How to choose your word of the year

Carrie JordanBusiness, Life Design, Shamanism

How to choose your word of the year

Ever heard the saying “Your word is your wand”?

Choosing a word of the year, quarter, month, or week is no exception. The words that you choose to speak and the words that you choose to focus on create energetic stamps in your life.

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As you consider your word for the year, consider that you could choose a word for the quarter, month, week (in the weekly “focus” area of your Life Design Planner) or for each area of your life:

  • Spiritual/Professional development
  • Health/lifestyle/self care/food
  • Love/relationships
  • Pleasure/fun
  • Money/resources/abundance
  • Career/business/creativity
  • Home environment
  • Community/family

How do you choose your word of the year?

Allow space and time for your word(s) to find you. Set the intention to focus on which word you are waiting for. Is it the word for your year, for the month, or for an area of your life? Maybe this means setting time to pray for clarity. Then create time for meditation so that you can listen for any words that come through.

Your word of the year might come to you through a variety of mediums:

Meditation or reception

In my personal practice, once my monkey mind quiets after about 10 minutes of meditation, my channel is cleared in order to allow my over-soul to come through. In shamanism, the over-soul is another way to say “highest self.” In my practice, my over-soul is one of my guides. She often gives me teachings and instructions and she has requests of how I work with her.

I might receive messages during meditation through visions or images that I see in my mind’s eye, or words or voices that I hear. How do you receive messages through meditation?

Journey work

Journeying into what we call “non-ordinary reality” is like a dream. In journey state, the vibrational sound of the drum, rattle, or toning activates a change in brain waves. The brain changes from beta (ordinary consciousness) to theta waves. It is a good idea to write down what happens in your journey right after. Sometimes it can be hard to recall, much like a dream.

In the journey state, you can enter the spirit world (non-ordinary reality). There, you can meet with and seek council from your helping spirits, your animal helpers, and your ancestors.

Before you start your drum beat, come up with the question you’d like to ask your spirit guides. Ask them during the journey.


Set an intention before you go to sleep that in your dreams you will receive your word for your [year/month/area of life]. Then when you wake up, whether it’s in the middle of the night or in the morning, make sure to write down your dream right away. This way you can capture what happened. If you didn’t receive a specific word in the dream, you can meditate on the message of the dream upon waking to see if a word comes through in meditation.

Another option is to write down the meaning of the symbols in your dream. Then check to see if any of the translations in your symbolic language are your word.

In this article, I give four ways to get ideas for choosing a word of the year. Download the printable worksheet list to help you get clarity on your goals and week ahead. The word of the year will help you focus on your life goals, personal goals, and can serve to give you motivation


Does it come to you as you’re driving and listening to a song on the radio? In a sign on the street, or a word you see or hear over and over again? Maybe it comes through a conversation with a loved one or a book that you’re reading.

Pay attention to what is repeating in your life. It could be your guides trying to get your attention.

How have you chosen your word of the year in the past? Would you consider receiving your word from your guides through any of the channels above?