Theme Word for the Year

Theme Words: Hokey or Inspiring?

While some people roll their eyes when they hear theme words thinking they are hokey or contrived, I love them! I choose a theme word every year, and it’s one of my favorite parts of my annual goal planning.

A theme word is a beacon, a guiding light to help you navigate your journey throughout the year. A powerful theme word inspires and motivates you to act in alignment with your greatest vision of the person you want to become.

More importantly, a theme word is a mindset. When you embrace a mindset, you are primed and ready to act in accordance with your core values and goals.

Try this simple exercise to choose an inspiring theme word to guide you in 2021:

  1. Reflect on the areas of your life that you want to improve or change.

What type of person do you aspire to be?

What qualities can you embrace and nurture to help you become that person?

2. Brainstorm words that express who you want to be or how you want to feel.

After the crazy COVID year we survived in 2020, what do you want most in 2021?

Write down whatever comes to mind. Don’t edit or filter, just let the ideas flow.

I like to write in my journal to explore ideas and see where they go. You can also use a mind map, vision board, thesaurus, or any other tool that stimulates your creative energy and liberates you to explore without limits. Generate a list a words that resonate with you.

3. Go deeper.

Circle the words that speak most to you.

Next, use your dictionary and thesaurus to explore their definitions and synonyms. Look for the nuances between words and different meanings based on the part of speech. Evaluate the synonyms to find the word that motivates and inspires you most.

4. Select your theme word!

Sit with your word and see how it feels.

Imagine all the ways you can use this word to guide, motivate, inspire, or ground you this year.

Write it down, make it visible, and check in with it every day.

Embrace your word. Own it. Let its magic wash over you as you get to work to do the things that turn this feeling into reality.

My theme word for 2021 is EXPERIMENT. Every day I’m going to try something new. Instead of expecting results, I’m going to think of it as a test, keeping an open mind and curiosity about what the outcome may be. This will encourage me to act more often, taking smaller steps and making incremental changes based on what happens.

What’s your word? Post it in the comments below. I can’t wait to read them!