How to Choose Your Power Word
I recently came upon a new strategy personal evolution that was very effective last year, so I thought I’d share it with you and do it again for myself this year too.
Ready? The strategy is simple…
THINK OF A SINGLE WORD THAT EPITOMIZES WHAT YOU WANT MORE OF IN YOUR LIFE, OR HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL.
In 2015 my word was photography.
We don’t often hear about creative pursuits treated as relevant goals but we should! Arts and hobbies lead to personal joy and fulfillment, and contribute to our overall well-being. These can be just as important for the spirit as healthy food and exercise are for the physical body.
While Photography has been a passion of mine since childhood, at around the end of 2014 I realized that work, family, wellness, and other priorities over the past few years have put photography in the backseat. I let it fall by the wayside and I missed it. My beloved 35mm SLR was now obsolete and I’d been using a cheap point-and-shoot or my phone to take photos of my first child. I was ready and motivated to make a change. So, I decided that 2015 would be the year that I rekindled this passion, improved my skills, and explored it further. I invested in a new digital camera and challenged myself to photograph everything over the course of the year.
I captured some beautiful images I am truly proud of.
I incorporated photography into my professional work as a freelance content creator.
I connected more deeply with nature and the people in my life because my eyes became retrained to see that beauty is everywhere.
This was a rewarding gift far beyond what I hoped for when I initially set the intention.
Having this single word in the back of my mind at all times reminded me to continue practicing and learning, to do more interesting things so that I’d have something to photograph, and to stay connected with something I truly loved doing.
But this post is not about photography, it’s about YOU and what you want for yourself in the future.
The key here is to think about something good you want to have more of, or something you want to explore as a new challenge, rather than phrasing it in a way that reminds you about any current shortcomings.
Here are some questions to help you uncover your word. For each of these, write down a ONE WORD answer:
- How do you want to feel?
- What is currently missing in your life?
- What are you curious about that you also find scary?
- What do you want to learn?
- What is one thing you could be doing to be happier but aren’t?
Take your time and come back to this if you need to think on it for a few days, but ultimately this should leave you with 5 words that are things that you don’t currently feel you have yet you would like to have.
Now here’s how you narrow it down:
Which is the word that you think striving for would push you outside of your comfort zone, stretch you in a good way, and help you shine from the inside out?
It is likely that there is ONE that is calling out to you as THE ONE that would provide you with the most benefit, and it probably makes you feel a little hesitant or uncomfortable. Yes?
Ultimately the way to use this word is to think of it every day and take some action that relates to it. Allow it to help you make decisions, big and small.
Now take it one step further. What are some specific things you can do to call upon this word in the New Year? You can make a list, put things into your calendar, or create a “mind map” like I did.
There are a million ways to do this, but what I came up with was this:
1. I put my word at the center.
2. I expanded it by thinking of 6 supportive words that align with how I want to feel (the white circles), or concepts relating to my word (the gray circles).
3. Under each of those I thought of things or activities that will evoke that word in some way.
There is absolutely no need for you to take it this far, but since this is my 2nd year with this and it’s a method I’m evolving and sharing with you, I thought I might as well go full disclosure here.
So you can see that my word for this year is movement, and while this was spurred by the realization that I want to have more physical activity in my daily life, it was ultimately THE ONE that ruled out other possibilities because it can be applied to many other personal goals that all relate to the idea of movement - an essence of the 2nd chakra.
Where there is movement there must also be stillness to have balance – daily meditation is a part of this for me, there must be nourishment in the form of healthy food and sleep to provide energy, there can also be internal movement in addition to external movement – chakra exploration appeals to me for this reason. Movement can also be seen as personal growth through learning, or having a sense of flow in many parts of life.
I think you get the picture, and I hope this was helpful. Choose your word and ride it through a happy, healthy year ahead.