My family doesn’t do New Year’s Resolutions. We do “Word of the Year” as an activity on New Year’s Eve that helps us filter the next year and focus our efforts.
This year, my family chose the following words: identity, home (2 of us chose home), success, focus, laugh, beautiful, learn (both of my kindergartners chose this word), and family. I find it so precious to see the new year through the eyes and heart of my kids and my husband. Each of them have a narrative that accompanies their word choice. My children (and husband) carefully sifted through the successes and mistakes of 2019 and imagined all that 2020 could have in store for them.
My word of the year for 2020 is home.
The most obvious reason I choose that one word is that my family of 10 will own our first home this year. It will be a home built just for our family, meeting our needs while being eco-conscious and within our means. But “home” goes beyond the physical roof over my family. I see “home” as the filter for how I spend my time. I will center my efforts on making sure I feel at home in my house, with my family, at my job, and in my volunteer work. I see “home” as the focus of my new role as a pastor’s wife at our neighborhood church. I will continue to invite those I meet and know to join my family at our church home and ask what I can do to help them feel at home. I see “home” as my statement of dedication to my community, my neighbors, and those I meet. I also feel it’s the perfect timing for this new #WOTY as my family is now settled for the first time in 7 years. 2019 brought 2 more permakids into #TeamWilmoth and we finalized that adoption in May. So now, we are settled on who we are and I want remind each of my children (and my husband) that they are home for good. This is our family. Our family is home. That is something that will not change even as we move into a new house or change schools. I hunger to give my family this secure promise.
How does Word of the Year really help?
In previous years, I’ve successfully used #WOTY to help focus my year. 2019 was the year of prosper and 2018 was my year to simplify. I used those words as tools to help with decisions – both small and large. Do I want to volunteer to manage another social media account for a non-profit? No, that doesn’t simplify my life or the life of my family. Do I want to take this new job that pays a little less but offers opportunity to grow beyond what I have and also offers flexibility for my family? Yes, that does fit within my goal to prosper this year!
Find your Word of the Year!
1. Ask yourself: what did this year look like? What success did I see through? What problems did I face? What would I change? What do I want to tell others about?
2. Imagine this year’s struggles and problems stay in this year and now, what does your new year look like? What success will you see through? Will things feel calmer? More exciting? More focused?
3. Brainstorm words and phrases that you feel really fit and leave out those that don’t.
Use word lists to inspire you! I also suggest using books, inspirational sayings, and even Pinterest to help. I’m a Christian so the Bible holds a lot of that focus and inspiration for me.
Word of the Year Ideas:
Inspiration, health, family, hope, simplify, calm, laughter, joy, strength, success, prosperity, friendship, dedication, focus, home, evolve, develop, enjoy, moments, change, discover, identity, nurture, faith, love, generous, spark, pray, kindness, listen, build, flourish, cultivate, grow, earn, forgiveness, spark, intentional, perseverance, finish, create, align, more, organize, sparkle, thrive, gratitude, consistency, wonder, embrace, ambition, complete, begin, plant, bloom, respect, worth, light, shine, glow, rise, vision, observe, compromise, try, edit, energy, bridge, enough, vulnerability, raw, time, play, here, shift, truth, read, find, delight, stillness, serenity, live, increase, pause, and grace.
Write a mission statement and vision for the new year.
My Mission Statement for 2020:
I will filter my daily activities, my weekly focus, and my monthly goals through the word “home”. I will say “yes” to those things that are part of my home focus and I will say “no” to those that are not. I will ensure that my family feels at home with each other no matter where we are. I will intentionally invite others to share our church home as part of our church family. My daily work and volunteer work will build my sense of home as I am challenged to do better as part of that family.
My Vision for 2020:
This year will be the year I invest my time, effort, sweat, tears, hope, and strength into building and maintaining a physical home for my family. I will be at home with myself. My family will be secure and stronger. My work will reflect the foundation of family and home intentionally built.