Choosing a word of the year is not something I started doing until well into my twenties. By this, I'm talking like last year, Y'all. If we're being honest, I had a hard time remembering what my word of the year for 2017 even was. Looking back at some old journals, I think it was GROW. While I didn't mindfully pay attention to 2017's word of the year, I think I did a pretty good job at accomplishing growth throughout 2017.
I'm not sure when this concept of picking a word of the year became a thing but it is a trend that's started happening as an alternative to setting New Year's Resolutions. Some people seem to really hate resolutions and I'm going to be upfront here and say that I am not one of those people. I love setting new goals for each year and I love it, even more, when I get to cross them off of my list. But one thing I love more than setting new year's resolutions is choosing a word of the year.
For me, choosing a word of the year is even more powerful than picking your resolutions. To me, your word of the year is what you want to get out of your life for the year versus what you want to accomplish during the year. That may kind of sound like the same thing to some people but for me, it's not. Think of your word of the year as the theme versus your actual goals. If you're on the email list, then you already know what my word for 2018 is (psst: you can get on the list by clicking here) because I was so excited to share it that I couldn't help but give a little sneak peak.
Even though we're already a week into 2018, there's still plenty of time to pick your word of the year. I honestly didn't choose my word until I sat down to write my goals down for 2018. Let's go over a few of the things I did in order to choose my word for 2018!
Reflect on the previous year
Whether you've chosen a word for last year or not, I always start by reflecting on the previous year before doing anything else when it comes to setting up goals for the next year. Take stock of what you accomplished, what you felt you needed more of, highlights and low points, etc. Once you've done that, make a list of all the words that come to mind when you think of last year.
Some of my highlights included: starting this blog, becoming an R. Riveter brand ambassador, cultivating friendships, getting my Master's degree, starting my health and fitness journey, etc.
Group together like things and experiences
Once you've got your list, go back through it and find things that were similar and group them together. For example, starting a blog, becoming an R. Riveter brand ambassador, and cultivating friendships all sort of go together for me because of the impact each one of those things had on my year (and ultimately why I chose my word of the year for 2018 which you'll find out soon!).
Finally, choose your word!
Hopefully, you can take one look at your list and pull out what your word of the year for 2018 will be! I know that mine was definitely a recurring theme in my life for 2017 and something that I've desperately been craving. But now I feel that in 2018, I'm being called to focus on that theme and create it for others.
So, what is my word of the year for 2018?
The word I will be pouring my heart and soul into this year is community.
Why is community important?
A few days ago, I stumbled across a blog post where the blogger was talking about how being a Harry Potter fan made her a part of a community. It didn't dawn on me at first when I was reading but now that I'm reflecting back on her writing, I totally agree. I didn't feel like I was part of a community until I found the internet. By the internet, I mean groups of people on the internet who care about the same things. It started with message boards on the Harry Potter website but that evolved into Tumblr and eventually my first blog. Those communities took a lost girl and helped her find her voice. They helped foster her love for writing and spark a passion for helping others. This is why community is important and why I chose it to be my word of the year for 2018.
So many of you, myself included, are in a very transitional period of your lives. Whether you're graduating from high school or college or getting married and potentially moving across the country, transitional periods can be the loneliest times in our lives. That's why I feel called to foster this community now more than ever. Whether you're struggling with West Point, military life, college, adulting, etc., I want to build a community of fearless women who take chances in this plugged-in world. So much of our lives are wrapped up in what we see on social media and I want to start a movement of women who are authentic, unapologetically and fearlessly themselves.
I want to build a community where we can all come as we are to share and learn and grow together.
Where does community start?
Right here. Whether we knew it or not, (yes, WE), we have already begun to cultivate that little community in the past six months. I have BIG plans for 2018 and this word of the year so I hope you're ALL IN on this journey with me!
PS: I'm doing another round of #AskDar on Friday! If you have a question about anything, and I mean literally anything, just fill out this handy form right here and your question could be answered on Friday!