female entrepreneur podcast episode graphic

Episode 90: How to Set a Word of The Year That Actually Works

Episode 90: How to Set a Word of The Year That Actually Works

I am so excited to be here with you. Oh my gosh, I have a zillion topics I want to record on. But we’re getting one at a time done. That’s what we’ve got capacity for right now. So if you are somebody who has set words of the year, every single year, and this is a favorite practice of yours, welcome!

If you have never set a word for the year and are curious about what this practice can do for you to create the life and business that you want, I’m so happy that you’re here. 

My intention for this episode is to give you a real framework and a real lens to look through when you’re thinking about choosing your word for 2021. That hopefully gives you some insight into my practice and my process for choosing a word of the year and sharing with you what my word of 2021 is going to be. 

So let’s go ahead and dive into how to choose your word of the year. 

How To Pick Your Word Of The Year

For me, picking a word of the year is much less about deciding exactly how things will go or predicting perfectly how things are going to unfold, right. It’s not about shaking a magic ball and seeing everything that’s going to happen. 

For me, choosing a word of the year is so much about being intentional about where you’re going and the vibration that you want to bring into the next year. So where is there a particular growth edge in your life? Or in your business? Where are you wanting to make a shift? Even if that is a slight tiny degree shift. Where are you wanting to bring some more intentionality into the way that you show up into the way that you think into the way that you act into the way that you behave? What word feels for you like it really encapsulates or speaks to that shift or change you’re wanting to make? 

So again, picking a word of the year is a lot less around control and prediction and so much more around conscious choice and what you really want to work through. 

My Word of The Year Back Story

So my word for 2020. Gosh, it’s a little crazy. I will tell you guys this story. So last year for New Year’s Eve, Toby and I rented this glamping site up in Topanga. It was such a cool place there was like this outdoor, this outdoor king-size bed with a kind of a tarp thing over the top, but the front part was completely open. So it was like sleeping in a king-sized bed under the stars. 

So cool. Totally my style of camping. I love me some nature, and I love me some Lux. It was perfect for me. And then it also had this old converted like really cool retro caravan type thing. And this outdoor kitchen, it was just like the coolest place. 

But we had just gotten back from our New York City Christmas, which we had arrived in LA like five days before that we hadn’t even been there a week when we flew around to New York and then flew home. And a couple of days later went up to Topanga to this glamping site. And I’ll never forget before we went on that trip, I went to Whole Foods and got us some yummy food to cook in the kitchen up there and a bottle of wine. And I stopped and I picked us up some big poster board paper and Sharpies to cast our visions and really think about what we wanted to call in for 2020. 

Lo and behold, that was the night that Ella was conceived. Oh my gosh, I have goosebumps just thinking about that. But I was mapping out all the things that I really wanted to create in 2020. As I’m sure we all did, we all had big visions for what this year was going to hold. 

Nobody could have anticipated or expected what this year was going to hold. But actually, I think this is so so cool. When I tell you guys what my word was and how that played out, I think it’s really going to illuminate my perspective on what a word of the year can do for you. 

So that night, I chose my word of the year for 2020. And that word was Grace. And I was very intentional about choosing this word for me. I knew that 2020 was the year one of my biggest intentions for this year was getting pregnant, and little did I know that that would be happening moments later. And you know, I knew that there was an element of grace around that. An element of just divinity and beauty, and something completely outside of my control that I wanted to welcome in. 

There was also an element to the word Grace that I wanted to work on in my personal life and in business of just have of trusting and allowing and, and continuing to evolve both as a wife, as a partner, as, hopefully, a mother, as a business owner, as a CEO, as a coach. All of these words that I really wanted to call in around being in my feminine and trusting. That’s what the word grace really symbolized for me last year.

What A Word of The Year Can Be For You

When I chose that word, I got pregnant straight away. So it already started to work its magic. What I think is so cool about having the word Grace as my anchor point this year. That’s really what a word of the year can be for you. It’s an anchor point, it’s a place to come back to it’s a place to kind of cross-check and a touchpoint—something to have as a home base to return to over and again. Like, hey, am I allowing this word to work through me? Am I living in alignment with this intention that I set for myself? 

There were so many moments this year where I did not have Grace as my anchor. I could have lost the plot, I could have gotten either depressed or just really angry or frustrated or fearful between the pandemic and letting LA go and moving back to the east coast and COVID and lockdowns and not being able to be with friends, and the majority of our family during the entirety of the pregnancy. 

