Power Words for the New Year

Bethellutheranchurch   -  

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  2 Corinthians 5:17

Here we are. The start of another year. The slate is wiped clean, and it is time to set our course for the year. Time to make resolutions? Well, if you are me, the answer to that is “No”. I used to make New Year’s resolutions. I found that by a few weeks into the new year not only had I not kept them but was doing worse than when the year started. I don’t think that I am alone in this. Only about 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. When I belonged to a gym, I dreaded January. The gym was full of people who made a resolution to exercise more. I couldn’t find a locker, all of the equipment was being used, the towel supply was running low, and it was difficult to get into exercise classes. The receptionist at the gym told me, “Don’t worry. By mid-February it will be back to usual.” And it was. A few years ago, my fitness guru/personal trainer/life coach, Kara Short (a Bethel member!), suggested that instead of resolutions we should choose three power words to guide the year. I thought this was a great idea and I have done this for a couple of years. I encourage you to consider picking power words instead of resolutions this year. Read this month’s article and learn more about power words and see the words I chose for myself this year.

Many people pick one or a few words that represent their beliefs and values. These simple words become your motivator. You can think of power words as setting your intention or theme of the year. One thing that I like about power words is that they can be infused into all aspects of your life. It is not just about exercise or your diet, like resolutions. But they can guide your attitude about diet and exercise and everything else. I would suggest choosing 2-3 power words for 2022.

When you choose a power word, there are some guidelines that can help you. According to Ann Silvers, a counselor, you should think about these things:

  • Your goals for the year
  • What you’d like more of in your life
  • What you’d like less of in your life
  • Core values you embrace or strive to embrace
  • How you’d like to be
  • How you’d like to feel

You may not know what words you should choose. Power words can be anything—a noun or a verb. Keep the words positive rather than negative. For example, depression is not a good power word. Joy is a great power word. I will give a few examples of words you can use, but remember the sky is the limit.

Aware   Balance Begin      Believe   
BraveConnect  Curious Dream
Enjoy  Faith  Forgiveness   Grace
Hope Love PurposeRelax
SmileThrive  Trust  Wellness

You get the idea. Your words can be anything you choose based on the guidelines above.

OK, you’ve picked your power words for 2022, now what? To keep these words in mind throughout the year put them on Post-It notes in places in your home where you will see them: Refrigerator door, bathroom mirror, computer screen, the front door, your devotional book… You can also let technology help you out: use your words as wallpaper on your computer or cell phone, schedule a weekly appointment with yourself on your calendar to remind you of your power words… Are you creative? Consider illustrating your words, embroidering them onto a piece of fabric, use calligraphy to make the words fancy… The key thing is to keep your words in mind throughout the year and check-in with yourself with how you are incorporating them into your life.


Here are my words for 2022 and why I chose them.

Positivity: I have found myself to be quite negative in recent months. I think that COVID is a driving factor in this negativity, among other things. This year I plan to look at the glass half full. I will be more positive in my interactions with others and provide more positive comments. I will check myself when negativity begins to creep in.

Peace: I need to take time to just be. I need to accept myself, flaws and all. Things I plan to do are, pray regularly, do yoga, meditation, sit in silence, read a daily devotion, journal. Note—I am already doing some of these things, but this year I will dedicate them to my own peace.

Adventure: I want to experience all life has to offer—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I want to try new things and go to new places. I want to really live while I am still able. I love nature and hope to have many new adventures in forests, trails, beside rivers this year.

Good luck in choosing your 2022 power words!

Be well.



Silvers, A. (2021). 200 Word-of-the-Year Power Words for Your New Year Goals. Retrieved from: https://annsilvers.com/blogs/news/200-word-of-the-year-power-words-for-your-new-year-goals