Personal catchwords set theme for 2019

Choosing personal catchwords seems to have taken over from making lists of resolutions, at least among the people I know.

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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.

11 thoughts on “Personal catchwords set theme for 2019

  1. Ahh so good Maureen. Now I have read your blog I’m going to write out a few options and give myself a week or two to decide. The first that comes to mind is vitality or even vital…but I will do a list and after I settle on one, I will update on this great concept and your blog.

    • Wow, Tricia. I am so glad you like the idea. It is an old one, but seems to be having a bit of revival this year.

      Giving yourself time to think about what you want for the year is a good idea, and I’d love to hear what you decide. I look forward to seeing it posted here.

  2. I like your word Maureen and I hope you find much serenity in 2019.

    For some reason I’m attracted to the word curiosity. It makes me think of becoming intrigued by ideas, stories and people.

    • Thanks, Fiona. I love the idea of curiosity as a motif for a year, and actually used it at one time. It led me in all sorts of amazing ways to a career change. My brother, whom I admire enormously, uses the concept of curiosity as his overarching life-time idea. I’d love to hear how your journey goes.

  3. Very good point here about words are not ‘resolutions’ that mock if you slip up!
    I have a word that describes my aspiration for development and a catch phrase for when I’m thrawrted. And just to be contrary a single resolution…..
    So far so good – may you have a wonderful 2019 Mum with good times and exciting opportunities. Jx

    • Thanks for the good wishes, Jenny. You seem to have all bases covered, with your word, your catch phrase for when you are thwarted, AND a resolution. Good luck with all of them.

  4. What a good idea. Words not resolutions, I think mine ought be determination. I might then fulfill the resolutions I’ve already made!

    • Very funny, Sue! I love using a word of the year as a sort of guidepost to what I want to achieve. It seems to work well in many situations. Determination is a good one.

  5. What a fabulous post, Maureen. I love the idea of Serenity. It’s so amazing how a word we choose proves to be apt, especially thinking on our chat over coffee the other day.
    For 2019 mine is Hope. It is already proving a great a choice – but then, isn’t that the idea!!

  6. Best wishes with Serenity, Mum. It served me well! My word for the year is serendipity, as defined by the opposite of zemblanity. I have planned my life for the last 30 odd years and will now see where this leads me…Here is hoping!

    • Thanks for your good wishes, Annie. I really like your word for the year. Here’s a quote: ‘I am a firm believer in serendipity- all the random pieces coming together in one wonderful moment, when suddenly you see what their purpose was all along.’
      David Levithan

      As Peter Stone would say, its all a matter of saying ‘Yes’ to whatever invites you, and working out how to do it later.

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