Main Menu

How to Choose Your Word for 2017 {+ A Giveaway!}

by Elise Museles


As you begin to plan for 2017, do you feel excited or apprehensive? Invigorated or exhausted?

With the new year barely a champagne toast away, many of us are thinking about our resolutions. Get healthy. More exercise. Cut out sugar. No refined carbs EVER! And we might just try to implement those big changes and lofty goals all at once, going from zero to 60 in a matter of days.

Not surprisingly, this rarely works. We burn out, or pull a muscle, or unhappily binge-eat a batch of fudgy grain-free brownies over the sink.

How many times has this happened to you? How many times have you broken your promises to yourself? That this time, it’s going to stick. That this time, it’s going to be different.

I know, because I have been there, too – over and over again! Coming up with my New Year’s resolutions became an exercise in shame and disappointment; it seemed to highlight all the ways that my previous year hadn’t quite measured up. Add to that the stress of planning goals and changes for the next year, and it was truly a recipe for disaster.

But at the end of 2013, I shifted the way I thought about my coming year, and instantly, everything felt different: easier and more loving.

What did I do? I chose a word of the year. 

In 2016, I picked the word spaciousness. In 2015, I was guided by the word trust. The year before that, my word was simplify. And savor kicked the whole ritual off back in 2013.

My “word of the year” anchors my daily life. It helps me focus. It guides the work that I do, the choices that I make, and the way that I navigate my days, every day. When I feel adrift, I remember my word of the year and come back to myself – and my goals for the next 12 months.


My word for 2017? Ease. (Sounds nice & relaxing, doesn’t it?)

Ease means making things easy for myself, instead of stressing about every single little detail. It means having less on my to-do list each day, so that I have more opportunities to spontaneously go into the woods with my pups or take a leisurely stroll through the farmer’s market.

It means fearlessly posting that beautiful photo on Instagram without agonizing over every word of the caption, and boldly sharing what’s going on with me on Twitter without sweating over each of the 140 characters. It means prepping food on Sunday in a non-stressful manner…thus making it easier to toss together meals for myself and my family throughout the rest of the week.

It’s resisting my tendency to overcomplicate, overthink, map out to the nth degree, and micro-manage every single last detail. It’s telling myself to relax comfortably into the unknown and make room, to allow things to unfold as they may. At its core, ease is greeting life with an open mind and an open heart – letting it happen, instead of worrying about things that I can’t control.

But the word that works for me is not necessarily the word that works for you. Maybe you’d like 2017 to feel focused, or connected, or inspired. Or perhaps you want more joy, or to be more playful.

Choosing a word of the year has grounded me and changed the course of my next trip around the sun—and I know it can do the same for you! Here are three steps that will get you started.

Think about how you want your life to feel.
In order to keep traditional resolutions, we often end up counting calories, dollars, or social media followers. We track numbers, then assess our success based on those stats. But when you navigate your new year with a single word as your beacon, 2017 slowly shifts into something easier and sweeter. A “successful” year is a year that feels the way you want it to feel.

Peer through the window of your Future Dream Life and really imagine the specifics.

How do you want your life to feel? Do you want to feel free? Supported? Seen? Imagine the way you want your heart and mind to feel, every single day, then choose a word accordingly.

Trust your intuition.
Choosing your word of the year is a lot easier than you might expect. You don’t necessarily have to labor over this decision; you likely don’t need to turn this over in your mind a thousand times.

Really think about the last year. What worked? What didn’t? If you’re honest with yourself, you probably already know how you’d like next year to be different. If a word immediately springs to mind and it feels right in your gut, you’ve found your word. Go with it!

Consider how you can apply this word to your whole life.
“Supported”’ at home means something different than “supported” in your professional life. And “connected” to your body is different than being “connected” to your partner.

How does your word apply in the context of work? At home? Does it affect the way you move your body, or the choices you make around food? Will it change the way you use technology?

When you take the time to imagine the way your word applies to all the areas of your life, you’re ready to make that word happen everywhere.

Now it’s your turn: To encourage you to find your word for 2017, I’ve partnered with the coolest (and hippest!) knitting company, Wool & The Gang, to give away a ME Time Scarf Kit! All you need to do to enter is share your own word of the year in the comments. I’ll pick a winner at random on Monday, December 26th. Good luck!

From my home to yours, I wish you a year filled with health and happiness…and just the right word!

42 Responses to How to Choose Your Word for 2017 {+ A Giveaway!}

  1. Sara December 15, 2016 at 8:10 pm #

    My word for 2017 is “self-care”.

    I’m not very good at this and I have a lot going on in my life that requires me to take better care of myself first before someone else. So 2017 will help me bring my focus on making sure that I have taken care of myself first.

    • Elise Museles January 5, 2017 at 3:47 am #

      You know that is such an important part of my message because when we take care of ourselves first, we have that much more to give! To help you practice self-care, we have chosen you as the winner of the giveaway. Enjoy the ME TIME SCARF! (Check your emails!)

      • Sara January 5, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

        Thank you!

        So far in 2017, I’ve been way better at letting myself recover from this nasty cold I picked up instead of pushing myself too hard.

        It’s involved a lot of soup and lots of sleep. 🙂

  2. Cathy Gehr December 15, 2016 at 8:11 pm #

    My word for 2017 is purge

  3. Kristyn December 15, 2016 at 8:25 pm #

    This year, my word is transform!!

