January is typically a time for New Years resolutions and goal setting and within a few short weeks most resolutions are broken and our goals may go awry. This year, thanks to taking part in Aby Moore’s Wrap Party, I’m taking a different tack and choosing one word to set my intention for the year ahead.

It’s a concept that’s been around for a number of years now and while I dabbled with it last year I didn’t really go deep enough to choose a word that strongly resonated with me in all areas of my life. In fact, I can’t even remember what word I chose.

As you may know I always write a Monthly Bucket List (see January’s here), and I break my goals down into Family, Home, Blog and Me. It’s a system I find really helps me keep balance in my life and focus on what’s important. Why is it then that in previous years when setting goals and intentions for the year ahead I only focused on one area? I have no idea but this year I had a bit of a lightbulb moment that guided me to my word for 2018, and I’m already seeing results.

How to choose one word that will set your intention for the year ahead

Here is the extremely simple process I used:

  1. Write down everything you want to achieve this year in all areas of your life. From the small goals to the big dreams. You don’t have to use the same categories as me, use whatever works for you and your life. Possible categories might be work, health, fitness, personal development, relationships, school etc.
  2. Write down how you want to feel this year in each of your categories. Don’t overthink this stage, just write down whatever comes to mind.
  3. Write down as many words as you can think of that resonate with you when you think about your goals and how you want to feel. Again, don’t overthink this, just jot down whatever comes to mind in 5 minutes. You might have one word you might have 30. (If you need a little help check out the FREE workbook which includes 80+ Words to Kickstart Your Thinking.)
  4. Take a break for a while. This can be 10 minutes or a whole day, whatever works for you. It helps you come back to the exercise refreshed and with new eyes.
  5. After a break, read through your answers from the first two steps and make any changes if necessary.
  6. Scan your list of words and without overthinking, cross out any that don’t immediately resonate with you. With the remaining words look for any trends. It’s possible that one of those words may actually incorporate the meaning of several others. Or one may help you achieve the others.
  7. Now that your list is narrowed down, see how each word could be applied to all the areas you want to focus on. Some may only apply to one area, if so, cross it out. You are looking for a word that will guide all your goals and decisions in each area of your life.
  8. When you have your word, use it to refine your goals. Circumstances change, we may need to change direction and/or goals as the year progresses, but use your guiding word to help you make the adjustments. This word is your intention for the year, write it down and display it somewhere you will see it daily.

I started out with a list of 14 words that I loved but I chose the word Fearless. The reason I chose this above the others was because for me, the one thing holding me back from achieving all my goals is always fear of some kind. Fear of failure, fear of looking rediculous, fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough.  This year, whenever it comes to making a decision or setting a goal, I am going to use my guiding word to push myself and step out of my comfort zone.

I will be writing more about the word Fearless and how it has already helped me in my Words To Live By Series in the coming weeks, so keep a look out.

I’ve created a workbook with all of these steps and a place to write out your answers. As mentioned above it also contains a list of over 80 words to kickstart you thinking and help you choose the perfect word for an incredible 2018.

8 page workbook to help you set your intention for the year ahead with one word

Do you have a guiding word for 2018? I’d love for you to share yours in the comments below.

Mission Mindfulness
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24 thoughts on “How to Choose One Word that will Set Your Intention for the Year Ahead – Plus free workbook

  1. #thesatsesh absolutely love this and my word is ‘abundant’ , like you’ve suggested it applies to all areas of my life…except my wasteline haha. I do something very similar but I also wrote letters to the universe and burn them. Perhaps I’ll write a blog about them?

    Posted on 14 January, 2018 at 11:12 am
  2. What a great idea lovely! I love your word for the year too. I struggled to come up with a word for 2018 but growth was one that I kept coming back to as I really hope to grow the blog significantly this year x #familyfunlinky

    Posted on 15 January, 2018 at 8:27 am
  3. Fearless is a great word – I’m not sure what mine would be. Maybe ‘relax’? I think I need to let go of things in a lot of areas of my life – work, parenting, blogging, health, etc. #familyfun
    The Squirmy Popple recently posted…A vegetarian parent raising a non-vegetarian childMy Profile

    Posted on 15 January, 2018 at 1:15 pm
  4. I love this, I need to think about my word! #familyfun

    Posted on 15 January, 2018 at 3:13 pm
  5. Lots to think through. So many good ideas. But starting the year off right is worth the time! #familyfun
    Tracy Albiero recently posted…I am a superhero…My Profile

    Posted on 15 January, 2018 at 3:44 pm
  6. This concept seems so very popular this year so I am sure you will have lots of interest in your how to tips. Popping by via the Family Fun linky
    Kate recently posted…No Good At Goodbye – Helpful Ways To Cope With Your Child Leaving Home To StudyMy Profile

