Orange, Being Out of Balance Stifles Creativity.