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Why You Need A Word Of The Year & How to Choose It

word of the year elizabeth rider

If you haven’t chosen a “Word of the Year” yet, then you need one asap!

I was first introduced to the Word of the Year concept back in 2012 when I became a health coach. This is a really fun way to set your intentions and theme for the New Year, or any other life event for that matter.

Instead of a rigid New Year’s Resolution, a Word of the Year is your constant—yet gentle—reminder to focus on creating positive change. Use your Word of the Year to help guide your decisions and continue moving towards what you want.

The first step to manifesting anything you desire is awareness and intention. A Word of the Year will set you in the right direction by bringing more awareness to your intentions.

Your Word of the Year sets an intention, a theme per se, for how you want your year to flow.

Picking a Word Of The Year is an excellent way to do this. You may just have one word that really sticks out to you for your 2019 theme, if that’s the case, just choose one. Or, you might have a group of words or set of themes that you want to set as your intention—it’s totally up to you.

How to choose your Word of the Year:

Choose one to five words that really speak to how you want your year to feel. Nouns, verbs, anything works—just words that feel good to you. Don’t get caught up in the grammar. Review them all together, then narrow it down to one that you know in your heart you need more of.

Then write your word on a pretty note card and stick it to your bathroom mirror or anywhere else you’ll see it everyday. Some other ideas are on your car’s sun visor, your office wall, or make it your computer desktop or phone wallpaper.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Word of the Year Elizabeth Rider Blog

This list is by no means all-inclusive, just some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

My word for 2019 is Confident.

My initial list of words was expansive, open, aligned, joy, grateful and confident. While I, of course, want more of all of these things—when I looked at my year ahead I knew that the area of most fear is the release of my forthcoming book (coming August 2019!). The cover, title and summary will be released shortly. I’ve always felt confident as a blogger, but a book with a major publisher is a totally different level. The ideation phase and writing process stretched me more than I could have imagined, which in the end was the biggest gift of 2018 because I know the final product will help so many people. With a book like this, there’s more exposure, more scrutiny, and of course more people to help and connect with. Instead of fear, I’m choosing confidence. I can’t wait to share it with you!

I’d LOVE to know what your word of the year is and why you chose it. Leave it here in the comments to share it with our community. Speaking it into the Universe is a beautiful way to get things flowing.

Happy New Year!

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  1. Madelyn Moon

    January 3rd, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Yay! I love this! My words are going to be: whole, strong, classy, decisive & loyal.

  2. Elizabeth Rider

    January 3rd, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Fantastic! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Mary

    January 4th, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    my word of the year is Enough

  4. CharmedValerie

    January 3rd, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Loved this exercise so much that I had to Pin It. I blogged my word of the year, FLOURISH, here http://wp.me/pSlxV-Oj

  5. Elizabeth Rider

    January 3rd, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Ooh, love that word!

  6. Sharon

    January 4th, 2013 at 5:35 am

    Ok, ready Elizabeth…here are my words:
    Aligned, Balanced, Creative, Educated, Glowing, Grateful, Healthy, Of Service on my Spiritual & Wellness Journey <3

  7. Sharon

    January 4th, 2013 at 5:48 am

    Ok, Elizabeth…here are my words:
    Aligned, Balanced, Creative, Educated, Glowing, Grateful, Healthy, Of Service on my Spiritual & Wellness Journey <3

  8. Elizabeth Rider

    January 4th, 2013 at 9:06 am


  9. Cheryl Magby

    January 4th, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I have several! consistent, desire, fit, forgiving, free, grateful, healthy, happy, loving, peaceful, sexy, unstoppable, and whole!!!

  10. Elizabeth Rider

    January 4th, 2013 at 11:42 am


  11. danielle

    January 4th, 2013 at 11:36 am

    as usual, love the post.. great for the new year, and i am not a fan of resolutions either.. i picked my words and just put them on my screensaver.. happy new year! xo

  12. Elizabeth Rider

    January 4th, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Thanks, Danielle! So glad you have them up on your screensaver, too. Happy New Year! xx

  13. Marie Smith

    January 4th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Success, stable, show stopper, head turner, passionate

    I didn’t read the suggested words because I wanted to be sure I came up with ones just for me.

  14. Elizabeth Rider

    January 4th, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Love it! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  15. Sandi

    January 4th, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    My montra or word that inspires me for many years is “believe”, for me it encompasses everything in my life. I have it tattooed on my wrist to remind me every day what I’m capable of and what I believe within myself. This word really resonates with who I am and what I can become.

  16. Elizabeth Rider

    January 4th, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    That’s SO beautiful, love it!

  17. Stacy Krall

    January 5th, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Love your suggestion.
    Balanced, Devout, Enlightened, Fovgiving, Grateful, Humbled, Of Service, and Spiritual!

  18. Elizabeth Rider

    January 6th, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Love these!

  19. Khadia Marie

    January 6th, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Loving, Humble, Joyous, and Whole 🙂

  20. Elizabeth Rider

    January 7th, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Love these!

