My Word for the Year Is…

As you probably know, resolution making isn’t a big thing around here. But, I do love the energy of the New Year. I love the freshness, the renewed sense of connection to my life and intention setting; it is all so good for me.

My practice (which I love) is to pick a word as a focal point for the year.

I find it to be a really compact practice-
simple enough for me to hang on to for a whole year.

It has had the power to help me re-connect when I get away from my own radical self-care. This practice has been good to me, so the choosing of the word is an annual ritual now. Most importantly, I really relish in the choosing each New Year and the retiring of the previous year’s word. It’s pleasure for me.

Last year I chose “spaciousness”. It was a word and concept that kept coming up, not easily ignored. It spoke to my persistent need to assess my personal space (and often lack thereof as a mama to two little people), but also spoke directly to my ongoing pattern of crowding myself out in the pursuit of doing more and more. The constant doing and adding to my list was generally centered on my big passions (good) but became overwhelming often (not so good), which resulted in me becoming critical of myself. It was a self-fulfilling loop. And it was exhausting.

This choice of a word took me on a journey deeper than I could have anticipated when I chose it last January. What was my greatest learning this year? Spaciousness can truly be found in each moment (even when my kids are screaming and I am anxious). It’s in my breath, in the thoughts I choose to pay attention to, in my expectations of myself in each moment. There was also an unexpected shift that came from my study on spaciousness. I found the courage needed to change the way I had been working and turn towards some callings I could no longer ignore. It was a big old step into the unknown, which still surprises me! This word of the year stuff has had some serious power in my life.

So, this year it has taken a bit of time to choose the right word. I considered ease for quite a while, but it wasn’t quite right. I tried on worship, but it was a bit much, also not quite right.   I almost settled on fun, but it wasn’t quite hitting the deep spots. But now I know. I’m choosing devotion and willingness. (I am breaking the rules by choosing two. If there was a word the encompasses both I would be sold.)

Why devotion? I want it to become my bottom line. My devotion is to my wisdom, my knowing, my inner truth and my body’s honest messages as much as I can, as often as I can. Devotion is the essence of my work at Be Nourished. I teach listening and honoring of the body, of your essential wisdom. I’m in love with it. And, I, like all others, get away from it. Motherhood, for example, has totally up-ended how I hear and meet my needs. And, for a few years recently, I’ve lost my footing. I am beginning to feel my connection to myself returning. So I plan to listen, and learn to devote myself to my truth in a way that makes sense for me now. New, altered, changed. Accepted as such.

And willingness. Willingness is a concept that keeps haunting me, so I will experiment with it this year. It ties itself to devotion for me, in how I will choose where to put my energy and where I am really able to show up. I have been a person who rises to meet challenges, fit more in and say yes just to have a new experience. It has been abundant but presently has left me a bit exhausted. So, willingness.

I will listen for what my wisest self truly consents to.

I will pay attention to what my honest to goodness freshest truth is despite what I think it should be or has been historically. It will be an experiment in authenticity.

I will report back at the end of 2015 and let you know how it went! For now I really want to know, do you have a word for this year? Are you thinking about it for the first time? Share it here, please. I would LOVE to know.

Happy New Year, you precious beings!


mbEk1Klfkz3ZTQkeB4KrD4otRc3-iFVsFLnVK91utSUHilary Kinavey, MS, LPC is a therapist and co-founder of Be Nourished. She encourages conscious and authentic living, with the courage to love yourself anyway.







  1. Jennifer Chambers on January 22, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Hi Hilary,

    I loved reading your “new word” post this morning. I, too, don’t set resolutions as such. Having done so seems to set me up to fail, whereas selecting a word feels like it imbues my actions with intention (in a large sense, of course). Last year, I read your post and didn’t respond with my word of choice, but I wish I had. My word of 2015 was “Simplicity,” and I posted enamel signs with the word on it in my home to reinforce the thought daily. I feel like This year’s word is “Acceptance.” I plan to write about why, but I want to thank you for the inspiration. Have an amazing 2016 & I hope our paths cross this year in person!

  2. Gena on January 6, 2015 at 3:59 am

    I have been picking a word for about 10 years. I begin thinking about it in Nov, choose it, then sit quietly for a morning,journal, and set goals focused on it. I have fun with this time. The last few years I have driven myself to Skamania Lodge and sat in front of the massive crackling fireplace and sipped coffee and watched the sunrise. The last few years I have chosen great words and at the same time somewhat passive. Needed to. Breathe, joy, simple. This year I chose “warrior”. Needed to. Lots to do this year. I need courage and strength and my word will guide me. I find myself already saying, what would a warrior do? And then I do it!!

    • Hilary Kinavey on January 7, 2015 at 9:10 am

      Gena! Your process sounds amazing. Warrior evokes such a powerful, focused lens. I hope that 2015 treats you kindly (and you also do so in return!)