    • Elise Museles January 5, 2017 at 3:43 am #

      Kristyn, it sounds like an exciting year of TRANSFORMation! xo

  4. Marilyn {*.*} December 15, 2016 at 11:01 pm #

    Accept is the word that has chosen me for 2017!

    • Elise Museles January 5, 2017 at 3:42 am #

      I love how you said that ACCEPT chose you! xo

  5. Karen December 16, 2016 at 12:51 am #

    My word is acceptance

  6. Siobhan Nash December 16, 2016 at 1:41 am #

    Delight. That’s my word for 2017.

    • Elise Museles January 5, 2017 at 3:41 am #

      Siobhan, DELIGHT can be expanded into so many areas of life! Wishing you a DELIGHTful 2017!~

  7. Susan Emerson December 16, 2016 at 4:55 am #

    My word is confidence.

  8. Teresa December 16, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

    My first instinct was to pick the word “ignore”. To ignore things I don’t enjoy or people who do annoying things or who are negative. Then I thought that sounded negative! I translated that into “COMPASSION” as my word. I will practice compassion for those people and things !!!

    • Elise Museles January 5, 2017 at 3:40 am #

      Teresa, what a nice flip! COMPASSION does sound more positive and enticing! xo

  9. Olga December 16, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

    My word for 2017 is LOVE

  10. James December 16, 2016 at 5:56 pm #

    My word is Look-Up. (I walk a lot, and many times I forget to look up and enjoy the bigger view.)

    • Elise Museles January 5, 2017 at 3:39 am #

      James, thanks for the reminder to LOOK UP! Great word!

  11. Kacey December 16, 2016 at 8:16 pm #

    My word for the year is Trust. Trust myself and what I am capable of. Trust that my loved ones are willing and able to support me. Trust that the future equally as bright as it is out of my control.

    • Elise Museles January 5, 2017 at 3:38 am #

      TRUST was my word last year! It helped guide me and ground me when I worried about things outside of my control. Happy New Year, Kacey!

  12. Belinda December 17, 2016 at 5:06 am #

    My word for 2017 is “create.” I’ve recently been able to spend more time on my beloved singing & sewing and want to expand these two things I had done most of my life. I also see this word invigorating (my 2016 word) my workouts to create a stronger body as well as developing more nutritious meals. The possibilities are endless!

  13. Kristine December 17, 2016 at 6:01 am #

    ‘THRIVE” I live in NYC where life can be a constant struggle but instead of fighting to survive, I will choose to THRIVE!

    • Elise Museles January 5, 2017 at 3:37 am #

      Great mindset to start out the year! Thrive and not just survive! xo

  14. Belinda December 17, 2016 at 5:01 pm #

    My word for 2017 is “create.” I’ve recently been able to renew my love of sewing and singing and I want to expand on that. I also think this word will help me invigorate (which was my word for 2016) my efforts to create a strong body and to craft nutritious meals. In fact, I think it can be applied to about every area of my life. If I have the mindset that I’m creating a fulfilling life, my enthusiasm will keep me motivated.

    • Elise Museles January 5, 2017 at 3:36 am #

      Belinda! Thank you so much for sharing your words of wisdom. Your enthusiasm is contagious. Happy 2017! xo

  15. craftyone December 17, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

    My theme is love. It makes me want to work on all areas of my life.

    • Elise Museles January 5, 2017 at 3:35 am #

      Couldn’t agree more with LOVE being a part of everything that you do!

  16. Wehaf December 20, 2016 at 9:22 pm #

    My word for 2017 will be “dedication” – I want to work on maintaining my focus and drive, even in the face of disappointments.

    • Elise Museles January 5, 2017 at 3:34 am #

      What an inspiring attitude! Wishing you a happy & healthy 2017~

  17. Terry December 21, 2016 at 6:49 am #

    2017 is a year to “create “. It’s a great word because it allows so much freedom in all aspects of my life. Meals, exercise, new hobbies, new friendships and a new home (we are downsizing in 2017) will be how I want to create them and gets me thinking outside the box. Good luck to all of you in 2017 and the word you have chosen.

    • Elise Museles January 5, 2017 at 2:35 am #

      Terry, what a wonderful mindset to enter the new year. Wishing you all the best and many new ways to CREATE in 2017!


  18. Heather S December 21, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

    My word is determined.

  19. Dana G December 24, 2016 at 2:29 pm #

    My word is Peace.

    • Elise Museles January 5, 2017 at 2:34 am #

      Dana, I loved the PEACE smoothie that you created on Instagram! Happy 2017!! xo

  20. J. Jobe December 29, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

    I have chosen the word HABITUAL because it sounds like the combination of HABIT and RITUAL. I would like to focus on establishing regular routines that help me be my best self. – Jobe

    • Elise Museles January 5, 2017 at 2:33 am #

      Oh JOBE I love that! Habit + Ritual! What a great idea. Happy New Year!

  21. Cathy January 5, 2017 at 1:37 am #

    My word is ‘focus’.

    • Elise Museles January 5, 2017 at 2:32 am #

      I love your choice and how FOCUS can be applied in so many different contexts. Happy healthy 2017, Cathy!

Leave a Reply

Solve this simple operation to confirm you're not a robot * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

You have Successfully Subscribed!