An Experienced Nurse’s Journey to a Word of the Year

What is a Word of the Year?

For the last two years, I engaged with the concept of a Word for the Year. A word of the year helps you to set your intention for the upcoming year. 

It includes asking yourself: What direction do I want to set for this year? Where do I want to focus my time and talent for this year? 

I can’t remember where I first heard the concept of the word of the year. I did have a Word of the Year in 2023 and am walking into 2024 with a Word of the Year. 

What was my 2023 Word of the Year?

My word of the year in 2023 only applied to my business….not my life. 

Two words—consistency and enough were last year’s Word of the Year. 

To grow the business, I intended to stay consistent in what was important, and what made a difference, and settle on the fact that I was enough. 

How did that work out for me? 

In theory, it was effective. Consistency and being enough aka contentment were my intentions; I worked towards them. Consistency and keeping things simple were the driving forces behind most of my decisions. 

In 2023, I walked into the year in more of a jumble, lacking direction.  The process of becoming consistent and feeling like I am enough took me some time to establish. By the middle of 2023, I finally understood how to work towards contentment and what it would take to obtain consistency.

Getting to that place required a lot of prayer and talks with God. My choice was not wrong, as I felt in my heart that it was the right direction, and it was a great guiding post last year to help me establish peace and direction. Although I started with just my business word of the year, it eventually intersected with my entire life. 

What does this mean to the experienced nurse? 

Hospital nurses are often overburdened with tasks like answering call bells, dealing with unruly patients’ families, traveling with patients, and feeling frustrated with what everyone else isn’t doing. We become so overwhelmed by the demands placed on us that we forget about our needs, leading to burnout and exhaustion. 

As with life, nursing is what you make it. 

Your nursing career path can be shaped by you or by someone else. Your career will grow haphazardly if you let someone else drive it and you end up somewhere you did not want to be. 

It is up to you to advance your career, not what others permit you to do. Your career is your ship, and you are the captain. 

A great way to start the new year is to set your intentions by starting with a word of the year.

What’s my word of the year this year?


As the year ended, I began to establish what it would take to be consistent at home, at work, and in my business. To accomplish my goals, I needed to set up home, work, and business systems. (I’ll talk more about goals next week).

The use of systems helps you manage your time more effectively. It is easy to think, “I don’t want to be rigid about my habits and routines when I set up systems.”. This was my thought as well.

However, one thing I learned last year is that it’s about doing things as a habit or routine and being intentional about it. If you can work to make it happen at least 80 to 90% of the time that is half the battle. 

Once your habits and routines are established, they become part of your work and family life. As a result, your mind will expect to accomplish those tasks. Cleaning my house used to be one of my favorite things, but now that I have a 3-year-old, things have gotten out of control. It was obvious I needed to establish a routine for cleaning. It was a challenge because that meant I had to do it 100% of the time to get it right. The mentality was all-or-nothing. 

Once I realized that people don’t do this 100% of the time, the light bulb went off for me. When people do this well (without yelling or stressing), they communicate cleaning with their family and develop a system that is easy to follow. When life happens, they pull back to the bare minimum and jump back on when all is well again. 

There is a rhythm/flexibility/eb and flow to home that leaves them feeling satisfied and accomplished. 

As I begin my new job, I will learn what I should routinely do to establish maintenance and keep myself 2 steps ahead of the game. This will help to build routines and habits that will enable me to achieve a rhythm of work. When I am out of the office, I won’t worry about what I didn’t get done because I have a rhythm of routines and habits that help me return to my tasks. 

First-timers can choose a word of the year for one area of their lives or all areas. I dropped some links below to help you on this journey of setting your intentions for the year. 

If you already have a word of the year reply and let me know what it is, if you don’t mind sharing. 


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