Skip to content

‘3 Words for the Year’
to inspire, guide & support

When it comes to supporting oneself through life, and towards a desired experience of that life, I believe strongly it’s about finding any guiding process or ritual that resonates for you and that can be included and earthed into daily life…and then applying it of course! In this post, I have an approach to share with you: ‘3 Words for the Year’ to inspire, guide and support the way ahead.

Personally, I resonate with intentions far more than with goals. Setting ‘S.M.A.R.T’ goals can be really grounding and practical for the right person, context and timing, and these will always have their place.

Setting intentions for a ‘direction of travel’ I find to be extremely powerful, like a compass bearing that also allows you to navigate the changing weather around you and terrain beneath your feet. Plus an intention sends affirming messages to both the conscious and unconscious mind, often with a sense of the unknown, for the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ that are yet to come, that pulls us forward to that desired future.

I also resonate far more with the lunar calendar than with the Gregorian one, as well as other seasonal cycles, and matching my ways of working to the wider world’s natural rhythms is also powerful and, if nothing else, feels good. So, for example, navigating the waves of the year benefits me far more than New Year’s resolutions and/or collective peer pressure.

For me and my clients, I tend to seek and create practices and rituals that are simple, meaningful and memorable – so that I/they can actually practise and embody awareness, learning and gentle transformation:

Simple – so I don’t overthink
Meaningful – important to me, not justified to anyone else
Memorable – easy to apply and reapply, again and again

I can also add Measurable – the ‘so what’ (again, that is meaningful to me). If I/you/my client really mean them, how are they working out for me/you/my client?

‘3 Words for the Year’ is an approach along these lines. Individually and combined they guide me like my compass through the year.

I started doing this with a friend and fellow coach 8+ years ago. He may have got it from a colleague and we adapted it to our own needs. Importantly, the word could be anything as long as it’s meaningful to the individual and it could have multiple meanings – e.g. “black” could mean: I want to get my business out of the red, I want to laugh more at life’s dark moments, I want a labrador…

Occasionally I forget mine, and it’s always informative once I remember…or am reminded, which is why I typically share them with my partner and with my cheerleader group of buddy coaches. And we review them periodically to check that they, and the direction of travel, are still true. If on path, then that’s affirming; if not, then there is no better moment than self awareness for a course correction.

Have a go and see what works for you…