  21. Trisha

    January 7th, 2013 at 10:45 am


  22. Trisha

    January 7th, 2013 at 10:59 am


  23. Elizabeth Rider

    January 7th, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Fantastic! GREAT word 🙂

  24. Penny Gostlin Spickard

    January 8th, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    What a great idea! Balanced, healthy, whole, consistent.. These are my words for 2013

  25. Elizabeth Rider

    January 10th, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Great words! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  26. Michelle Pond

    January 10th, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Great post, Elizabeth. My words are jazzy, visual, verbal, adventurous, calm.

  27. Elizabeth Rider

    January 10th, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Very nice!

  28. Teresa Fellows

    January 14th, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Just found your blog via IIN as thinking of joining their nutrition course..which starts today! Would you recommend it – I would love to hear your thoughts – ? I have no prior nutrition training, but passionate about healthy living. My words are happy, balanced, open-minded, passionate, and forward thinking!

  29. Elizabeth Rider

    January 14th, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Hi there! The IIN program is FANTASTIC, I highly recommend it! And love your words, thanks for sharing here 🙂

  30. Jade Hanson

    February 8th, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    My words are abundant, healthy, exciting, positive, and glowing! Thank you so much! This was a great exercise!!

  31. Susie M Barolo

    December 24th, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    I love this, thank you! I chose the word JOY last year (2016) and am in the process of choosing what I call my “warrior word” for 2017 and reading your post leaves me inspired and smiling. =)

  32. Megan

    January 2nd, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    As a fellow health coach, I think this is such a wonderful practice. Thank you for sending this out! I recently came upon your blog and love everything about it. My word for 2019 is Courageous. I am wanting to start my own blog/online business in 2019. Seven + months of research and now I just need to take the first step.

  33. Elizabeth Rider

    January 2nd, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    Megan, glad to have you here! Courageous sounds like the PERFECT word for you. Just take the first step, then keep focus on just the next step. You will create magic. ~E

  34. Sybells Yu

    January 2nd, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    My words for the year are change, focus, renew, persevere, persistence, care, never quit!


  35. Elizabeth Rider

    January 2nd, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    Sy, love this! Thanks for sharing. ~E

  36. Jo Ann McCready

    January 2nd, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    My word of the year is HERO. I plan to be a hero to myself, and a hero to others. To lead by example and to assist others with care and compassion.

  37. Kate

    January 2nd, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    This is a lovely word and brilliant thing to want to do!!

  38. Elizabeth Rider

    January 2nd, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    Jo Ann, what a beautiful sentiment! Love the passion in your voice. ~E

  39. Beth

    January 3rd, 2019 at 3:52 am

    And your ‘Superpower’ is being YOU! You do it better than anyone possibly can.

  40. Sandra

    January 2nd, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    My word for 2019 is movement. I’ve been sitting still for too long, just hanging by the wayside. I heard my spirit say “movement”. Once I begin, I believe it will propel me forward to accomplish so much I’ve been hoping and dreaming for as a health coach.

  41. Elizabeth Rider

    January 2nd, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    Sandra, this is awesome. I love that you heard “movement.” Sending you high vibes for loads of movement in 2019! ~E

  42. Jennifer Kueber

    January 2nd, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    My word is Celebratory/ Celebrate/Celebration. I teach little people and I want to celebrate all their accomplishments. I have a son graduating from high school and I want to make sure I celebrate his success and his next steps instead of dreading him moving on. I have a daughter learning to drive and I want to celebrate with her instead of focusing on the worry that comes with this big step. I want to celebrate all of these changes and have fun with them! Thank you for this wonderful idea, I look forward to a whole year of celebrations!! I plan to look for ways to celebrate each and every day!

  43. Elizabeth Rider

    January 2nd, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    Jennifer, yes! We all need to celebrate more. What a beautiful word to choose. Cheers to more celebrations in 2019! Thanks for sharing. ~E

  44. Beth

    January 3rd, 2019 at 3:50 am

    Word of the year 2019 for me, cut down from a long list, is DECIDE. Even choosing the word was challenging, a ‘what if it isn’t the right word for me?’ Type thinking going on. It is a pattern that I often fall into, and it keeps me stuck in a sameness that I want to grow out of. So, I moved ‘Decide’ up to the top; without making a decision, for me everything else is just a rumination, a dream, a thought, an excuse to not step up and dare to make the change I want. This year will be next level!

  45. Megan

    January 3rd, 2019 at 9:41 am


    I feel that everything I have been working towards over the past few years is going to come to fruition and my life will be filled with love, laughter, health, joy and financial security this year.

  46. Angel

    January 3rd, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Compassion, commitment, contentment, consideration and continuity are my words.

  47. Nicole Nelson

    January 3rd, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    I love this post Elizabeth! I chose the word “Trust”. Trusting that I am always being guided in the right direction 🙂

  48. Elizabeth Rider

    January 4th, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    Nicole, Trust is a big one! We are always being guided. Thanks for sharing. ~E

  49. Elizabeth

    January 3rd, 2019 at 11:52 pm


    Be strong, Be happy, Be kind, Be generous, Be fearless – you get the idea 🙂

  50. Elizabeth Rider

    January 4th, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Love this idea! Thanks for sharing it. ~E

  51. Candida Julian-Jones

    January 4th, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Hello Elizabeth,

    As a woman in her “third act” and still loving my work, here are the words I keep close when I think others may be judging; Expertise, Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy.

