Choosing a Personal Word for 2019

New year, new me! Here we are at the edge of 2018 and surreptitiously peeking at the blank slate of 2019. We’re ready to fill the year with resolutions that will write us into better versions of ourselves, but the problem is that 2019 is not a blank slate. You are not walking into the year stripped of your bad habits and purified of your sins. Nope, you are dragging all your baggage with you into the next year. While you can’t be a completely new you, you can be a truer version of yourself. Instead of New Year’s resolutions, why not choose a personal word, or theme, for 2019?


How to choose a personal word or theme for 2019


What Is a Personal Word?

A personal word is a word you choose to frame how you want to live your life in the upcoming year. Throughout the year, you can use it to guide you in setting goals and making decisions. A personal word enables you to focus on what is most important to you for the next 365 days. (Check out my post last year on choosing a personal word for more info!)


How to Choose a Personal Word or Theme

To choose a personal word or theme, an idea I came across after listening to a call by Molly Mahar for one of her Stratejoy Holiday Councils is to write a list of about thirty words that describe how you want to feel. (Sidenote: The concept of identifying how you want to feel rather than what you want to accomplish comes from Danielle LaPorte.) Molly says these words should be powerful.


Once you’ve accumulated these words, you can get an overall sense of the path you want to take. From there, you can choose a word from your list or a new word that encompasses the direction you want to head in the upcoming year.


What is My Personal Word for the Year?

In 2018, my personal word was risk. This word enabled me to try new things and start new projects that I had been dreaming about doing for my entire life. For example, some new things I tried that I would not have done before was go on a two-day backpacking trip, go clam digging with my family, and start a public Instagram account with photos of me for people other than my friends and family to see (follow me!). The major project I started was this blog. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but never had the courage to actually do it. Publishing my writing on the Internet for anyone to read was a huge risk to me, but it’s been so much more fun than I could have imagined. 


Personal word of the year: risk; clam digging


My personal word for 2019 is grit. In 2018, I planted the seeds of where I want my life to lead, and 2019 is the year I’m going to nurture these little seedlings into hearty plants. I’ve learned that I will need grit to stay focused on these dreams and fulfill my obligations to myself. I’m exceptional at coming through for other people, but I am terrible at keeping myself accountable for the promises I’ve made to myself. Thus, I need the grit to get up every morning and work on the projects that are important to me and that are not assigned by other people.


Personal Word or Theme for 2019: Grit


How I Plan to Perform My Personal Word

Choosing a personal word is one thing, but living it is something else entirely. One method I got from participating in the Stratejoy Holiday Council is to come up with five ways of being that go with your theme for the year.


These are my five ways of being for 2019:

  1. Light: Let go of the weight that is holding me back physically, mentally, and emotionally, so I can focus on the future and not be burdened by the past. Be a light for others. 
  2. Brave: Continue taking risks, being vulnerable, and doing things that scare me.
  3. Curious: Ask questions, continue learning, and look at new opportunities as a chance for growth rather than as possibilities for failure. Use travel to explore the world.
  4. Creative: Practice creativity every day. Keep showing up even when I feel blocked or uninspired.
  5. Healthy: Take care of my body and soul in order to bring my best to each new day. Be a role model for my daughter.


By embodying my theme with these five ways of being, I hope to become a more authentic version of myself in 2019. Each year I’m peeling back the layers, making my way to my truest self. It’s a difficult learning process figuring out who you are at your core, how you want to feel, and where you want to go, but it’s been such a worthwhile journey.


So, I’m curious. What is your personal word for 2019?

4 thoughts on “Choosing a Personal Word for 2019”

  • Courageous is my word for 2019. I achieved my initial goals of losing some weight and getting healthier, maintaining the weight loss for over a year. Now it is time to venture off of this plateau with courage and confidence that I can do more. I can eat healthier, I can add strengthening and flexibility into my exercise regime. I can seek out new experiences and embrace new relationships without distancing my inner circle. I can fail in a new venture and be thankful I had the courage to try. I will be courageous in 2019.

    • Yay! I love this word! It’s kind of like my word from last year, “risk”. We can take a chance. We can be brave. We can do hard things. You can do it!

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