Thank goodness here at the very end, we’ve been able to have my parents as a support, which has been incredible. But there were so many moments in 2020, where had I not intentionally held this word as my kind of guiding light and North Star. 

It would have been so easy to fall out of grace and to not be in that trusting space. And I’m so grateful for the way that that word played out. And it’s funny how sometimes when we set a word, I vividly remember being up at this glamping site. And it was actually the next morning that we did that. 

So new New Year’s Day, January 1, 2020, we did that writing on the big poster board. And I literally vividly remember sipping my coffee, I was in my PJs and a hat and just writing out this word Grace and thinking about it. 

Recognizing the Soul Level Pull Of Your Word

I think I even did a live stream on January 1 talking about this word, and I had no idea the way that that word was going to support me, but I knew that it was calling to me. So this is just a reminder and an invitation if you feel a pull – like an inexplicable pull – towards a word that you don’t fully even comprehend. But on almost like a soul level you know it’s your word, I really invite you to lean into that and to listen to what that’s trying to tell you. Permit that, just do let it work on you. 

Because like I said, for me, there was almost this knowing that that was my word. And I think that becoming pregnant and surrendering to that journey, and so many different moments of surrender, but also this like benevolence and trusting newness, and all that contained. Grace was just the perfect word. I couldn’t have picked a better word. 

So that was my journey for 2020. 

Looking Forward To 2021

Toby and I’ve been having this conversation around our words of the year a lot. I’ll let him tell you his word of the year, but I love his word as well. But my word this year has been really working on me. 

I think there’s part of us that consciously chooses our word by thinking about not what we want to control but what our intention is what that next edge is, what that vibration is that we’re wanting to bring with us into the new year. I think that so many of us are still in this space. Pretty much everyone in the world – whether or not you’ve been negatively or adversely – has been impacted by this pandemic in your business or in your life. 

This is one of the most disruptive times of all time. I have so many clients for whom this is their worst year that they can remember just in terms of lifestyle restrictions and not being able to see family but their best year in business for online business owners. For us. It’s an amazing time because the whole world is trying to figure out how to do what we’ve been doing all along. And so for so many of us 2021 brings with it so much unknown, so much that we would like to control and I’m saying we specifically. 

I am definitely the kind of person if you guys are listening, this is probably not coming as a big surprise but my way of just adapting to a crazy world or to dealing with life in general is to be super tight and control it. I get on top of it and just smack it out of the park. I have this very much like get her done kind of mindset and approach. And I love that about myself, it is such a massive skill, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. And it’s both my biggest asset and my biggest weakness, right? 

My Word for 2021

Because I think that there are so many things in life and this year in particular – if the delivery of Ella has taught me anything – it’s that there’s so much of the most beautiful and powerful creative energy and life force in this world and it does not come from controlling and pushing. It comes from allowing. And that is my word for 2021 is the word Allow. 

I’ve said to Toby, we’re driving in the car and I just randomly will just be like, Hey, I’m having a lot of resistances on where to allow. He’s like cracking up saying, Don’t you think that’s the right reason to have that word in the first place? I’m like yes, touche. 

So I’m in this really interesting relationship right now with my word of the year because there’s a part of me – the controlling like get on top of your shit just organize it and get it done part of me –  that is like, No, no, no Allow is too soft. I had Grace last year. Come on, we need something like Decide are All In or like Billionaire or like something like really ambitious. 

And there is just this deeper wisdom in me that feels like it is not yet complete with this. This energy of allowing and allow is different for me. It’s different from the word grace and that grace felt like trusting something deeper, like trusting in this graceful uncertain next unfolding. 

Allow to me feels like I am more aware of the quantum of things that I am out of control in and I can choose how I’m going to respond, I can either try to drastically control my environment in either business or life and I’m choosing this word for myself for 2021 in both business and in life. 

I am not going to grind my way to 2 million next year, I’m going to align and allow my way to 2 million next year, I am not going to push and strive and try to achieve the massive milestones that I know that we’re going to hit in 2021 to go international. 

How I Will Allow My Way Towards Goals

I’m going to allow them to happen for me the energy and the vibration of allow brings with it this intrinsic inherent, gentle, regal, powerful knowing that everything that I desire is already on its way. 

I don’t have to strive, I don’t have to grind. I don’t have to push. All I have to do is get out of my own way enough and allow it to come to me. There’s this magnetic, there’s this leaning back, there’s this trusting element, which again is very triggering to my achiever perfectionist performer, which is like no, no, like, roll up your sleeves. 

