How to Choose Your Word of the Year + Why You Should Have One


December 14, 2023

follow @tamikeehn
Since 2008, I’ve told womens’ stories through empowering boudoir sessions. Now as a certified life coach as well as a photographer, I help women cultivate radical self-love, guided by mindset. Sit back with a margarita  in hand and let's do this transformational journey together.
more categories
Hi, I'm tami

As we approach the end of the year, you might come across the term “WOTY” on the Internet. Have you ever chosen a Word of the Year? If not, let me explain why I think it’s worth trying for the upcoming new year.

When the new year begins, many of us feel it’s a great time for a fresh start and enthusiastically set New Year’s resolutions. However, only about 6% of the 60% of people who make resolutions actually succeed in sticking to them. Why does this happen? Often, people focus on fixing past issues rather than being intentional about creating their future. Having a Word of the Year (WOTY) can help you bring more intention, clarity, and focus to what you want to achieve in the coming year.

When selecting a WOTY, consider the following,

How do I want to feel next year?

How you feel has a significant impact on becoming the person you aspire to be. Often, we mistakenly reverse this process. We tend to believe that once we achieve certain goals like losing weight, getting a job, finding love, building a successful business, or making money, then we’ll feel happy, accomplished, beautiful, proud, etc. However, it’s crucial to recognize that your feelings can shape the path to becoming your desired self, and it starts by embodying those desired emotions now. So when you intentionally choose a WOTY that represents the person you want to become, you can find the motivation to take actions aligned with that vision.


Word of the year by Tami Keehn

So how do you choose your Word of the Year? Here are 7 steps to get the ball rolling.


1. Prioritize Your Focus:

I know it can be hard to just choose one, but try to constrain. When you choose too many things or have too many ideas, it’s hard to focus on what matters most, and then you end up making minimal progress. Focus on one key priority, and you may find success in other areas as well.

2. Visualize Your Success:  

Now let’s fast-forward to the very end of next year – when you’ve accomplished your number one goal. Who is this the person staring at you in the mirror? How you you describe this person? What exactly have you accomplished? How does a day-in-the-live of this future version of you feel? Get into the details – what is your morning routine like? Who are you interacting with all day? What is your favorite part of the day? How do you feel right before you go to bed? Get specific!

3. Create a List:

When choosing a word, make sure it’s a descriptive adjective for the person you plan to become on December 31st of next year. This is a BE word. The word characterizes the person you have to become to get the result you desire. Write out some words that speak you to. I’m going to provide you with some examples below to help you get the creative juices flowing!

Word of the Year Ideas by Tami Keehn


4. Review and Refine: 

You will probably start to notice a theme from your list. Now refine it down to your top 3-5 words. Which of those words seems to align most with the person you have to become to obtain your number one priority for the year? 

For example, if you want to lose 40 lbs, maybe your word is “healthy” or “vibrant” or “athletic”. Or if you want to meet the love of your life, maybe the word “bold” or “trusting” is a good fit for you. Try the words out and see which one resonates most with you.

Another exercise to do is to think about someone who inspires you and seems to HAVE what you want. How would you describe them? What characteristics/traits about them do you think have helped them to have what you desire?

5. Fuel Your Word with Purpose:

Why is this the perfect word for your next year? What would you be able to achieve if you embodied this word for a full year? How would embracing this word light a match to set you on fire toward your big priority?

6. Plan your Actions to Embody your WOTY:

Once you’ve chosen your word, you can’t just expect it to all fall in place for you without any work! Now you need to start taking ACTION! How are you showing up differently than last year as you embody your WOTY? What surroundings are you putting yourself in? Who are the people in your support system? How will you know if you are embodying your WOTY?

7. Visible Reminders:

Place your WOTY where you’ll see it daily for a constant reminder. Create desktop and mobile wallpapers, or use sticky notes on your mirror or journal. Regularly ask yourself, “How can I embody my WOTY today?” to stay focused on your goal.



Word of the Year by Tami Keehn

So I know it may seem like a lot of work to choose a simple word, but take your time with it and don’t rush it. Choosing your word of the year could make all of the difference! Now go make this year your most intentional and successful one yet!

Are you interested in learning more about making this next year your best one yet?

Sign up for a FREE phone consultation with me, your personal certified life + confidence coach, and we will chat more about how 1:1 coaching will help you choose your Word of the Year and set you on the track to success!


How to Choose your Word of the Year and why you should have one



Comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Feel more Photo-genic


Beauty is an inside job. Discover how to feel more confident and love yourself with these actionable tips, free to your inbox.


No matter how we work together, you will come away rooted in your self-worth and inner strength, with a stronger mindset, confidence, and clear direction towards your dreams & goals. Step into your greatness, through life-affirming photography, mentoring, and education.

Confidence this way >