    Posted on 15 January, 2018 at 6:11 pm
  7. That is a great word! I find that fear often holds me back; in all areas of my life.
    Mother of 3 recently posted…How Blogging Helps Me a Better MomMy Profile

    Posted on 15 January, 2018 at 7:11 pm
  8. Woah – the workbook looks super professional and you are back with a bang for 2018 with this fabulous post. Fearless is a great word to pick – I know what you mean as I find fear can hold me back too – I chose resilience which I guess is similar – I need to be more resilient and take setbacks and push on. Can’t wait for the words to live by series to return. Happy new year! #thesatsesh xx
    Hayley @ Mission: Mindfulness recently posted…The Saturday Sesh #18My Profile

    Posted on 15 January, 2018 at 7:15 pm
  9. Good word! Now I need to think of a word… I’ll get back to you. #FamilyFunLinky
    Dad recently posted…Start Little, Learn BigMy Profile

    Posted on 15 January, 2018 at 7:31 pm
  10. This is a great idea! Relax, i want to feel more relaxed especially with my family and not stressed out like usual! #familyfunlinky

    Posted on 15 January, 2018 at 9:54 pm
  11. Some great advice here and what a brilliant word for the year ahead!! its one I should take heed off too but think I still need to build up my confidence a bit with blogging. Thankou for the workbook, there are some really great resources in there #familyfun

    Posted on 16 January, 2018 at 10:25 am
  12. What a great idea. I love this word. Good luck with your goals xx #familyfunlinky

    Posted on 16 January, 2018 at 12:33 pm
  13. I’ll have to give this some thought. I don’t usually do resolutions but there have been some big changes in my life these past few months. I like the idea. #familyfun
    jeremy@thirstydaddy recently posted…Lost in the NoiseMy Profile

    Posted on 16 January, 2018 at 7:34 pm
  14. I’ve seen a lot of people talk about their word for the year but not how they’ve come about it. This is interesting! I wish you luck being fearless, you can do it!!
    Karen | TwoTinyHands recently posted…It’s Another #FamilyFunLinkyMy Profile

    Posted on 16 January, 2018 at 10:48 pm
  15. In the past I’ve had a guiding word but this year I’m not so sure what it is although the word ‘inspire’ keeps popping out at me when I read posts at the moment. #FamilyFunLinky
    Helena recently posted…Siblings – January 2018My Profile

    Posted on 17 January, 2018 at 6:50 pm
  16. Go girl! Be intrepid! I love this! I believe! #triumphanttales xoxo
    Lisa Pomerantz recently posted…2018: Two weeks inMy Profile

    Posted on 17 January, 2018 at 9:55 pm
  17. This is an interesting process. I can see how it can help focus your goals. I will have to take the time to do it and get back to you on what my word is.
    Tracey Abrahams recently posted…Weekly Linky Guide – January 2018 UpdateMy Profile

    Posted on 18 January, 2018 at 1:52 pm
  18. I love this. What a great way to set your goals x

    Posted on 18 January, 2018 at 4:56 pm
  19. I like the idea of making a list of the things you want to accomplish this year in all areas of your life. I might sit down this weekend if I’m feeling well enough (been sick this week) and go over this for myself. Great idea Alana! #FamilyFunLinky

    Posted on 19 January, 2018 at 1:59 pm
  20. I toyed with Goals, Focus and eventually settle on Grow. This is my second time picking my One Word for the year. Last year’s was Connection, and it made a mark on my life in unexpected ways.
    Love your methodical approach to it, and your monthly bucket lists too – I may well start making my own!

    Posted on 19 January, 2018 at 3:30 pm
  21. This is just what I needed to to read. I had planned to be really go-getting in 2018, with lots of resolutions and intentions to overhaul various parts of my life. However, three weeks into January, it has occurred to me that a lot of this is in my head and I’m not really sure where to start!
    I’m going to download your booklet and spend the weekend working out where I am going with all of this!
    I love ‘fearless’ too. I spend a lot of my life fearing failure, humiliation etc and it holds me back a lot.
    Thanks so much for this inspiring post!


    Posted on 19 January, 2018 at 8:30 pm
  22. I just feel so busy I don’t have time to think about me at the moment! But I like the sound of the concept! #familyfunlinky
    Crummy Mummy recently posted…#MySundayPhotoMy Profile

    Posted on 21 January, 2018 at 8:24 pm
  23. Popping by again, from #familyfunlinky xoxo
    Lisa Pomerantz recently posted…I AM WOMAN, the musical resurfacesMy Profile

    Posted on 22 January, 2018 at 7:36 pm
  24. This got me thinking, and the one word that kept popping into my thoughts was “energy.”
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com recently posted…Perfect Pumpkin Pie – Without Canned MilkMy Profile

    Posted on 27 January, 2018 at 2:24 am