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Choose a word of the year instead of a resolution (with 35 word options)

Choose a word of the year instead of a resolution (with 35 word options)

As one year comes to an end and another begins, many of us put forth our New Year’s resolutions. Although I once chose a resolution that lasted a solid 5 years (volunteering more!), data reveals that resolutions are short-lived. So instead of making a resolution full of pressure and guilt, choose a word or mantra that will help you live with better intentions for the year.

In the new year, how do you want to feel or what do you want to do more of each day? Do you want to be more motivated, adventurous, relaxed, grateful, comforted, or authentic?

My word for 2023 is magic! I want to stop and appreciate all of the little joys and magical things that exist and happen all around us every day.

Now let’s break down some options that will help you pick a word that's right for you.

Words to motivate you

There have been so many stages in my life when I needed a word to make me feel more motivated—at business school, starting or ending a job, moving to a new state, buying a house, starting this business, you name it.

Change requires feeling motivated, so if you’re anticipating a lot of change in your life or want to inspire change, I would suggest picking a motivational word. Here are some of my favorites (with my spin on the definitions of course):

      • If you need a reminder that you’re brave and amazing, badass might be your word. Badass – 1: brave and awe-inspiring soul 2: one with endless strength and endurance 3: warrior.

      • Focus your time and energy on what's most important to you. Focus – 1: to have a clear purpose 2: to give attention and energy to the most important things 3: to say no to any distractions.

      • If you're ready to evolve spiritually, mentally, or physically, then growth might be a good word for you. Growth – 1: positive evolution of one’s own character and spirit 2: choosing to learn, improve, and flourish 3: progression.

      • Do you want to make an outward impact and inspire others in the new year? Impact - 1: to significantly influence an outcome 2: to have an extraordinary effect on others 3: to make a difference

      • Inspire – 1: to fill others with courage and purpose 2: to move someone to action 3: to guide.

      • “Shine” was my word in 2021 as I worked to spread light and love with this business. Shine – 1: to spread light and love 2: to radiate warmth and beauty 3: to grow, beam, sparkle.

      Shine definition print

        Words to make you feel adventurous

        Along the same lines as the motivational words above, this category is inspired by anyone who is beginning a new chapter—like graduating from college or retiring from work. As you enter a new phase like this, it’s good to have a word that inspires a feeling of adventure. These words are also great if you're hoping to be more spontaneous and maybe use up all of your vacation days on travel! 

            • Adventure – 1: a deep longing for the unknown 2: an experience of a lifetime 3: what lies ahead.

            • This is going to be my Mom’s word of the year again as she continues to explore trails and places near our home in Tennessee. Explore – 1: to travel to new and interesting places 2: to fill life with beautiful adventures 3: to wander.

            • Don’t forget, life is about the journey, not the destination. Journey – 1: traveling from one place to another 2: not the destination, but the beautiful steps along the way 3: voyage.

            • If you need to work less and travel more (for pleasure!), this might be a good word for you. Travel – 1: to tour the world 2: to fill life with adventures 3: miles of cherished memories.

            • This is one of my favorite words for any free spirit out there with a deep appreciation of adventuring. Wanderlust – 1: deep longing to wander and travel 2: desire to explore new destinations 3: the essence of adventure.

              Words to help you strike a balance and relax

              I’ve learned that success doesn’t have to be defined by what your title is or how much money you make. You get to define success and decide if the life you’re living brings you joy or not. Does it? Success!

              If it doesn’t, there is still good news. Assuming you’re not fighting simply to survive right now, then you get to decide what you’re going to prioritize and do more or less of to strike a balance that makes your life more enjoyable. Here are some words that might help you get there in the new year.

              balance breathe and relax prints

                  • Balance – 1: equal devotion to all things that bring joy 2 : prevents one from falling 3 : state of peace and harmony.

                  • “Breathe” was my word for 2022 because I wanted to stop holding my breath so much, ease my anxiety, and just relax and enjoy life more. Breathe – 1: to move air in and out of the lungs 2: to inhale mindfulness and release tension 3: to relax and unwind.

                  • If you want to get more into mindfulness and meditation in the new year, then meditate might be your word. Meditate – 1: to use techniques that encourage mindfulness and focused attention 2: to be in tune with your heart, soul, and spirit 3: to let go and trust

                  • Do you need to relax more? Relax – 1: to let go of stress and tension 2: to free oneself from burdens 3: to experience serenity.

                  • This is such a good word to keep life simple in the new year. Simplify 1: to let go of clutter and confusion while cherishing the people and things that bring joy. 2: to make clear.

