By Ian Gourley, Up Your Level, Academy Manager

December is around again and it’s that time of year for reflection, contemplation and anticipation of what 2023 will bring. This is the season for that age old pastime of coming up with New Year’s Resolutions as we promise ourselves how we can change, start something new or improve on who we are or what we want.

Inspired by a recent meeting where we were challenged to come up with a Word for the Year (WOTY), I have been exploring what will my word for 2023 be?

We all feel the need for a change or that want to improve in our journey of living the best versions of ourselves. Instead of struggling to come up with a list of resolutions which in most cases will be left by the wayside mid-January, why not instead put your focus into coming up with a word which can describe your focus on what will inspire you in 2023. Your Word for the Year will encapsulate the positivity and possibility for the year ahead on what you need more of, what you need to focus more on, or simply what you want to improve on.

What excites me about selecting this word for the year is that it clearly articulates your intention for the year ahead and provides a focus to encourage you to achieve more of what you desire and reversely less of what you want in your life. It helps in clarifying decisions that have to be made and brings that much needed clarity on what we want to be.

Unlike Resolutions, which invariably come in a list of do’s and don’ts, WOTY provides you with a mantra and a way to guide your actions in becoming the better version of yourself.

So how do we go about identifying what our word will be? Here are some easy steps to get you thinking.


It requires some thought and contemplation but the first place to start is to reflect over the past year. Think about how 2022 has played out for you – what have been some of your challenges, what is something you could improve on. Follow your gut instinct and ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I need more of in my life?
  • What could I use less of in my life?
  • How do I want to feel?
  • What would be a game changer for me?

Having considered your responses you are now in a better position to see where you want to be and what you feel you may need in your life.


The next step is to actually visualize this future state and there is no simpler way than thinking about what your perfect day would look like and more significantly how would it feel. What would your daily routine actually feel like and how will you feel at the end of the day.


Now the creative juices should be running so time to put pen to paper and start creating that list of desirable words of your future state. Go with the flow and let your imagination run riot in coming up with words – one of them will eventually become your word of the year.


Go through your list carefully and let words begin to speak to you. Take your time and refine your list down to 3 potential words


Once you have honed down your list to 3 exciting words, it’s time to ask yourself the million-dollar question:

Which one am I committed to?

Our word for 2023 should bring with it a sense of commitment that accurately summarises what we desire (interesting is not good enough and won’t become our mantra)

However, it’s not enough just to simply pick a word.

Do nothing with it and then wonder why nothing changed.

The key to making that right final selection is :

  • See it,
  • Review it,
  • Think about it,
  • Feel it,
  • Experience it &
  • Own it

Once you have selected your WOTY then make sure you post it everywhere – this will be part of your daily mantra, part of your raison d’être in both work and personal life. Get a T-shirt printed with the word – keep reminding yourself of what 2023 means to you and live it!

If 2022 was my year of Resilience, then 2023 will be my year of Growth.

From all the team at UP we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year – Good luck in choosing your WOTY!