How to Choose an Intentional Word of the Year for 2024

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions, but sometimes I would think about a few things I’d like to improve on. However, quite a few years ago I heard about the idea of choosing a word of the year, and I immediately fell in love with the idea. Choosing one intentional word of the year is a simple practice that has many benefits. As we head into another year, I’d love to help you work through choosing your own word for the year. 

Intentional Word of the Year

The upcoming year is swiftly approaching! It’s the time of year to really think through the previous year and set goals for next year. Part of that process in helping you focus is to choose an intentional word of the year. This word will help keep you on the right track as you build out your goals for the coming year. No, this isn’t a magic formula, but I have found that the power of a single word is immense.

Why choose a word of the year

Why should you choose a word for the year? Whether you want to call it a guiding word or a focus word, choosing an intentional word of the year is beneficial in several ways. Let’s talk about some of these benefits.

  • It’s easy. Choosing a guiding or focus word of the year is much easier than making a big list of resolutions, not to mention it’s much easier to remember! 
  • Sets intention. When you only have one word to consider, it helps you with setting goals and priorities for the year. Even little choices throughout the day can be made easier when you have that word in mind. You can think about whether this decision is in line with your overall intentional word.
  • Helps with simplicity. We’re trying to simplify our lives and not make things more difficult. As mothers, we have enough on our plates. Having a word for the year will help the decision process in many different areas of life . . .both big and tiny decisions. One word helps us cut through the distractions and helps us be more intentional by focusing on what truly matters.

What is a Good Word of the Year?

To be honest, a good guiding word is the one you pick and intentionally use! Usually, a good word will be an area you want to grow in. For example, if you’re struggling with being patient with your children, maybe you will want to choose the word “patience.” Use this word to help focus you in this area. Your word won’t be helpful if you don’t really care about it. You have to actually put some goals into place that will help you in the area you choose.

How do you Choose One Word of the Year?

You may be wondering how to choose a word for the year. Perhaps a word or two has already popped into your head. If so, definitely keep them in mind. However, if you have no clue, I have some recommendations to help you out.

Choose One Word for the Year pinnable image

Pray about your one word for the year

Before you go too far into this process, pray that God will guide you. God may have a lesson to teach you, a habit or relationship you should focus on, or an attitude that needs adjusting. Be open to His promptings as you work through the rest of the post. Know that if you just pick a word, God can still use it to grow you. However, praying for a word for the year will be even more beneficial and in tune with God’s plan for you. You never know how He may grow spiritual fruit in you through having a one-word focus.

As moms, unless we prioritize our relationship with God, it can easily fall by the wayside. Learn more about growing closer to God. As we grow closer to Him, we become a better wife and mother as well.

Tips for choosing a guiding word

For me, some years I just knew what I needed to work on. In fact, I once went two years using the same word – gentle. I especially needed to be reminded of that word when I had many little kiddos running around and fighting over every little thing. However, if nothing is jumping out at you, here are some tips for choosing a guiding or focus word.

  1. Solitude. Get somewhere quiet where you can pray and focus for a bit. It could be as simple as sitting on your porch during nap time or in your living room after bedtime. God knows your ins and outs, so pray and ask Him to reveal a word to you.
  2. Consider your priorities and goals. Briefly take some time to think about your priorities in life and any goals you may have. This will help narrow your focus.
  3. Reflection questions. As you are working through this, pray and reflect on the following questions. What aspects of your life do you struggle with, and what would help you grow? What area does God want to take hold of and use to glorify Himself through you? What does God want to accomplish through you at this time in your life? What good habits do you need to grow?
  4. Brainstorm. Write down every phrase or word that you can think of that really strikes a chord with you. It could be a character trait, a person/relationship, a discipline, or an attribute. I’ll give you some intentional words to get you started with ideas next.

Intentional Word of the Year Ideas

This will by no means be an exhaustive list, but I’ll give you some word-of-the-year ideas. As mentioned above, think of character traits, disciplines, values, fruits of the spirit, etc. Words could be confident, intentional, inspire, bold, relationship, purposeful, devotion, health, rest, flexible, prayer, diligent, create, learn, grace, encourage, gratitude, joy, authentic, or grow. The possibilities are endless! Some other ideas are patience, love, simplify, focus, balance, persevere, bloom, slow, cultivate, nourish, and faith.

Word of the year image

A couple of years ago, I had an idea of growing in meaningful conversations. Through prayer and focus, I realized that I wanted to point others to Jesus through my life and conversation. I chose the word “beacon” as my word and Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV) to go with it. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” 

I definitely recommend finding a verse to go with your word if possible. A couple of months later, I was thinking about how being a beacon had been hard in the current state of happenings in the world, but then I realized that this blog is a way to point others to Jesus. God accomplished more than I ever thought when I started out that year!

Word for the Year 2023

Once you have been praying for your word for this year and then have chosen one, what are you supposed to do with that? Here are some tips for remembering and using your intentional word of the year in 2024.

  • Put your word where you’ll see it. Write your word on several index cards and place them where you can see them (such as your bathroom mirror) throughout the day. You could also have a piece of art or a custom bracelet made with your word on it as a reminder.
  • Tell someone. Tell your spouse, accountability partner, or small group of friends what your word is, and ask them to help keep you on track.
  • Live it out. Think of ways you can live out your word in day-to-day life. Use your word when it comes to physical, mental, spiritual, relational, and financial aspects of life. Use your word in the many decisions you make as you go throughout your year to help keep you focused.

There you have it. Once you figure out your intentional word for the year, I’d love to hear what you have chosen! Please comment below. 

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  • Aimee Niblack

    As a mom for 18 years and a mom coach for 2 years, Aimee shares her expertise with young Christian moms via her blog and coaching business.

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About Author

As a mom for 18 years and a mom coach for 2 years, Aimee shares her expertise with young Christian moms via her blog and coaching business.

(5) Comments

  1. Kathleen says:


    1. Kathleen, that’s such a great word! How’s it going so far?

  2. Carrie G. says:

    This is great, thank you!

    1. So glad you found it helpful!

  3. Nana Akuba says:

    This is so awesome! I soon as I started reading one word just popped in my mind and as i am writing this it is still screaming in mind. I cannot tell you now but I will come back and let you know. Meanwhile I cannot wait to share this information with people. Thank you!

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