Word of the Year Ideas for 2020

You might be feeling the need for a change, or wanting to improve on something in 2020?

Instead of writing a new year’s resolution,  another great way to go into a brand, spanking new year is to have a focus word instead.  A single word that encompasses what you need more of, what you want to focus on, or what you need to improve on.  A word for the year!

The benefits of having a ‘word of the year’

It might be a theme or overarching focus for your year ahead – either way, it’s an exciting way to set your intention for the year ahead.

It provides an anchor and encourages you to consciously (and subconsciously) consider this focus word when making decisions – what you want more of and what you want less of in your life.

How to decide on your word for the year

Sometimes we know exactly what we need in our lives, and sometimes we need to stew on it a bit.

Here are some simple questions to get you thinking

Considering how this past year has been, what is something that you could improve on, do differently or keep working on?

  • Think of something that isn’t going so well in your life right now. What’s a word that is the opposite or more positive alternative to this? For example, if fear keeps holding you back, then the alternative could be fearless or brave?

  • What do you want MORE of in your life?

  • What do you want LESS of? Be sure to turn it into a positive word though!

  • What would be a game-changer for you?

A year is a long time, but also goes by very quickly.

There are no rules. If you choose a word and then part way through the year, you want to change it, add another or modify it – then do it!

It’s your own personal ‘game’! You might even find that you want to choose a new word each month to focus on?


Focused word Ideas


Take a Quizz


How To Make Your ‘Word of The Year’ Really Stick!

It’s of no value to choose a word and then do nothing with it and then wonder why nothing changed. You really do need to focus on your focus word (pun intended).

The key is to have you:

  • seeing it,

  • reviewing it,

  • thinking about it,

  • feeling it,

  • experiencing it and

  • owning it –  as much as possible.

So that it sticks and becomes a guiding theme in your life.

In order to keep that theme of yours front and center in your life, here are a few great ideas to help make it ‘stick’:

Define Your Focus Word

Writing out your chosen word, plus a clear definition and what it means to you is a great way to create emotion with the word.

You might want to start with the dictionary definition, but also flesh it out further with what the word means to you personally and why it’s important to you.

You might choose to include this in your planner/bullet journal, on a vision board or simply on your computer screen.

If you are doing a gratitude journal, your could journal on times throughout the day that your focus word was shown to you.  Eg.  Your word could be happiness and early on in the day, you made a funny face and made a child do a belly laugh.

Compile a Reading List

Reading books, blogs and online forums about your chosen word of the year is a great way to expand your thinking and knowledge on the subject.

For example, if your focus for the year is ‘Self-Love’, you may compile a reading list.

Related Quotes

A quick google search on ‘your word + quotes’ will provide you with plenty of inspiration on some quotes to include.

Quotes can offer an alternative way of thinking about things and can motivate you towards your focus word.


List of Affirmations

Affirmations are positive written statements, designed to be repeated often and with conviction.

To be effective, self-affirmations should be written in present tense, they should be personal and very specific.

 You can say them aloud or write them in a journal – whatever way works best for you, but the trick is that they do need to be said often.

To get your focus word to stick, you could try building your own carefully worded affirmations based on your word.

For example, if your focus word is ‘Abundance’, you could use the following affirmations:

“I live an abundant life”

“I am surrounded by wealth”

Play around with some positive affirmations and find some that inspire you.

Songs That Inspire

​Create a playlist of inspiring songs with and/or about your focus word could really help to keep the inspiration going. So maybe your word of the year isn’t ‘jump’, but I’m sure you could find a list of songs that fit your theme well.

Pick music that has a very fitting theme to it – eg they all included the word ‘jump’ , such as:

  • The Pointer Sisters – Jump (For My Love)

  • Madonna – Jump

  • Kris Kross – Jump

Wear Your Word – With Custom Jewellery

So, having your word of the year tattooed on your body may be a little too extreme – but you could always wear a personalised piece of jewellery or wristband?

While necklaces are great, you won’t actually see it very often. A wristband or bracelet (like the one below) is a private, yet effective way to keep your focus word in view:

Make Your Screensavers Inspiring

Because these are great places to set up a screensaver that can showcase your word of the year. It doesn’t have to be the word – you could simple include images that relate to your word.

For example, here is a simple collection of images about ‘adventure’ that will provide frequent visual motivation throughout your day.

Other High-Traffic Areas

​Depending on your lifestyle, there will be places of your home, car or work-space that you see often and therefore they make great places to add your word of the year or theme to.

Just some of the various places that you will see at least a few times each day:

  • The front of the fridge

  • The bathroom mirror (try a marker)

  • Your coffee mug

  • Your bedside table

  • Your mouse pad

  • Post it notes on your computer

  • The dashboard of your car

  • Your treadmill

A List of Things to Watch

​Just like a reading list, you can compile a list of things to watch, YouTube videos, documentaries, television shows or films that are related to your focus word.

Work on your computer a lot? How about your phone?

There you have it. A few ideas on how to really get your word of the year to stick. Try any or all of the ideas and I’m sure it will no longer be a forgotten word or theme to you!