A Word of the Year check-in

A Word of the Year check-in | SusannahConway.com

We’re fast approaching the middle of the year so it feels like the right time to check-in with our words. Did you pick a guiding word for 2015? If you did, has it made any impact on how the last six months have unfolded?

My word for this year is NOURISH and it’s honestly been the most dynamic word choice I think I’ve ever made. I suspect it’s something to do with how intentionally I chose it in December — this has always been quite a nourishing practice for me (pun intended) but this year it’s been especially transformational.

NOURISH helped me heal after the surgery in January. It inspired me to sign up for a 100-hour yoga immersion (which I loved). It brought reiki into my life (must share that story one day!). It’s informing every decision I make about the new website, and, perhaps most interestingly, it’s helping me approach online dating with a more relaxed and open attitude this time around.

NOURISH is looking after me in so many ways and I’m loving it as much as I did when it first occurred to me last year. For context: I’ve had a few years where I struggled to remember what my word was about this time!


I should mention here that I don’t spend my whole day meditating on my word, obviously, but I have noticed I ask myself “does this feel nourishing?” more often than not. It’s like my word choice has created a through-line I can follow and is having a positive effect on so many parts of my life I’m wondering if I should adopt it for 2016 and beyond.

It may be that your word has been slow to have any effect but now the year’s well under way you’re  noticing the wisdom of your choice. It may also be that you weren’t ready to pick a word in December but now feels like a better time to choose.

And if your word hasn’t felt like the right fit, what not choose a different word for the last half of 2015? Or pick another word just because you can.

Gift yourself an hour this weekend to read through your Unravelling the Year workbook and see where you are with those intentions you sketched out. If you want to choose another word — for whatever reason — the free Find Your Word mini course is still available over here. I plan to work through it next week to see if any extra words make themselves known :)

How have your been getting on with your word(s)? I’d love to know xo

23 responses
  1. Caro

    I didn’t choose a word, but a tarot card. The one that came out for me for 2015 was The Fool. I have tried to keep this in mind and allow it to encourage me to be more spontaneous, take that leap of faith, expand my comfort zone and embrace new opportunities. So far I think I have been more adventurous this year so it seems to be working!??

  2. Lee

    I chose the word FLOW and it has been a great addition to my Desire Map CDFs. I’ve been keeping it front-and-centre with Ali Edwards’ OLW project and just finished two posts on it. LOVE this project. It keeps me focused on what I want and need in my life :) xoL

  3. TONya

    My word was EMERGE. I chose this word because I wanted this year to be about stripping off the layers of what life taught me to be and finding who I am without outward influence. It’s been the perfect word and has encouraged me to rethink the things I felt certain of to see if that certainty is real or just learned.

  4. Bakary

    Strength. I knew this year would be hard and that I’d need all the help I could get.

    My word helps me speak my mind when things are complicated, or recently to arrange a meeting with a member of my team to address their performance. It helps me get up in the morning when things are blue. And it allows me to put myself first and get much needed me time.

    I have a token in my pocket with my chosen word on it and I hold it when things get tough.

  5. marina

    My word this year is light. Its definitely stayed in the forefront of my mind and has led and motivated me in so many ways. I am finally after years of hemming and hawing preparing for my graduate degree in social work. I’m turning on my “light” bulb =)

  6. Cora

    My word this year is Courage. Courage to have personal integrity around my values and what’s really important to me (to walk my talk). Courage to quit a job I’d been at for 10 years (a job filled with stress and that was doing me in (as an HSP and introvert). Courage to let myself be in this current place of lull and actually, exhaustion, and courage to wait for what will come next with patience and trust. Thank you Susannah for the Find Your Word exercises and your blog. I can’t wait to see your new website :) Many blessings to you!

  7. kitty

    I chose “Muchness” and it’s been quite a good fit for this year. I dove into a year long Art Journaling Group on Facebook, started really focusing in on areas that I need to improve my life, and limited contact with a few very toxic people in my life. I’m actively pursuing trainings to help me do my job better, (I’m a Peer Counselor to the Mentally Ill.) And I’m really making time for those people in my life who really honestly & truly love me & support me.

    I’m very happy to report, I’ve found my “Muchness.”

  8. Susanne

    Oh my goodness. I can’t even express the perfection of the timing of this post & the electrifying effect it’s had on me. My year got away from me completely and my Word just . . . faded away. I thought it was the right one, but obviously (well, obviously as seen through the lens of hindsight) it was not. Oddly, I kept being drawn to “nourish” all last December but set it aside as too “something” (I can’t even recall all the excuses I had why it wasn’t “the one”). Then I read this post and saw, again, the word “nourish”. And felt, again, that little “zing” of recognition and rightness.

    And realized, with your gentle reminder, that it might be the end of May, but it’s not and is never “too late”. Not for adopting the right Word, for making the changes I need to make, for embracing self-care, for nourishing my own Self. Thank you, thank you. And the first thing I’m doing is opening my Unraveling The Year workbook & treating June 1st as I would January 1st. New year, new start. Seriously, Susannah, you have probably just saved my 2015!

  9. Jen

    My word for this year is “home.” I’ve been working out of town for a year and a half, and I am ready to go home. I’ve got applications ready to send early next week, and I’m hoping after the Mercury retrograde is over, something will pop up that allows me to be home…in our new home, that we are supposed to close on June 15. I keep reminding myself that things work out the way they are supposed to but the next 16 days may just kill me.

