Word of the Year: Huh?

As I pursued all my favorite blogs and Instagram accounts this week, I noticed a trend. Many were declaring their “word of the year.” I was puzzled. Is this a new phenomenon? How do you choose one? Why just one word? Do I have to do this?

A word of the year is essentially choosing a word to define and guide you in the new year instead of resolutions.

Fellow blogger Elisabeth McKnight uses her word to help set goals and inspiration for all areas of her life. The Goal Chaser points out that a word of the year is meant to give one focus and inspiration in decision making. From all my reading, I could determine that this word can serve different functions but should be a term or word to keep in one’s mind throughout the year and in all aspects of life.

words on building
Photo by Alexandra on Unsplash

Is this a new thing? Technically, no. Dictionaries, literary and dialect societies, and various organizations around the world have chosen words of the year for decades. However, the words were chosen at the conclusion of said year and for reasons of impact to society, culture, politics, etc. For example, the American Dialect Society chose “fake news” as their word of 2017 for its implications in American politics and media. But this is a different kind of “word of the year” than I was finding on social media, and that practice is a newer phenomenon.

The more I read about this and other’s word of the year, I was intrigued. Words have immense power to influence and change, and I have always believed that our words and thoughts are important. But how do you choose a word? One word, to aspire to for the year and to guide your decisions and practices. One word, to rule them all (insert Lord of the Rings thoughts…no, focus!). It is challenging, but that is part of the process.


I gave this some time and really thought about it…and my word of the year is effort.

Huh? That’s the best you could do? EFFORT?

I really want to make efforts in all aspects of my life. I am changing my blog name and focus, and I want to make a conscious effort to expand the grow in my writing. I am going to reach out to other writing outlets and bloggers to collaborate. I will make more work connections and strive to be the best at all my work. My health has been a priority for the past few months, and I want to continue this effort both mentally and physically in 2019. I will make better efforts in friendships and keeping close with family and friends because those relationships are vital. I have projects and goals for the house and our finances that I have not been working on, so I will make an effort in these areas.

Effort – I will take this simple word and use it for a guide. Effort in all I do.

Will it work? Maybe. I will probably struggle and forget this at various times, but I will use effort to truly reach for my goals and work to find success and happiness in all aspects of my life. It may not work. But it’s worth a try – or effort, right?


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