I am so excited about my word of the year for my home this year. The right word feels good. It feels good to say—out loud or over and over again in your head, like a mantra.
UPDATE: I choose a guiding word for my home every year. Read on to see what I chose in 2017. Then, check out my guiding word for 2018 and see how I’m displaying it in my home.
The right word is a guide for how you want to feel and be in your home over the next year. It’s a compass. It’s a guidepost. Sometimes it’s a beacon of light.
Last year my guiding word was ALIVE. I wanted our home to feel alive with music, laughter, and ambience. For the most part we achieved that. Unfortunately, I spent much of the year with back pain feeling anything but alive. But my word of the year, displayed on the mantel, reminded me in the darkest of moments that there were simple things I could do to make things lighter—alive again.
Choosing a guiding word for my home is a yearly tradition. Last year I wrote a workbook to help you choose a guiding word for your home. In it I share the questions I ask myself every year to discover my word.
The questions are fun to answer yourself (journal them out) or to use as conversations starters with your family. I’ve found that my kids are particularly insightful with these kinds of discussions.
Our Guiding Word for 2017
Now…drumroll please…the guiding word for my home in 2017 is OPEN.
This word feels amazing to me. It feels expansive. It feels right.
I love that OPEN can have so many different meanings…
- OPEN door
- OPEN spaces
- OPEN mind
- OPEN to possibility
- OPEN to healing
- OPEN to adventure
- OPEN to new things
- OPEN to change
You can see that the right word can expand far beyond guiding your home. It can become a guide for your whole life.
I’ve always preferred choosing three guiding words, one for my home, one for my family, and one for my business. But more and more I’m realizing that the word I choose for my home is the most important. It’s the precursor to my other guiding words.
For example, my guiding word for my business in 2016 was GROWTH, which was only achieved when I came ALIVE in my business by releasing new products, teaching on webinars, writing, and sharing videos. For my family, it was PRESENT—being in the moment with each other. Again that only happened when we were ALIVE in the moment.
I found the guiding word for my home became an anthem for my whole life. It makes sense because I believe our homes are launching pads for everything else we do in life. That’s why I’m so passionate about helping people improve their homes.
The guiding word that sets the tone for our home, also sets the tone for our lives.
Displaying Your Word of the Year
Because I believe so much in the power of a guiding word, I like to find a way to prominently display my word of the year in my home. It serves as a constant reminder of what we’re striving for.
A few years ago, I displayed our word RELISH on a handmade pillow.
Last year, I used my brass stencils on the mantel to spell out ALIVE.
This year, I got a little crafty with it. I found this cool brass folding frame at Home Goods and knew it’d be the perfect way to display the four letters in OPEN. I decided to cut the letters out from scrapbooking cards. Instead of simply choosing patterns I liked, I deliberately chose papers to symbolize things we wanted to be open to this year (both at home and in life).
- The O is cut from a blank piece of paper to symbolize the next chapter in our story…the page is open, unwritten.
- The P is from a map to symbolize that we are open for adventure and open to wherever life takes us.
- The E is cut from a calendar page to symbolize an open schedule, that we have all the time we need for the things that are most important to us.
- The N is covered in travel stamps to symbolize our desire to travel more, venturing from home to experience more of what life has to offer.
In 2017, our home, our life, our future is OPEN.
What’s your guiding word?
I thought it’d be fun to roundup a list of the words my readers and students came up with last year. This is a good list of words to consider.
Don’t worry if none of these words speak to you. They’re just here to ponder. To find the right guiding word for your home, download the Word of the Year Workbook below. It has all the questions you need to answer, space to brainstorm, and is sure to help you find the right word.
Once you find your guiding word, please come back here and share it in the comments below. It may inspire someone else reading this.