Choosing personal catchwords seems to have taken over from making lists of resolutions, at least among the people I know.
These words, also described as ‘my word for the year’, are quiet reminders about who we want to be and how we want to change during the coming twelve months. They set the theme for our thoughts and behaviour.
If you haven’t already chosen one, it is not too late!
How personal catchwords help
Resolutions focus on breaking bad habits by developing new ones. Personal catchwords do more: help create whole new directions for our lives. They don’t demand we stick to them at the risk of failure the way resolutions do. While resolutions can be broken, an overall theme leads to growth.
Personal catchwords, like lists of fun things to do in 2019, have crept onto people’s lips and into their blogs.
Words people choose
There’s an almost infinite choice. It’s important that yours is personal and meaningful.
Some people choose words like kindness, charity and peacefulness. Others decide on concepts like balance, bravery and benefience. Productivity, creativity and change have their place. Someone on Facebook named her word of the year, ‘gumption’. There’s a mix of nouns and verbs – it doesn’t seem to matter.
My own word for this year, chosen on my birthday in November, is ‘serenity’.
How to choose a personal catchword
Step 1. Think about the person you’d like to be at the end of the year. Obviously, healthy. Perhaps wealthy. Go beyond those ideas.
Step 2. Create a picture of how that person would appear to others. What would your partner and your children see if you became that person? What would you mother-in-law and the woman behind the counter at the supermarket see? How would you behave? How would they describe you?
Step 3. Choose one word to describe you in those situations. You might think you need ten words to describe yourself. Resist! Choose one word.
Step 4. Write your catchword down and put it in some places where you’re sure to see it often, like on your mobile or computer screen, your mirror.
Step 5. Tell some trusted people about your word. Blog about it. Put a post about it on Facebook.
Of course, I’d love it if you put it in a comment at the end of this blog to be seen by other people as an inspiration.