Choosing A Word Of The Year As A Multicultural Mom

It’s 2019, and with a new year come a whole new set of goals and expectations. Although I have never been someone to make a list of New Year’s resolutions, in 2017 I started choosing a word of the year. It is a practice I learned from my coach that helps me set my intention for the year ahead and has served me well in the past two years.
Choosing a word of the year is a great way to guide us, helps us plan and keep us on track throughout the next 12 months. For the last two years, I’ve chosen a word to attract something to my life (Abundance) and a word to remind myself of a practice (Gratitude). When I was choosing a word of the year the first time around, I didn’t think much of the follow up to the act of simply deciding what I wanted. Still, it allowed me to have a different outlook on my situation that year.

Last year, however, I was more intentional about not only choosing a word of the year but also keeping it in mind and make it a part of my daily life. As 2018 ended, I was filled with an immense feeling of gratitude, one that truly accompanied me throughout the year as it manifested in so many different ways.

Knowing the powerful effect my intention had in my life during the past twelve months reinforced the need for me to be mindful in making a choice for this coming period. Because choosing a word of the year can work as a reminder of where we want our focus to be, I have come up with strategies that will stir that focus towards parenting multicultural children and enriching your multicultural life.

Choosing A Word Of The Year That Supports Your Multicultural Mom Life

As I started to reflect on the last year and ponder about what my word for 2019 would be, the word came to me out of what I feel was lacking for me last year. It was an amazing year, with many opportunities, milestones, and moments of joy. However, with so much happening in the world and here in the US, the more I thought about it, it felt that I was missing something.

It then came to me in the form of a word, GIVE. Through gratitude, I was able to receive so much last year. But when looking back, I feel I could have given more. That’s why I want to focus on this word, which is an action word that I want to guide my path during 2019. Then, I realized that as multicultural moms, there are a few things we need to take into consideration as we set our intentions for this new cycle.

What this means is that once you have chosen a word that can expand into all areas of your life, you also take the time to find meaningful ways to integrate the intention of your word into multicultural parenting and into all areas of your multicultural life.

How To Apply Your Word To Your Multicultural Life

Follow these simple steps to align your chosen word with your goals as a multicultural mom, and how you are going to use your word to keep on track with your multicultural life.

Step 1. Find the definition of your word

My word of the year, give, which is both a verb and a noun and has several definitions in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.  Because of the several definitions of the word give, I chose the definitions that better match what I want to accomplish.

As a transitive verb, the word give has five definitions that are aligned with what I want to achieve this year:
1: to make a present of
2: to grant or bestow by formal action
3: to accord or yield to another
4: to put into the possession of another for his or her use
5: to care to the extent of

As an intransitive verb, there are 3 different definitions that align:
1: to make gifts or presents
2: to enter wholeheartedly into an activity
3: to give [of], to make available, to provide generously

As a noun, I found another definition that suits what I want to achieve:
1: capacity or tendency to yield to force or strain: FLEXIBILITY

As a general term, give, is applicable to any passing over of anything by any means.

Step 2. Write down how your word is going to support you

Think about your daily life as a multicultural mom and include how the chosen word aligns with it. Be as detailed as you want, but remember to be flexible. Write statements about what you are committing to do in order to fulfill what your word means in the dictionary, and what it means to you as a multicultural mom.

For me, the word give will support my efforts to be more intentional in helping others. For 2019, I want to have a concrete impact by giving in different ways to others and to myself.

  • I will give wholeheartedly to the person who challenges the part of me that questions giving to this person. Through doing this, I want to rid myself of judgment and give even when I’m not sure If I’ve been told a lie. I want to give out of love, and rejoice in the act of giving.
  • I will give resources, knowledge, and face-to-face time to my community of moms in order to engage them locally in the city I live, and everywhere else through my social channels.
  • I will give time to myself to read, to learn and enrich myself so I can be of service of others.
  • I will give space to ethnically diverse individuals to have multicultural conversations and candid discussions to happen around the table.
  • I will give my kids opportunities to engage with different people, to be exposed to the experiences and expressions of diverse human beings.

Step 3. Make an action plan

Write down how you are going to integrate your multicultural life to your word. I have chosen to do a month-to-month plan in which I know how the word give will manifest in helping my multicultural parenting, living a more inclusive life, learning more about other cultures and the impact these things can have locally and with my larger community online.

This is the way I did it:

January:

Give time to my community of moms through my weekly Facebook Lives and monthly local meetings.
Schedule time at the library for this month’s meeting
Start with weekly videos on Facebook

Although there are other items on my planning for January, I just wanted to give you an example of making a concrete action plan to live out your word within your multicultural life.

Choosing a word of the year is a wonderful practice that I am committed to continuing for years to come.  There is no rule for doing this, it is all about what you want to accomplish and how you can be uplifted and supported by that choice.

It has been empowering for me to choose my word of the year, and I hope I have encouraged you to do the same as there is value in taking the time to do so. If you decide to choose a word for 2019, please share it in the comments below and tell us how you want to integrate the word into your multicultural life.

I’m ready and excited for 2019, and I hope you are too. Let’s do this!

Happy New Year!

Let's embrace diversity and create social change! dania-santana-signature
© Dania Santana ~ Embracing Diversity
Multiculturalism, Diversity & Inclusion Expert | Author | Speaker
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