Choosing a Word of the Year For Grown-Ups and Kids

Katie Mitchell
Katie Mitchell
January 07, 2022 3 min read

"Don't blink."

Whether you read these words as song lyrics, or as an adage you hear often from your elders, you know the truth in the saying. The wheel keeps turning and time marches on, and it all reminds us of the same thing: The time we spend with our kids, with our families, is important.

Something we heard often within the walls of our Beyond the Blackboard shops this past year was, "I just want to be more intentional with my kids." And helping grown-ups make those strong connections is at the core of who we are as a business.

One thing we can encourage you to do as we dive into 2022 is to set goals for your year.

On average, Americans keep New Year's resolutions for about 36 days. But focusing on a word of the year instead brings a mindset shift to the whole idea.

It's easier and more memorable, and though this practice is usually geared toward grown-ups, it's a wonderful way to introduce goal setting to your kids.

Just one word. One word to 'stick to' throughout the year.

What is a Word of the Year?

Your word of the year is typically selected in January, but you can start any time! You use this word to live with intention throughout the year. Each family member picks their own word or phrase, you can pick a family concept, or all of the above!

Here are a couple of things that can help you choose a word of the year:

  • Choose a word that inspires you. Ask your kids: "What will make you a better person?"
  • Choose a word that challenges you. Ask your kids: "What isn't easy for you? What part of your life needs a little love? What would you like to work on this year?"

Remember, especially for young kids, the word can be super simple! Maybe it's "Friend" or "Nature", or even "Quiet" (haha!).

Older kids and grown-ups can keep it equally simple or choose a more abstract word like "Grounded", "Connection", or "Whole".

How to Stay Focused on Your Word of the Year

Here are a few ways you can help make your word of the year successful.

Tell a Friend

Who do you know who's a great accountability partner? As a family, you can easily remind each other of your goals. For the grown-ups, your partner, a sibling, or a close friend can help you stay on track.

Write it Down

In today's busy world, writing something down ensures it won't get lost in the noise!

Fun Fact: The act of writing something down helps your brain store the information in long term memory.

  • Make a poster of your word or words and hang it on the fridge or another visible place in your home. Kids can hang posters in their rooms! You can also draw, paint, or make other creations that involve your word.
  • Use little notes as gentle reminders to your kids. Put sticky notes on their mirrors or put notes in their backpacks or lunchboxes. You can also use special crayons to write your words on mirrors or even in the shower.

Spend 30 Seconds on Your Word Every Day

At some point in your morning routine, take a moment to remind yourself of your word of the year. It can become a part of your gratitude practice, meditation or prayer time.

Encourage your kids to say and think on their word when they brush their teeth or on their way to school.

2022 Word of the Year Printable by Beyond the Blackboard

BONUS! We created a free printable for you to download! By clicking here, you will get a cute printable for your family members to fill in with their words, and plenty of room to write one big family word, too. Click here for your freebie.

Find Books That Focus on Your Word of the Year

Read books that are related to the words you choose. Kids can do this, too! For example, if their word is something like friendship, they can read a book like My Friend Maggie, by Hannah E. Harrison.

Great Books for Kids

Schedule Actions or Activities Around Your Word

Have each person in the family choose an activity that relates to their focus word. For example, if Dad's word is move, you might plan a family hike or go ice skating.

Choose a Word of the Year

It's time to choose a word! What words did you and your kids pick this year? Comment below! And if you enjoyed this post, please support our family-owned business by clicking on the share buttons at the top left of this post.

Choosing Word Year Grown Ups Kids


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