Last year, I shared this blog post with you on how to create a Family Word of the Year. I’m reprinting it here today to remind you to sit back and enjoy this fun activity with your family this year.


I spend a lot of time in The Abundant Mama Project e-course working with all the lovely mamas about setting intentions — both daily and weekly — that are based on how you want to feel.

And we spend a lot of time focusing on these kinds of intentions for ourselves because that is the point of the course — to find the beauty in our lives by slowing down and taking better care of ourselves.

Setting that intention always feels really good. I set one daily, myself, so I know how powerful this kind of goal-setting is for a busy mom.

So, it was a little surprising even for me when I sat down to create content for another project when the idea of a family guiding word of the year — a word that will help us all focus all year long — popped into my head.

What is a guiding word?

People all over have been choosing guiding words for the new year a lot in the last few years. It’s simply one word that stands out for you and offers a way for you to invite that feeling or desire into your life in the new year.

Last year, I couldn’t pick just one so I chose a phrase — Gumption.

This year, I’ll choose another word of the year for myself, but my family got together and brainstormed some ideas on a family word of the year as well.

Creating a Family Word of the Year is opens up an entirely new world of family connection. It invites team work. It sparks conversation. It begs for creative expression. It’s pretty much the perfect way to start a New Year and I think we’ve found a definite new family tradition.

Building our list was so much fun last year and a great family fun activity during the fourth snow storm in two weeks. Our list was so fabulous. Words that bubbled to the top were adventure, shine, growth, joy and loving — words that fill my heart with warmth at the mere sight of them.

But, in the end, we chose a word that is so very familiar to us — WONDER.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. ― Albert Einstein

The year of wonder became a central part of our days and weeks. We created art around it. And made a point to seek out the wonder every day.

This year’s word — when we choose it — will guide our choices on day trips and vacation destinations. It will guide our weekends and our weekdays. It will guide us, as a family.

It’s never too late to choose a guiding word. Sometimes we have to begin the new year before we can really sink into what the new year may bring to us.

Choosing a Family Word of the Year - JOY - Abundant Mama

Here’s a simple way to create your own Family Word of the Year.

What you’ll need:

Paper or dry erase board

Pens, pencils or markers

One piece of paper for each family member

What you’ll do:

  • Get cozy and brainstorm words (for younger children its best to give some sample words)
  • Write down everyone’s ideas.
  • Cross out the words that seem lackluster or that would create conflict for anyone.
  • Narrow down your list to two choices.
  • Vote on the final two. You may have a tie so have a plan in place for that, in case.

Once you have a winning word that works for everyone, have everyone write, draw and color the word on a piece of paper. Paint it. Adorn it. Make is all snazzy. Then hang your family artwork in a special place. You may even frame all of them and hang them on the wall for the entire year.

Admire your work and remind your family through the year of your guiding word. We’re also created WONDER journals last year as well to track and log our wonderific moments. Get creative and come up with an idea that will help you celebrate your word of the year, too.

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Create a family word of the year activity


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