Back in December, I spent some time choosing a word of the year. I played with words like visible and authentic, both things I want for this year, but neither really inspired me. Then the word connected came to me. And it just felt right.

Connection is one of my guiding values. It is something I crave and seek out in my personal life, and it is central to the work I do with my students and clients. I help people deepen their connections to the people who are meaningful to them through sharing their stories.

Diving into our own story can help us connect more deeply with ourselves, our values, our purpose, our dreams … and sharing those stories helps us connect more deeply with others.

So the word connected fits with who I am and the work I do, but it also gives me room to grow this year. I aim to connect with others who believe in the power of our stories and sharing our legacy. I set goals about connecting with a larger audience.

One of the ways I love to connect with people is working one on one to share their stories, values, and love with others. I’ve decided to create space specifically for that purpose. I’ll help people write the Legacy Letter they want to write, but can’t seem to get around to. Together we’ll connect to put Heart to Paper and get the letter done, so that the writer can connect with a loved one. If you’re interested, you can get more info on Heart to Paper 1:1 writing sessions here.

One thing Legacy Letters and words of the year have in common are values. I encourage you to revisit the values most important to you to craft a mission statement, draft a Legacy Letter or choose a word of the year.

To connect with your own word of the year:

  • List your core values. Even if you’ve done this before, revisit them. Notice if any are jumping out at you as wanting attention. You can find a list of values here.
  • Journal about what you want to do and how you want to feel in the new year.
  • Play with words that lead you towards those goals, including how you want to feel.
  • Give it a rest and see what new words come up.
  • Choose a word that connects with your values and where you want to go.

Remember that a word of the year is designed to inspire you and serve as a reminder of what you want. If you chose a word that doesn’t resonate or starts to feel constricting or off, you can let it go.

What will you do this year? How do you want to feel? If you chose a word of the year, I’d love to have you share it in comments.

2018 is my year to feel more connected.

If you’re ready to create a more meaningful life this year, my free guide, 3 Steps to Having a Meaningful Life You Love will help you start designing your best life—a life with more energy, engagement, and clarity.