How to Choose Your Word of the Year 2018

Forget New Year’s resolutions, instead, choose one word for the year. Personally, I find resolutions limiting and I never follow through. When I came across the one word for the year a few years back, I thought it was worth a try and I loved it. There’s something very powerful in that one word. You don’t realize it right away, but as the year unfolds you start to see how this word manifests itself. Your word should inspire, help focus, be a gentle reminder, and can also be used as a mantra.

I’m not saying to not have goals. Your word becomes the essence of your goals, helps guide you and allows you to take a step back and see the big picture. How do you want to feel, what do you want to experience and what results and changes do you want in your life?

2014 was RESTFUL
2015 was ACTION
2016 was ACTUALIZE
2017 was GROW
2018 is EXPAND

Grow was my most challenging year, and I figured that a natural progression from growing is to expand. But, my 2018 word didn’t just come to me. There were a few steps to help me find it. Here’s how to choose your word for the year.

List Making

Start out by creating a list of words of all the things that you want for the year. This list will take some time to create, be specific and exploratory. No judgment and no editing. Whatever comes to mind, write it down.


Once you’re satisfied that you captured everything on your list, start combing through it and circle or highlight related items. Be creative about this. From those groupings, think about what they have in common, they’re core essence. Write those words down. Now your list will be shorter to choose from.


Next, take your shorter list of words and find their definitions to see if they truly capture that essence you want. Use the thesaurus too, this is a great way to see related words. Narrow down your list until you get to your word.

This whole process can take a few days. Take a bit of time with your word and see how it feels, does it capture that essence you’re after? Does it feel like the right word? If it is, great, if it’s not, trust that your word will find you, it always does.


Once you’ve found your word, keep it visible as a gentle reminder and inspiration. You could even create a vision board around it, whatever will help you remember it.

Interested in creating a vision board, check out my post on How to Create a Vision Board that Actually Works.

Share your word of the year, I’d love to know! Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram (@stylishlytidylife)!

Author: StylishlyTidyLife

Ange-line Tetrault is a designer and life curator. She started her lifestyle blog to share her love of tidying, design, and life hacks to help her readers enhance, plan and organize their life so they can live their best selves.

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