What is a “Word of the Year” and Do You Really Need One In Your Bullet Journal?

If you have spent any time looking at bullet journaling inspo on Instagram on Pinterest, or are part of any bullet journaling communities, it is likely you will have come across the concept of a “Word of the Year”.

You may be asking yourself “What is a Word of the Year and, more importantly, do I need one?” If so, keep reading as we take a closer look at this popular journaling concept!

What is a “Word of the Year”?

A “Word of the Year” is a word chosen by you to represent what you want your next 12 months to look like. It is different to a new years resolution, in that it isn’t just about changing one particular element of your life, instead it can help form a road map for all of your goals, actions and behaviours.

Do I need to choose a “Word of the Year” in order to bullet journal?

In short, no. You do not need a “Word of the Year” in your bullet journal, but there are a few reasons why you might find one useful…

For the next few points I’m going to ask you to imagine that you chose the word “Create” as your “Word of the Year” and consider how that would influence the goals you set and the habits that you track.

1. Using your “Word of the Year” to set goals

Once you have taken the time to think about what you want your next year to look like, and have chosen an appropriate “Word of the Year”, it can really help to focus your goals.

Using “Create” as our example, the goals you choose to set for yourself may be more about learning new skills or taking the time to enjoy existing creative hobbies. Perhaps by booking yourself onto a creative course, or setting aside time each week to enjoy a creative hobby.

Remember, your goals should always be SMART (This is something that I will discuss in our next blog post!)

2. Using your “Word of the Year” to decide upon habits to track

As an extension of the goals you decide upon, the habits you choose to track should be a reflection of your chosen “Word of the Year”.

For the word “Create”, you could track the time being creative in your chosen field. For example pages written in your latest book, days of the week that you pick up your sketchbook to draw, or time spent working on a creative project.

There is a wide range of ways you can track habits in your journal and this is something we will look at more closely in a future blog post.

3. Using your “Word of the Year” to manifest your perfect life

Ultimately, by deciding upon a “Word of the Year”, you are setting intentions for the type of life you wish to live. The act of choosing a word will not, in itself, change anything about your life. However, taking the time to think about what you want your life to look like, and then taking steps to make it happen will!

Do I have to wait until the new year?

You do not have to wait until the new year to choose a word to focus your goals, habits and actions. You can absolutely do this at any time!

In many ways, the clean slate of a new notebook is the perfect time to do this, no matter what point of the year you are doing it!

Choosing your “Word of the Year”

So, by now you may have decided that you definitely want to include a “Word of the Year” in your journal setup. How do you go about choosing the word?

We have created a handy worksheet to walk you through the process of shortlisting and choosing your word of the year! You can purchase the digital download here. (FYI – If you are signed up to our “Journal With Oops a Daisy” programme this printable is included free of charge!).

How do you add a Word of the Year to your journal?

Once you have your word, it is a nice idea to create a spread at the start of your journal to celebrate it!

Here are a few things you can add to the spread:

  • The definition
  • Why have you chosen this word
  • The word in different languages
  • Synonyms
  • Quotes that include the word

Checking in with your “Word of the Year”

This is maybe the most important step of all! Don’t just pick your word at the start of the year and forget about it, take the time to check in periodically throughout the year. Perhaps create a monthly reflection page at the start of your journal, and add a time to review at the end of each month. You could add this task to your monthly migration steps so that you don’t forget (we will discuss this further in another blog post!)


Join us to set up your next journal!

Check out “Journal With Oops a Daisy” a four week programme to support you through journal set-up and beyond!

The programme is totally free to join with a small donation* to our chosen charity: St Clare Hospice, Hastingwood via our Just Giving page.

Click here to find out more!

*No minimum, give what you can afford. Access to the resources is granted for 3 months after sign up.

Published by OopsaDaisyUK

I live in Essex in the UK with my gaggle of furry friends including Daisy the dog. I have had lifetime passion/obsession for beautiful stationery and to do lists which has lead me to the wonderful world of Bullet journals. When I first starting bullet journaling it struck me the lack of UK based resources for journal accessories which lead me to create my own. I know have my very own webshop selling my hand made journal stencils and ship all over the world and am just as enthusiastic as I ever was about stationery and organisation!!

One thought on “What is a “Word of the Year” and Do You Really Need One In Your Bullet Journal?

  1. So my word of 2024 will be flourish, both in the sense of thriving and growing but also as embellishment, and me trying to be more creative with my journal, a reminder to add a little extra every day

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