And it’s not to say that inside of me is this like, inherent need to hustle. I’m not talking about hustle, but there is a part of me that loves working hard and that loves like working up a sweat and getting into it. And I think that’s from my background of being a highly competitive athlete for many, many years. And with motherhood and scaling to seven figures this year. 

What all of these lessons have taught me is that there is a deeper, stronger magic to allowing than pushing could ever ever do. One of the biggest lessons for me in this was my delivery and my birth. I’m going to record another podcast episode talking about that, but I could not control Ella onto planet Earth. I had to allow her to come through. 

What The Universe Delivers Us

There was so much about allowing my body’s wisdom, allowing the powerful, potent, wise course of nature to deliver literally the most incredible miracle of all, and my deep knowing and deep sense of the universe wanting to literally deliver to us everything that we want in exactly the same way. Wanting to deliver to us all the goals that we have in business, the things we’re trying to manifest in our lives. 

Those things are all there waiting for us to align and allow. And for me, you know, there’s so much in my personal life that is still unknown. You know, Toby and I are still very deep in the question of place for where to settle and raise our family, we’re in Maine, now, we’re heading to Bali, and then to Australia for three months, we haven’t been back in nearly two years, and Toby hasn’t seen his family in nearly that long.

So really important for us to have that. And, you know, as a largely nomadic couple until very recently, this disruption of COVID in our lives has been massive, absolutely massive in terms of cutting us off from our families and extended families. We are in this deep inquiry as a family and calling in and again. There’s the control element of calling in. I want to create, I want to pick, I want to choose, I want to decide. Where is going to be our home? And where are we going to buy a property and how is this all going to happen. 

Allowing and Trusting

My draw to the word allow is, again, really just leaning back into that deep trust of the perfect place, the perfect plan, it’s all already there. And if I can get my mindset and my energy into the knowing, into the vibration and the frequency of trust, and allowing, I know that my resistance or mentality of trying to work it out, and that struggle and distraction is going to be is going to clear so much room and make it so much easier for this beautiful delivery of exactly everything that we want. 

So my word has been very, very influenced by becoming a mother. I just think that that lesson of really witnessing how in childbirth is by far the most intense experience I’ve ever had. And I’ll leave it at that for now. But there is a lesson that is just etched in my soul forever, that allowing what we most want allowing the things that are the most important to come through us is the wisest, fastest, easiest, most divinely orchestrated way for things to come about. 

It’s not to say that we can’t push and strive and struggle our way to our goals, and to those end results because you can, but it’s not, it doesn’t have to be that way. So my intention for 2021 is to really allow everything that I desire in business in my personal life to come to me and to know that it’s already mine. 

So I hope this has given you guys some insight and some things to think about. And like I said, I am a little bit triggered by my own word for next year. And that’s how I know that there is some medicine, there’s some magic, there’s some wisdom inside of that word that is wanting to do its work on me even more. 

And guess what I’m going to do? I’m going to allow Allow it to be my word so that I can let that lesson do its work on me because I know there’s a lot there. 

How To Choose Your Word

So my invitation to you guys in terms of how to choose a word: my first piece of advice is to get a couple different words out there. Really think about it, feel into it. Carve out some whitespace where you’re not just like answering emails responding to clients, and then oh, pick a few words. 

Go for a walk. Maybe after this podcast episode, light a candle, take a bath, go for a walk, go for a run, whatever you do to kind of clear your space, your headspace, and just allow a couple words to pop up for you. Now I’m like so mindful of saying allow, but just let a few words come up for you. 

I like to think about trying them on like clothes. I tried on a few different words this year. And I just kept coming back to this word. It’s kind of like an outfit, you know where you just love it. But there’s something about it. You love it, but maybe you don’t but there’s just something you just keep coming back to that one piece. Let it be that way for you. 

When you’re thinking about this word, try them on. Feel into which one that you keep coming back to and let yourself really reflect on that what part of that word is calling you. What part of that word reflects what do you want to bring into next year? And where were you wanting to be intentional about bringing more of that energy and vibration with you into next year?

Secondly, I encourage you to not try to pick the perfect word. There is no such thing as the perfect word. It’s really about choosing a word that’s going to work its magic on you. So thinking about what’s the vibration, what’s the frequency, what are you wanting to bring with you into 2021 the way that you act? 

Share this post

Cait headshot

Hey, I'm Cait!

Boss mama, wife, and 7-figure CEO empowering women to build profitable, purpose-driven businesses that change the world.


Wait! Before you go...