  52. Elizabeth Rider

    January 4th, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    Hi Candida, thank you for sharing these with us! And don’t EVER worry about what other people might think or if they are judging you. Judgment is just a mirror reflected back on someone’s own beliefs of themselves. If they are “judging” you, they are just judging themselves. Don’t let people live rent-free in your mind. Only you live your life, and you have a lot of life left to live. Enjoy it and be free! Expertise, Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy are coming your way in 2019. ~E

  53. Julia Baldassano

    January 4th, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    I love this concept! My word for 2019 is Balance. As a working Mom of 2 little girls (4 and 1), it can be difficult to find…

  54. Elizabeth Rider

    January 4th, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    Julia, wishing you loads of balance this year! Thanks for sharing with us. ~E

  55. Carol

    January 4th, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    As someone recovering from a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), I have trouble finding my words. So, the words Time & Patience will help me focus on giving myself plenty of both as I struggle to make myself heard. Practicing Gratitude is a wonderful intention for me as well!
    Thanks for the inspiring idea!

  56. Elizabeth Rider

    January 4th, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    Carol, Time & Patience are great words! Thanks for sharing. ~E

  57. Elsa Razborsek

    January 4th, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    Congratulations on your upcoming book Elizabeth! It’s always a pleasure to read you.

  58. Elizabeth Rider

    January 4th, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    Thanks, Elsa! Glad to have you here. ~E

  59. Roz Scoles

    January 5th, 2019 at 2:31 am

    Hi Elizabeth,

    My word is confident.

  60. Jill

    January 5th, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    What a great idea. I feel I had to keep two words though as I need to desperately remind myself of both. They are confidence (funnily enough) and positivity. Wish me luck.

  61. MarissaDW

    January 6th, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    Just found your blog and it’s very inspirational. My word is Balanced. In the hope of balancing my work and personal life I’ll get to focus on mind, body and health; in the process get creative and learn new things.

  62. Wendy

    January 7th, 2019 at 12:56 am

    I was promoted to a manager over our county on January 2nd. My word is inspire. I chose to be a leader that can inspire my County to do more, learn more and dream more.

  63. Michelle

    January 7th, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    I choose, Authentic! Being a mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, pet owner, you name it, it has been my joy and greatest gift to love and nurture those around me. However, in doing so, I tend to loose myself along the way. As I enter this year as a new “empty nester”, it’s time to look deep within and embrace my authentic self.!

  64. Charlene L Stemen

    January 11th, 2019 at 7:49 am

    My word for this year is awareness. Awareness of myself, others, situations, both mine and others feelings. Just be in the moment of awareness. I have been gifting myself a word every new years day for the last 10 years. I find they help me focus and accomplish my goals for the year.

  65. Margaret

    January 20th, 2019 at 3:43 am

    Just discovered your blog. After the Lord miraculously healed a very dear friend who suddenly came down with an undiagnosed illnesses in October 2018, I choose the word “Thankful”. Realising how quickly and without notice we can loose our loved ones, I just want to be thankful for my many daily blessings and the family and friends who surround me.

    I am also thankful for your blog and the healthy recipes.

  66. Elizabeth Rider

    January 22nd, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    Margaret, thank you for this sweet comment. Glad to have you in our online community! ~E

  67. Roni

    January 22nd, 2019 at 1:57 am

    Word of year: Thinking very seriously and writing words when the word PRAYERFUL came to my mind. I believe in the power of prayer. I’ve seen it in action. That’s when it dawned on me my word was PRAYERFUL. I WILL BE MORE PRAYERFUL THIS YEAR. IT IS MY CALL TO ACTION. Thanks

  68. Dawn Woodard

    January 22nd, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    I think I am going with Confidence as my word for 2019

  69. Elizabeth Rider

    January 22nd, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    Dawn, love this! Wishing you total confidence in 2019 🙂 ~E

  70. Alyson

    January 22nd, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    Good one this
    Was very tempted by Energized as I have M.E.
    But actually, I have chosen Luminescent
    the emission of light not caused by incandescence and occurring at a temperature below that of incandescent bodies.
    the light produced by such an emission.
    It has become more and more important to me over the years that I exist as a shining light, to guide the way forward in this messed up world of ours.

  71. Marisol

    January 23rd, 2019 at 1:48 am

    Several words listed in the word of the year pulled at the center of my core; however, I felt deeply that ACCOMPLISHED was the word for me. I am pursuing my goals this year and that 12 letter word will get me through these 12 months in 2019. I promise me, myself, and I that I will accomplish my goals.

    Thank you

  72. Bettelou Soosaipillai

    February 23rd, 2019 at 11:08 am


  73. Triza

    March 5th, 2019 at 8:42 am

    My word for the year is ……Balance

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