Finding Your Word of the Year: 2024

When it comes to the New Year, many popular phrases are heard, like Goals, Resolutions, New Year, New Me, and Word of the Year. Although these phrases may feel like pressure to make the most of the upcoming year, a Word of the Year practice can guide you as you step into the following four seasons and even shape some of your decisions. If you need more clarification on your Word or how to find one, besides picking one out of thin air, here are a few things to assist you in your Word of the Year Quest.


What resonates with you?

The question above may seem obvious, but sometimes people think their Word needs to mean things to others to be a valid word to choose. It doesn’t matter what your Word is as long as it resonates with you. Maybe your Word makes you light up, driven, or awake and ready to step forward the way you show up this year. It doesn’t matter if your next-door neighbor doesn’t like it or if your spouse doesn’t get it; if it feels true for you, take it and run with it.


What are your goals this year?

If finding one Word feels too intense, it can be helpful to pan out and look at what you want to move toward this year. Is it focusing on your family, having more time together, traveling, or building your business? Knowing those, ask yourself, “What things are needed to cultivate in my life? Do I need different skills, habits, or a changed mindset to achieve my goals?” Once you understand what you want to cultivate, ask, what Word would support this journey?


It doesn’t have to be one word or even a ‘real’ word.

It’s easy to get stuck on semantics like it can only be ‘one word,’ but this isn’t Scrabble. By opening up possibilities, you could have a few words or phrases or combine two words to make a new word. Amber, an Air Force Spouse, has had a mix of Words, from “Intentional” to “On Purpose,” another year was “Wholiness,” and this upcoming year is “Play.” The idea of a Word is to bring some fresh direction, so don’t be afraid to change it up!


Grab a Thesaurus 

You may have some words that touch on what you would like your Word to be but don’t feel exactly right. Grab a thesaurus or ask Google for synonyms for the words you have already found, and you may find your Word!


Whether your Word is a phrase you want to embody, a bold reclamation Word, a Word you make up entirely, or if it’s the same Word you had last year, there’s no wrong way to have a Word of the Year (you could even have a Word of the Month). Trust where you feel led, and let us know what you choose for your Word(s) of the Year!


About the Author:

Aj Smit is the author of the book Red Thread: Weaving an Embodied Life of Joy, speaker, glitter enthusiast, and professional weaver of Joy. She is a military spouse in S. Korea with a pup and houseplants galore. Aj has led various Red Tents, retreats, and workshops internationally over the last ten years to help others discover how to weave creativity and curiosity into their lives. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram at @TheJoyWeaver and