WOTY – Why You Need A Word Of The Year


by Brent Haydey



WOTYWhat’s your word of the year; your WOTY?

For the year ahead mine is… Give

Last year it was… Teamwork

The year before that it was.. Voice

Each is a power word that I use to keep front and centre in my mind. I use them to stay aligned with my vision, purpose, and values. They power me in how I carry out my day to day tasks, work on or in my business, and prioritize big game changing steps in my world. 

I use them to help prioritize balance and harmony between my work and life beyond work. It helps be life in work-life balance.

My WOTY helps me to be able to live fully in a way that really matters to me.

They are that powerful!

What if I don’t have a WOTY?

There is so much that can influence the things you do (or choose not to do) and all the decisions you make. As a result it’s quite common to fall off track of your path, your direction, or your goals through the year.

That slide can be reinforced by all kinds of outer influences. How much do any of these impact you?

  • Your spouse
  • Friends
  • Business partners
  • Employees
  • The weather
  • Market volatility
  • The economy
  • Competition
  • Your health
  • A pandemic

There are also forces inside you can also draw you off track from the results you want. Your mindset, attitudes, or inner voice, which is the outward manifestation of your inner belief system, is also powerful. Especially the part that is negatively framed. 

There are your habits and repeating patterns too. 

Left unchecked and these three massive influencers can lead you to repeating a history you would rather not.

How to come up with your WOTY

You could simply take some time and reflect on what your biggest barriers are or the things that you want to focus on most and come up with a word from there. 

You could also use WOTY creation as a part of your bigger process of an annual life review and goal setting practice. That’s something I help my coaching clients with every year.

Every year in December I begin my own annual life review by reflecting on and assessing the year just ending. I dive deep into each of my 7 Waves of Real Success. What went well and is worth celebrating and building upon. Where was I challenged and what did not go so well. Were there things that just fell off the map? Is it time to let them go or refocus on them as more of a priority in the year ahead.

Overall what did I learn from those experiences that can be applied moving forward. 

Then, out of the hindsight of looking backwards of the year past, the assessment naturally shifts your focus to the new year. The process to identify and prioritize your focus and goals for the year ahead begins emphasizing your work AND your life beyond it.

How to use your Word Of The Year

In going through a process like this you will find that certain words, power words, will rise to the surface.

Your WOTY will come to you as you sit with your top 3-5 priorities and goals for the year blended between work and life. Give thought to what it will take to accomplish these goals and what you need to overcome this year to achieve them that you have not been able to do so yet.

If you need to, brainstorm the ones that come to mind. Narrow it down. Choose the 1 that speaks to you most.

Once you have it make it visible!

Create a designed page with it on it. Hang it in your office or wherever you need to see it most. Make it a part of your laptop or smartphone home screen. Be creative. The idea is to keep that word top of mind for when you need it most.

When you hit a rough spot that has you second guessing or procrastinating draw upon the power of your WOTY.

In saying it aloud it should resonate instantly and energize you. You should connect with your goal immediately and, more importantly, the deep why behind that goal.

Your WOTY should motivate you into action or to stay the course. It should inspire you as it leads to you getting results, achieving real success, and living more and more of your best life every day throughout the year.

So what is your WOTY for this year?


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About the Author

Brent Haydey Profile PhotoBeginning with a degree in exercise science and kinesiology, Brent Haydey has evolved over thirty years as an entrepreneur; building four businesses, and as a health, executive, and life coach.
Learn more about Brent >

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