My 2019 Guiding Words

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I attempted this practice several years ago, and it kind of fell out of my brain. This year, I wanted to choose and act upon guiding words.

I am unsure of who coined this exercise, but I know I heard of it from Susannah Conway and her “Find Your Word” journaling prompts.

If you don’t find the idea of resolutions sustainable or if you find them intimidating, you can choose words instead. You carry them with you throughout the year to guide your actions and motivations. These words are honed from digging deep within yourself and discovering what you need and want in the upcoming year.

This year, I chose two words instead of one to guide myself, and I want to talk about them a little bit (but not entirely though, because some of them get a bit personal).


My first word: CLARITY.

There were many days in 2018 I felt hazy. This is the best way I can describe it: I was in a constant state of feeling my eyes were muddied and clouded all of the time, making me unsure of what color they actually are even though I’ve known my whole life. Sounds dramatic, but I think a lot of us can understand that sentiment. Life just gets hard and we can’t pretend we are all strong enough to deal with all of it.

2018 had a whirlwind of less than savory events alter my life, which often left me caught up in tornadoes of negative self-talk and an inability to be present. It manifested into selfish behaviors as well as many moments of lacking self-awareness. Too many times last year I thought “If I could just be more grounded in this situation…”

So this year, I want to obtain a sense of clarity. I want to be able to handle rough situations with more grace. I want to be able to parse them rationally so I am able to digest them and continue forward with my day and year happily motivated.

My second word: INVOLVEMENT.

This is connected to the first word, however, I feel clarity didn’t encompass all of what I wanted 2019 to nourish. Because of my lack of clarity, my creative projects, my professional work, my friendships, etc were all affected somehow. Not having clarity caused me to be bad at responding to friends, put off creative projects, be scattered in my work ethic, and lose sight of achieving my goals for self-improvement.

This is why I chose involvement as my second word. I want this to manifest in these ways: involving myself more with the friends and family I love who deserve my attention, being more involved in work I am passionate about (professionally and not, creatively and not), and getting out there into the world and doing more things. Too often do I found events, workshops, or shows in my community I dream about going to and then bail because “I just don’t feel like it.”

I want to be a bright and bold participant of the world, and this happens with dedicated involvement.

Sidenote: “Bright” was an alternate consideration, however, I felt involvement was more focused.


I hope these words give you some insight on how you want to carry yourself in 2019. Maybe try the exercises for yourself? If you want some inspiration, I’ve linked a video below of a content creator I admire who chose wonderful guiding words. As most people would say at the new year, I have good feelings about what is to come.

2019 will be a year of clarity and involvement.

Thanks for reading! Cheers!