How to Choose Your Word of the Year for 2023

If setting a New Year's Resolution doesn't resonate with you, then try choosing a Word of the Year as an intention to set yourself up for success for 2023. (Plus, a 5-minute meditation for some extra guidance in finding your word.)

Mikah Horn
How to Choose Your Word of the Year for 2023

I have a confession: New Year Resolutions never really worked for me.

Can you relate?

Let me clarify. I LOVE setting resolutions. I get really excited about new beginnings and a chance for a fresh start. But I have a big problem with the follow through. I could show you multiple journals with pages and pages of big plans that never came to fruition.

A single word, on the other hand…now, that’s different. It's simple. Doable.

I've been choosing a single word for the new year for the past 4 years. This single word serves as an intention, an anchor for how I want to live my life in the next year.

There are several reasons I love choosing a word for the year:

  • It reminds me what behavior I want to focus on cultivating and see in myself.
  • It has elements of spirituality AND science (as a yoga therapist, I love both).
  • I've found that having this word to guide my thoughts for the year is a powerful force for personal change and growth.
  • Any time you have a decision to make, big or small, your word can guide you. As an indecisive person by nature, I've found this incredibly helpful.

My word for last year was GROWTH. And when I look back on 2022, boy did I grow. My business grew. My relationships grew. I grew as a person. I graduated with my masters of science in Yoga Therapy. I opened a local yoga studio. I doubled the members inside of Lifelong Yoga Online, my online yoga membership. I got engaged.

For 2023, my word is FOUNDATION. On the surface, this might seem like I'm going backwards. But I’ve done so much growth lately that I’m finding I need to ground. I need to reset and rebuild my foundation and make sure it’s as sturdy as can be to support further growth.

This word also applies to my health, habits, and self-care. I plan on prioritizing the basics: My daily walk, drinking lots of water, my consistent home yoga practice, and other habits that make me feel my best.

Choosing Your Word of the Year

Your word can influence all areas of your life and keeps you aligned with your purpose.

If you need a little guidance in finding yours, try the following:
  1. Find a comfortable, quiet spot. Shut off all technology.
  2. Sit comfortably, take a few deep, cleansing breaths. Become aware of your breathing. Release thoughts as they appear. Let go of thinking. Let go of analyzing, and just FEEL into your body.
  3. Picture the ideal "Future You." Visualize what it is you want in your life and who you want to be. Make it real, make it vivid.
  4. Don’t overanalyze. Trust your intuition. What words come up naturally? Listen to whatever arises. Let it be and don't overthink it.
Questions to ask yourself for further clarity:
  • What could I use more of in my life?
  • What am I longing for deep in my soul?
  • How do I want to feel?
  • What would the perfect day feel like? (The emphasis here is “feel”)

Once you have a word, try it on. Speak it out loud. Does it fit? Does it inspire you? Sit with it for awhile. If several words came up, make a list and then narrow it down.

It's important to note that there is no wrong choice here. It's personal. If the word feels powerful and inspiring to you, then you've made the right choice. Your word should keep you on track throughout the year, give you comfort, and motivate you.

If you'd like a little more guidance in finding your word, try this 5-minute guided meditation.

What To Do With Your Word

The word that you choose becomes a guidepost for how to live this year. It serves as a guide for your thoughts, decisions, and goals.

I encourage you to keep your word in a place that's visible. You could write it on a sticky note and put it on your computer or maybe your bathroom mirror (anywhere you'll see it regularly). Journal about it. Meditate on it. If you're artistic, create something with your word.

This year, I'm going to wear my word. I purchased a custom made pendant from Etsy that I put on a chain.

How to Choose Your Word of the Year - Foundation Charm

At this point in my life, resolutions feel rigid and structured, like strict rules. Choosing a word as an intention for the year instead feels like gentle guidance. It allows me flexibility to move with my intuition while still bringing clarity and focus to who I want to be and what I want to accomplish.

Want a little more guidance and support on your way to optimal health and well-being? I offer private yoga therapy sessions (both in-person and online via Zoom) and I also have an online yoga studio called Lifelong Yoga Online.

Wishing you a year filled with serenity, laughter, joy, and lots of yoga.