Do you choose a word of the year or rather, does a word choose you?

I’ve done word of the year in past years but it wasn’t until 2022 that I created a spread and let my word guide me. For 2023 I decided to dig deeper with my word and am participating in Ali Edward’s One Little Word.

You do not need to do something like One Little Word to have a word of the year. You can do your word of the year however works for you. I do recommend making a spread somewhere with your word, the definition, and what it means to you. That way you can reference it throughout the year to help keep you on track. For the last two years, I have made this the first spread in my bullet journal for easy reference. 

Why should you pick a word of the year?

Your word of the year should:

  • Give you guidance for the year
  • Help determine your goals
  • Give you clarity and focus
  • Keep you motivated
  • Set your intentions

Your word of the year can help you determine what you want or who you want to be. It can help you figure out what you want or need to accomplish. Your word can guide how you would like to grow. 

What it should not do? Limit you. 

Your word choice should give you the freedom to plan and achieve your goals. You get to decide what your word means to you. You have the dictionary definition but why did you choose it? What about the word spoke to you and what you want to achieve during the year? This is why I believe it is so important to define what the word means to you.

For 2022, my word was Create. To me, that was anything that involved creativity. I allowed reading to count because I am visualizing and processing the story or info the author has written. It also involved art, photography, and my planner spreads. Because yes, playing with stickers is creating something!

For 2023, I have chosen renew. I’ve mentioned this many times but if this is your first time here, I was diagnosed with ADHD at the end of 2021. Throughout 2022 I realized how much of myself I had masked over the years. I am ready to shake those masks off and be me again, quirks and all. 

If you want to learn a bit more about One Little Word, be sure to head over and watch my video on YouTube. And be sure to subscribe while you are there so you don’t miss future One Little Word videos!

What is your word of the year? Feel free to share in the comments and, if comfortable, a little bit of why you picked it or how you plan to implement it during the year!

Categories: Planning


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.