Advice Column

Choose a Word of the Year to Unleash Your Potential

January 07, 2022 Lisa Liguori Season 2 Episode 1
Advice Column
Choose a Word of the Year to Unleash Your Potential
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Interested in setting an intention for the year? Our panelists share how being intentional helps them create their dreams and give you practical tips for selecting a word, theme, or intention for the year.

Welcome to the Advice Column community. Here we share stories to accelerate one another's growth, while combating isolation. In each episode, we discuss a common life challenge and several people share their experiences dealing with that issue. You'll gather ideas and insights while finding encouragement that others have felt like you do. We're better when we're together, and we're so glad you're here!

Connect With Our Panelists!

Andrea Heuston

Vered Kogan: 

Christian Modjaiso, Coach:


Lisa Liguori (Host):

Other Contributors:

Walter Green:

Jessica Zemple:

Jeff Becker:

Advice Column Podcast:

Vered Kogan: What do you want more of in your life?

Andrea Heuston: My word for 2022 is momentum.

Vered Kogan: Intention matters.

Andrea Heuston: It starts with the word of the year.

Christian Modja...: We have the capacity to bring into reality any clear image we have in our minds.

Vered Kogan: We are literally reprogramming the commands that are guiding our unconscious mind.

Lisa Liguori: Hello friend, and welcome to Advice Column. In this community, we share our life experiences with each other so we can accelerate our learning while being reminded that we're not alone. In this episode, we're talking to about the benefits of choosing an intention for the year and how to go about doing so. A few years ago, a friend shared hers in her Christmas letter and while I hadn't heard of choosing a word or intention for the year before that, I really liked the idea. So this year I'm thinking about choosing a theme word for either new year's or maybe my birthday. So I'm curious why people do it, what difference it makes in their lives, and then just practically how they go about choosing their word. I'm looking forward to us learning how to be more intentional in our lives. So let's hear from our panelists right now.

Andrea Heuston: I'm Andrea Heuston and I started picking a word of the year about six years ago. My house had burnt down and I was there with my boys when it burnt down. And it was a pretty horrible experience. I was absolutely devastated so I chose my word of the year for that next year as resilience because I needed to practice it. I needed something as a touchstone as I got through and so if I kept repeating in my head resilience, it helped me center myself about this is my decision on how I react to what's going on in my life and I can choose to be resilient, or I can choose not to be. I was able to see it and able to say, okay, I can get through this. I can be resilient we're going to be stronger on the other side. And it's going to be bigger, better, faster, stronger. And it was, and it is.

 The next year was gratitude. I went from resilience to gratitude, and that is really when I started my practice of focusing on being grateful for things every single day. This past year 2021 was grow and I did grow in a number of ways as I wanted to grow, but I also wanted to grow my presence and my business. It's funny how the words come to me in a way. I have looked at things online where there's 100 ideas from celebrate to faith, to intention, to passion, to overcome all sorts of words. But my word of next year is not on any of these that I've been able to see, but I wanted something that shows where I am and where I'm going. I saw it somewhere and I went, wait, that is my word. My word for 2022 is momentum based on the definition that a momentum is the strength or force that allows something to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes.

 And that's what I want is to grow stronger, faster, better. I want to grow as a person as time passes. So this coming year is momentum. I will spend next week visioning and goal-setting, and I'm going to do a vision board and I've got to choose all my goals. My goals for the business, for personal and for family, but it starts with the word of the year. I think it's super important to look at your life and set intention. It's so easy to be carried along by external factors, but when you really focus internally on what you want and what you need to succeed by your own definitions, you can set an intention that takes you there.

Vered Kogan: I'm Vered Kogan, my word last year was the word ease because there was so much pressure. I knew that I needed to introduce more ease into my life. With more ease came more balance, more intentionality. My own process has to do with values, because what's important to me today may be different than what was important to me a year ago. At the top of the list this year is health because I know that when I honor my health, then everything else will be easier because the physical resilience will help to create even more ease and better decisions, more focus, all these other things that are also important to me. It makes it easier to make minute to minute decisions if I have a choice as to whether to use 20 minutes that I have to go work out or to go do something else. It's easier to say yes to because I'm telling my unconscious mind I am choosing health.

 And in that choice, my body is going to respond to that and it will help me to be even healthier. The word of the year is not something that you do in December and then you put it in a drawer and never look at it again. The idea is that you want to look at it, to focus on it because the more that you focus on it, the more that you will get ideas about how you can align with it. I have something called the mind movie. And in the mind movie, I have pictures of people meditating that reminds me to do relaxation techniques. I have an affirmation, I'm healthy and strong in body and mind. That's something that I see every morning. So it really primes my body to make those better decisions. It makes it easier for me in the moment of stress to choose health versus choose the old soothing strategy.

 What are the thoughts that are not aligned with what I want, shift them by repetition, focus on what you do want. We're reconditioning the mind. We're making the unfamiliar familiar and in doing so we are literally reprogramming the commands that are guiding our unconscious mind. And then we build momentum on that. So we continuously focus repetition with emotion, with imagination, and of course taking actions that are aligned with that. And the more momentum that we build, the more that our unconscious mind can receive guidance. So these questions allow us to really tune in into what do you want more of in your life? What do you want less of? You always want to come up with a word that's positive, but sometimes it helps us to tune into what we don't want so we can flip it around.

