In all the business groups I’m part of, the talk of the moment is about our “word of the year”. The one word that we want to define 2016 and which will help shape our goals and achievements through the year.

However, in many of my mummy circles, my friendship groups and Facebook groups I belong to, the talk is very different. Different in that the talk hasn’t changed from last year to this year. The focus is on the overwhelm, routine and reality of mum life. One year has rolled into another with no pause for reflection.

But I think a word of the year for mums can make a huge difference in helping with that feeling of overwhelm. In those moments of frustration or anger, and every mum will agree that those moments can fill days and weeks, a word can bring resolve and direction. Sure it’s not as simple as that!

So why do you need a word of the year as a mum? The simple answer from me is time. Think about the time before kids compared to post kids. Is it just me or did someone hit triple speed as soon as I became a mum? The days and weeks and months and years can so easily roll into each other. But having a defining word and goals for each year can return some of that control by shaping a 12 month period. It then gives the opportunity for reflection and celebration of a year before launching straight into another, after another, after another.

How to come up with your word of the year

The first thing to do when coming up with your word of the year is to ask yourself two questions.

  1. What were your most challenging moments with your family last year?
  2. What were your happiest moments and biggest achievements with your family last year?

Take your answers to these questions and think about what it is that you want to be different this year and which parts of last year do you want more of. You will likely spot themes. It could be themes of travel or time together or the pace of the life you lead.

Once you have your themes then you can come up with your word. Here are 10 ideas to get you started:

  • Slow
  • Abundant
  • Connected
  • Calm
  • Learning
  • Togetherness
  • Exploration
  • Experience
  • Simplicity
  • Adventure

How to use your word of the year

In some ways, deciding on your word is the hard part but then actually using it throughout the year can sometimes be even harder. The first thing to do is to make your word visible. Whether you pop it on a post it note on the fridge or take a photo of your word and frame it for your bedside table, make sure you can see it every day to remind you of what you want your year to be.

The second step is to set some relevant goals for the year relating to your word. Goals can be simple like booking a family holiday or setting up a monthly family adventure day. They can be one off goals or something ongoing that you want to do daily, weekly or monthly. Make goals SMART (Specific Meaningful Action Orientated Realistic Timely) and write them down.

The final step is to review. Sit down each month and reflect on your word. Did the month you have just had match the word? If it didn’t, are you still happy and healthy? What do you still need to change? Is the word still relevant?

My word of the year

The word I have chosen for this year is hustle. This word runs across my whole life – business, personal, family. In my business world it means action to achieve some big goals for the year (stay tuned!). In my personal life it is about entertaining friends, reading more and hustling to make the things I love to do happen. And in my family life it is more about hustling for fun and adventure. A family holiday and lots of new experiences with my girl.

So what is your word of the year? 

 

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