  10. Izabela

    My word is Active, and although it first was all about physical movement, these days it’s about taking action. I applied to grad school, and a new job, so YAY!!!

  11. avalon

    dear susannah,
    this is my check-in:
    after a four-week-long long process until the end of january, i finally decided on the word ‘CLARITY’ (Klarheit).
    i had/have several longtime unresolved topics in my life, for example – to name the 3 most urgent ones – :
    a heavy facial neurodermitis of which i didn’t knew the cause – despite extensive search,
    a desperate yearning for getting to know my (professional) calling,
    a persisting ambivalence in the question of wanting a child or not (at the age of 39).
    so literally, i wanted a clear face, a concrete perspective for a good and fitting new job and a decision regarding the baby-question.
    i wanted to explore these topics to the ground and no longer avoiding.
    at the end of february, i checked into a specialist clinic for neurodermitis and stayed 4 weeks.
    there, they found so many causes for my problem (i.e. celiac disease, defiency syndrome, several intolerances and more) that i was nearly overwhelmed. i had to tell myself over and over ‘i can’t complain, i asked for clarity’ which became sort of a running gag. so after years of battling with this neurodermitis that took me to the border of depression, i finally got the right treatment and thereby i got and have now an almost clear face – which i’ve almost abandoned hope for.
    this alone is such a huge achievement for me. i am so grateful for this. i am no longer wandering in the fog, i have a clear diagnosis and am able to avoid the things/food, etc. that cause my skin to freak out. so here, claritiy – check.
    yes, the two other topics are definitely brewing strong. i am confident that my word of the year is going to work it’s magic over here, too.
    so many thanks + love to you,

  12. Lee-ann

    I chose the phrase Open Doors because I’ve felt stuck and trapped career-wise for so long. I know that much of it depends on courage, and a willingness to position myself for those doors to open. So a few days ago, I took a step towards a new venture and am expecting positive results in June.

  13. Delores

    My word is compassion. It is the perfect word and I still fall short many days in how I want to treat people. It keeps me striving and hopefully I will be a better person in 2016.

  14. kelly

    My word this year is JOY and I am happy to say that I have not let my intentions for this year slip. My focus is to bring joy into my everyday, to give myself permission to live life, try new things and laugh more. Having more joy in my life has meant that I am focusing less on a career that does not fit me. Instead, I am using this time to explore other options and figure out a line of work that would bring me more joy in the future! It is also interesting that my focus on joy seems to be progressing in phases. For the first four months of this year, I was very focused on pushing myself out of my introverted tendencies, being more involved with the outdoors and making new friends. Now, I feel myself coming back into myself (especially as it is getting colder here in NZ) and I am journaling and writing more. I have started a new blog which reflects who I am more and I am planning on writing a post about my year of joy. I even have a photo album on my Facebook page titled ” A Year of JOY” which has 100 pictures in it detailing some of the amazing memories I have created this year. This is the first time that I have chosen and really honoured a word. Loving it.

  15. Leanne Lindsey

    My word for the year is Explore and although I wanted it to be more about physical exploration, so far it’s been more about self-exploration, which has actually been enlightening. I’ve participated in 3 writing programmes already this year which have really helped me to explore my own layers. I’m also becoming more aware of the limits I impose on myself, which stops me exploring beyond the boundaries. For the next 6 months, I want to intentionally be more fearless about my exploration of life and myself.

  16. Cherie

    Nourish is my word for this year too. I just about typed ‘world’ instead of word. love those freudian slips. I’ve been craving being outdoors & moving my body since I work in an office (& the past winter was super ridiculously cold & I had the winter blahs so bad), so I found some local trails & get out there every weekend. I even went tonight after dinner because the weather was so beautiful. The ‘short’ trail through the forest I did tonight was about 2km. I feel more present & kinda glowy … probably the tree medicine, they have a lot to tell about being rooted, yet flexible in the wind.

    I feel like my word is becoming more & more of a meditation & mantra. I get less worked up about stuff. I eat when I’m hungry. Drink lots of water. I decide every day what my intention for the day will be & bam, it’s awesome, even if it’s stressful/busy/aahhh! It’s the simple things that seem to have the most power.

    I check in with my word in my regular pen to paper no holds barred journal & my art journal. I remember a brilliant English literature prof in university telling us to “look for the one red thread in a oriental carpet to follow” when we were reading literature. I have found that this metaphor has applied to a lot of things in life since, such as the word of the year. (This prof also used to bake us cookies, took care of a family with kids, kept up her academic writing & re-read EVERY single text on each course she taught every year, because her journey through a particular text would change every year.)

  17. Grace

    Funny you should ask, Susannah, I just wrote about it here: http://gracednotes.com/2015/06/04/no-regrets/. Choosing a word of the year has made a huge impact on my life! xx

  18. Cheryl

    My word is Grace, I’m using all it’s varied definitions, all so yummy. I’m still madly in love with it! And just engaged with an oracle card reminding me I am filled with grace and can also ask for any situation to be gifted with grace. Reminders are GOOD.

    Nourish is a favorite word of mine too! Makes for a delish year :)

  19. Caroline

    My word was Replenish, and it has made a huge impact. I have given myself permission to go back to therapy, get bodywork, take courses and to say no to anything that feels like it will deplete me. It has been amazing. I am happier than I have been in years.

  20. Rhianne

    I was going to write you a comment, but I ended up writing a whole post on it :) I hope you don’t mind me sharing the link with you here x


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