I’m a “Storyologist” so of course I love words. Funny words.  Weird words.  Tasty words.  My favorite is my WORD OF THE YEAR.

A WORD OF THE YEAR replaces a long list of resolutions and with a single, juicy word.  It can be any word that has meaning for you.

Word of the Year

Often it’s a concept that we want to embrace.

Gratitude. Love. Forgiveness. 

It can be quality that we want to embody.

Joy. Sparkle. Relax. 

Or even something we want to bring more of into our lives.

Laughter. Confidence. Peace.

 The idea is to use this word as a touchstone throughout the year. It’s a reminder of what you want to bring into your life.

I learned about this concept two years ago when I came acrossChristine Kane’s Word of the Year Discovery Tool.  I must admit I was skeptical at first.  What?  Just one word?  Are you kidding?  I finally settled on the word CLARITY and it made a huge difference in my life.

This past year, my word was “STEP-UP” (I know.  It’s technically two words, but that’s okay).  I felt like I was playing small and needed to “step-up” into a bigger vision of myself.  Whenever a scary situation arose where I was tempted to slip back into my old ways, I thought about my word and it gave me the extra little push I needed.

I “stepped up” and into one of the best years of my life and I think my Word(s) of the Year had a lot to do with it.  That mindset led us (Kenny and myself) to an unforgettable adventure at the New York City Public Library for an all night scavenger hunt, a contest with the International Reading Association that blossomed into an ongoing partnership, and the production of a video for Scholastic that has aired in schools all over the country.

If you want help choosing your own special word, please go HERE to grab your own copy of Christine Kane’s Word of the Year Discovery Tool.  When you pick your word, I would love it if you’d share it with me in the comments section!


  1. I think my word for 2012 is already taken hold of my life. I chose bravery because there are so many thing I am hesitant to just do to play big in my life. I picked it on Tuesday and since then I keep bravely marketing and interacting with people in ways I wouldn’t have had the courage to do previously. Love your article, thank you. Oh and what’s your word?.

  2. Thanks, Jen! I think you’re one of the bravest people I know. You started a new business and you’re already launching and amazing program. Woo hoo! (Yes! That was a not so subtle plug for Jen’s program Eating Together:Establishing a Family Dinner Ritual http://www.foodonourtable.com/eating-together/).

    My word is Effortless. It came to me, well….effortlessly. In the past I’ve had to struggle to find my word. In fact, STRUGGLE seems to have been a word I’ve hung onto for years. I’m letting it go and just allowing and enjoying all the good in my life.

  3. Hi, Riley!

    Love Jen’s mission and think it’s an important one for so many reasons.

    My word is joy. I hope to embrace joy through being mindful, losing myself in work I love and spending energy and time with people I love.

    I always enjoy your wonderful e-zine!

    Happy New Year!

  4. Thanks, Donna! It’s a joy having you as a friend. Here’s to a fabulous new year filled with cupcakes, tea, good books, good friends, and long chats. 🙂

  5. I love that word touchstone. That is exactly what choosing one word will do for you, isn’t it? Jubilee is mine for the year – in short it means emancipation and restoration – freedom and growth, on a clean slate. Love it! Yours is awesome Riley! Thanks so much for being such a great accountability partner, and here is to us both rawking this year, together!

    • Thanks, Biz. Great word! Jubilee is just fun to say AND I love the meeting. It’s great having you as an accountability partner. Here’s to a Jubilee of a year!

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