Finding My Word of the Year

Committing something to paper is much like a deep breath. It’s meditation. When I write something down, I’m uncluttering and making room in my brain for other ideas to grow. Some may, and have, called me a Luddite, because I don’t do all of this online, but I need to put pen to paper every day or I am completely and utterly lost. Every day I am documenting just about everything, via a wall calendar, goal planner, day planner, or good old-fashioned diary.

Right now I am smack dab in the middle of a job hunt. So I have ample time to commit to all this daily upkeep. Plus it’s a necessity to keep me on track. Naturally this is a time when I want to make sure I’m using my time wisely and being productive. Any time you make a change of this magnitude (changing careers) you start to question things you thought you’d figured out long ago.

I’m a natural-born “resolutions girl”, but this year I felt like I needed to do something more all-encompassing, more soul-searching and that was when I happened to see Lara Casey’s “Make It Happen” Intentional Goal Planner in an Instagram post. My Pay Pal trigger finger was way ahead of me. And boom, this darling planner, filled with arty postcards, stickers and fantastic worksheets was all mine.


This is not a traditional daily agenda for managing time. It’s a planner to help you make progress on the goals you set throughout the year. There are actually 30 pages (including guidance from the author and artwork) of worksheets for you to complete, each building on the last, and leading you to the goals you really want to “cultivate.” Because like a garden, a goal is not something that just happens. It needs tending; good soil, sunshine, water and weeding in order to grow.


For instance, after first flipping through the pages, I saw that I needed to find a word of the year. Oh nooooo. How am I, an English major, and total vocabulary nerd, going to come up with one all-encompassing word that’s supposed to sum up everything I want to achieve this year?

But that’s not how this works. This book leads you through the worksheets to your Word of the Year. Suddenly you just find it. As you write out all of your challenges, fears, what’s working in your life, what’s not working, your priorities and all the other good stuff included in the worksheets – the word or goals develop themselves.


I came to my word of the year, after seeing patterns in all of my work sheets. Phrases kept popping up like: people-pleaser, exhausted by trying to be everything to everyone, feel like an introvert trapped in an extrovert’s body, pretending so I can fit in, afraid of what people will think if I…Yes, my word for 2017 needed to be Authenticity.

I would show you more worksheets, because there are so many good ones, but they’re kind of personal and you never know when a potential employer might see this. But here’s one example of a more harmless page. Excuse my messy hand-writing, but Lara says it’s okay


If all of these worksheets seem like too much work to you, trust me they’re not. They’re surprisingly easy and fun, and if you’re like me, you have to be given permission, which Lara frequently does, to just spill it out there on the page. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Whatever you write won’t be graded, or judged. So don’t get angsty about it. Just write.

Coming up on the Chickadee Book List for February, Lara Casey’s book, Make It Happen: Surrender Your Fear, Take the Leap, Live on Purpose.


Finally, I want to share with you another of my current obsessions: Planner Stickers!

As someone who grew up with scratch & sniff stickers plastered all over my Trapper Keeper, I was all in the moment I heard stickers. You’ll find that I’m constantly scouring Instagram, Etsy, and Pinterest for things I can’t possibly live without, and so it was when I discovered these adorable stickers. If you’re going to organize your life in a bullet journal or planner and stay on top of it, you need the tools to make it fun.

From fun to functional, planner stickers are available in custom sizes to fit specific planners, like Filo Fax, Plum Planners orĀ  Erin Condren’s . Many stickers are created by young people, and include popular characters like Harry Potter, Gilmore Girls or Unicorns. But there’s something for everyone; hipster to homemaker, and every to-do; special events, work tasks, exercise reminders and household chores.


Go to Etsy and search Planner Stickers and you’ll find dozens and dozens of artists to fit your individual style. Some of my favorite shops are: Once More With Love, Miscellany Boulevard, The Planning Butler and Pumpkin Paper Co.

I’m a member of Washi Tape Anonymous.

You can also find a huge selection of stickers at Michael’s and other craft stores to design your own pages.

I hope I’ve given you a couple of ideas, or a little inspiration to get your life and mind organized in 2017.

Until next time,

Melanie xo