 Another question is what is really important to you? What's meaningful to you now? Perhaps what are you grateful for? Because whatever has meaning for you or whatever you're grateful for might be your word of the year. Maybe it's about how you want to show up with the people in your life. Some of my clients have words like presence, freedom, independence, contribution, giving of themselves even more, or for some people it's really how they want to feel. Ask yourself, what do you want to feel more of. Maybe joy, playfulness. If that's at the top of the list, then guess what? Anytime you're debating about what to do it allows you to make choices about things that are more fun or maybe whatever you're doing anyway, you're going to find more fun way to do them.

 Choose a word that seems to have the most resonance for you and then say, okay, what would it take for me to have even more of that and take little baby steps, not giant steps. We know with habits, you want to start small that's all right, meet yourself where you're at. It might be just drinking an extra cup of water a day. It might be just taking another walk around the neighborhood a day. I think that one of the biggest ways that I've changed is in those moment to moment choices I'm able to more easily make choices that are aligned with what I want. Just like a compass if I'm lost in the woods, but I'm holding a compass and I know which direction to move towards. So intention matters.

Christian Modja...: My name is Christian Modjaiso, I come from the Democratic Republic of Congo and help people to identify and live their dream. At the very beginning I did not have this intentionality. I had no clear idea of what I wanted and the consequence of that was that I became like a Jack of all trades. I'd try one thing and then when it got hard I'd quit it and try something else. I decided to pick up Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I spent seven months intensely studying this book. Every line, every word, if something was in capital letters I thought about why. I asked all sorts of questions and when I finished that book my life changed. Because now I understood the importance of intentionality, the key idea was that human beings are remarkable in that we have the capacity to bring into reality any clear image we have in our minds by paying enormous attention to the image.

 Once I understood that all of success is basically paying attention to a clear image. One of the first things I did was create a clear image, the next thing was to find ways to reinforce that image throughout the day. I have a goal card, which I read eight, 10 times a day. I have a 15 page document on which I've detailed what I in life, my future. And when I say detail I mean down to how things feel. So if I'm going to describe my dream house or my dream career I'm going to go really deep. How it makes me feel, how it affects the people around me, what results have I accomplished in the field? What impact does that have on society? Am I famous? Am I not famous? If I friends or what kind of friends do I have? How do I feel when I'm around them? How do they feel when they're around me?

 There were many difficult moments and in those moments I maintained the image and refused to believe what my eyes and people around me were telling me. Although, my family members thought I was crazy I maintained the image until exactly what I imagine in my mind became a reality once again.

Lisa Liguori: Special thanks to coach Modja, Andrea Heuston, and Vered Kogan for sharing their processes for becoming intentional with how they live their lives. I thought it was really helpful to hear questions we can ask ourselves to come up with a word of the year and identify what's most salient. And I also like how Andrea said that sometimes her word just finds her. It was neat to hear how coach Modja gets very detailed with his vision for the future. I actually had a chance to speak with a number of people who we didn't record, but they had some really interesting things to share about being intentional. My friend Jeff Becker, for example, wrote out his life philosophy in a long form journal and then he's been reworking it ever since. But his process for being intentional and keeping his north star in mind is to rewrite that saying that guides his life every single morning when he wakes up before he starts his journaling time. And I thought that that was such a neat way to keep front and center what the long term vision is.

 And then I talked to my friend Jessica, the life checker, and she shared a process for turning an intention into a mantra or a saying. And she recommended doing that for not necessarily a set period of time like a year, but for however much time it's operable. The question she asked to be able to come up with what that phrase is, is what would need to change inside to create the change in the outer world that I'm looking for. In this case, what I'm working on right now is having more ease in my life. So what I would ask myself is what would need to change inside me to have more ease in my world. I used that question and I came up with, I am present with ease, releasing expectations I radiate the love flowing through me.

 So what I need to do internally in order to get the ease I'm wanting is to release my expectations for people and let those go. So that's just another example of a way to set an intention for the year that I really like. And then I talked to my dear mentor Walter Greene, and I asked him about something he once said to me, which is that he's very, very intentional, but he remains unattached to the outcome. And I was really curious what that means, because I wondered how you could care so much and have a strong intention but then be unattached to the results. What he explained is that he's not unattached to getting feedback so he can course correct and do whatever is in his power to achieve the thing that he's intending achieve. But he doesn't get his ego attached where if it doesn't work out, he takes it personally or beats himself up. So because his ego isn't attached, he's able to just take in the new information. He didn't meet his benchmarks, let's say, and come up with a new strategy for meeting them next time.

 And I really like that because I think it would allow me to be much more receptive to feedback and not be feeling like a failure for not hitting a goal, but rather just treat it as critical information that helps me get closer to what I'm trying to accomplish. I'm really grateful to our panelists, about those who recorded and those shared with me off the microphone for their willingness to share this with you and with me. So we can experiment with being more intentional in our lives. If you come up with a word or intention for the year, I would love to hear from you how you do that and what your word is for this year. So if you feel like sharing, please email me at Thank you so much for being on this journey with me, friend, have a wonderful year, whatever you intend for it to be. And until next time, lots of love.