                  • This is my friend's word of the year as she stops trying to fill every minute being "productive." Stillness – 1: state of calm, quiet, and restfulness 2: willingness to soak in the present moment 3: the key to a mindful existence.

                    Words to inspire gratitude

                    In psychology research, gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps you feel positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. If you're aspiring towards any of these things, choose one of these words as your word of the year.

                        • This has been my word of the year in the past because I always want to remember how blessed I am, even when things are hard. Blessed – 1: benefiting from an abundance of good things 2: living a life of gratitude 3: blissful contentment.

                        • One thing I'll be doing in the new year is using a daily gratitude journal to write a line about what I'm grateful for each day. Grateful – 1: appreciative beyond measure 2: deeply overwhelmed with gratitude 3: blessed.

                        • If you want to feel more content, choose happiness. Happiness – 1: soulful satisfaction and contentment 2: enjoyment of the little things 3: a choice.

                        • If you're hoping for a little extra luck in the new year, lucky might be your word. Lucky – 1: having extreme good fortune 2: unexpected prosperity 3: blessed.

                        • Nothing inspires gratitude like soaking in the present moment and not worrying so much about the past or future. Present – 1: gift of being wholly engaged in every moment 2: path to mindfulness 3: how tomorrow's memories are made.

                        • And I like to use this word as a reminder to thank the people in my life for all they do for me. Thankful - 1: a deep appreciation for an act of kindness or gift 2: expression of gratitude 3: grateful.

                        Words to comfort you

                        Love, hope, strength definition prints

                        The last few years have been filled with so much loss. Loss of loved ones, pets, relationships and friendships, jobs, and emotional stability. Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed or just received a diagnosis that requires an uphill battle. I hope the words below can help blanket you in comfort when you need it most in the new year.

                            • Despite the heartache, believe the world is full of magic. Believe – 1: to accept something as true without proof 2: to trust the world is a magical place 3: to have faith.

                            • If you want to keep moving forward despite all of the loss, brave might be your word of the year. Brave – 1: having the strength to stand up over and over again 2: courage in the face of fear 3: resilient.

                            • "Courage, dear heart" is one of my favorite quotes. Courage – 1: the ability to make a move despite fear or uncertainty 2: strength to keep trying 3: bravery.

                            • If you’re struggling to see the light right now, I would suggest choosing a word like hope. Hope – 1: to believe anything is possible 2: the only thing stronger than fear 3: deep-rooted faith.

                            • Love is rooted in so much of our grief, but it’s important to remember it’s always there. This is also a great word if you're hoping to give and receive more love in the new year. Love – 1: to be connected to, heart and soul 2: to feel deep affection for 3: to adore.

                            • Do you need extra strength to get through the year? Strength – 1: powerful force 2: courage in the face of pain or grief 3: rising up after every fall 4: holding on to hope.

                              Words to help you be more authentic

                              Authenticity can sometimes feel like a bit of a superpower because we're busy trying to please others or doing things we think we should do instead of what we want or need to do for ourselves. Positive words can do wonders for our self-esteem and the grace and understanding we give ourselves as we strive to feel aligned. Here are some words that might help you be yourself in the new year.

                                  • Authentic – 1: staying true to yourself 2: bravely showing vulnerability 3: genuine and real.

                                  • Give yourself a daily reminder that you are beautiful inside and out. Beautiful – 1: remarkably lovely and warm 2: tenderhearted 3: having a smile that brightens even the darkest room.

                                  • Don't ever give up on your dreams, regardless of what anyone says! Dream – 1: boundless ambition 2: exciting adventure 3: a hopeful wish your heart makes.

                                  • Put yourself first in 2023 and pick “self-love” and just watch how you thrive. Self-love – 1: a deep appreciation of one’s own worth 2: recognizing that you are both a masterpiece and a work in progress 3: the secret to happiness.

                                  • Always trust your own intuition. Trust – 1: unwavering belief in the authenticity of someone or something 2: deep-rooted faith 3: proof of love.

                                    Did this help you choose your word of the year? Let me know what you picked and why, I would love to post about it!

                                    You can purchase any of the words above from my shop or have a custom word made just for you. I suggest framing your word of the year and putting it on your desk or up on a bulletin board or refrigerator. You’ll have the perfect reminder of the feeling you want to keep coming back to all year long.

                                    Happy New Year!

                                    With love,

                                    Alison Rose

                                    Social media: @alisonrosevintage


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