What’s Your Word? – Principal’s Message January 2024

What’s Your Word?

As we are now about halfway through the first month of a new year, I am going to hazard a guess that many of those New Year’s resolutions we all made have already gone by the wayside. A new calendar year usually triggers the need in people to make resolutions but no matter how good intentioned we may be, and how strong we start out, our efforts quickly decline and within weeks, and sometimes even within days, our resolutions have faltered. We aren’t alone. Research shows that 80% of people’s New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February!  

Over the past few years there seems to have been a bit of a shift where people have been actively looking for alternative ways to mark the beginning of a new year; ways that are more intentional than resolute and ones that are much more attainable and successful. One of these concepts is a focus word or the “Word of the Year”.

I introduced this idea to our CGS community last year and the feedback I received was very positive, so I thought it was worth a repeat. The Word of the Year (WOTY) is a fun way to set intentions and a theme, or focus, for the year ahead. Goals and resolutions can so easily change or be forgotten but the WOTY is a more flexible approach that has a better chance of staying with us throughout the entire year. Instead of a rigid resolution, the WOTY can be our constant, yet gentle, reminder to focus on creating change.  

 At CGS we have been implementing a Word or Theme of the Year for several years now. We of course use September as our starting point because in the world of education the Fall is our New Year’s, but the same rules apply. Having a focus and purpose on our school journey has proven to be so helpful and brings us all together with a commonality across the board that is often difficult to achieve. In the months ahead we will continue with “Be The Magic” as our school theme, so our CGS WOTY will continue to be Magic. We are always looking for the Magic as it happens and acknowledge it in many forms. It truly is Magical!  

 I would like to suggest that as a family you take some time over the next few days to pick your WOTY if you haven’t already embarked on this resolution alternative.  How to get started? Have a family meeting and choose one to five words that really speak to how we want this year of 2024 to feel. Use nouns, verbs, phrases, anything works really, just ensure that they are words that feel good to us and our families. Once we have the words, we should review them all together and take a vote. Hopefully the word or phrase that is chosen will be one that everyone knows in their heart is something that we could use more of in our lives. We need to ask ourselves, what will inspire us to live fuller lives? Think of the WOTY as a guiding word, one word or phrase that you will be able to easily keep in the forefront of your mind. 

Once the WOTY has been chosen, look up the meaning of the word and ensure that everyone truly understands what the focus is going to be for the next several months. Post it where everyone can see it. Science affirms that visualizing goals and affirmations makes the biggest impact on moving the needle forward, keeping them top of our minds and attainable.   

We should regularly meditate on our WOTY and when I say meditate I am suggesting 30 seconds of putting our intention into the forefront of our mind.  How about while brushing our teeth in the morning or at night? Literally, 30 seconds is all it takes to reset our brain to keep focused on our Word. A family meeting or touch base time is also a useful follow up to keeping our WOTY alive and well.  

If you decide to embark on this Word of the Year endeavour, or have already done so, we would love to hear from you. There are still more than 11 months left of this new year so it is not too late to give this method a try and hopefully turn that dismal statistic, of New Year’s resolution failure, around!  


Marie Bates