Perhaps you’ve noticed the growing trend to choose a word of the year in January.
Why choose a word of the year?
The traditional litany of New Year’s resolutions can get old. Not only that, but statistics show that 92% of New Year’s resolutions fail. And let’s face it, by mid-January or early February, many of us have given up our New Year’s resolutions. Sigh. Or we decided years ago to give up making resolutions altogether to avoid the feeling of defeat.
Choosing a word of the year offers something different.
Professional Certified Life Coach, Sue Robson believes in the power of choosing one word. In fact, Sue along with her business partner and artist, Lynn Richards teach a workshop in Redlands, CA for women which is centered around the word of the year called heART Coaching.
“We take coaching and art then combine them to create a space for women to explore the deeper things,” said Sue.
The heART coaching workshops started in 2013 with workshops around art journaling and later expanded to Word of the Year workshops. HeART coaching combines group coaching with mixed media art—no art experience or creativity required.
At the beginning of the Word of the Year class, participants are given a worksheet to help them choose a word if they don’t already have one. They are also given word lists and dictionaries are available to look up meanings.
Sue then facilitates conversation by doing visioning exercises asking questions like: What does it look like to live out this word? What strategies could you use? Look back at 2019, what are you celebrating? What are you closing?
Some of the answers to those questions are written within the art piece and then covered with layers. Each participant is given a canvas, color palette of paints, and other supplies and textures that may vary for each class.
Lynn has a finished product for the women to see beforehand. She guides the class step-by-step and even hand-over-hand as she walks throughout the classroom. Lynn encourages the women to use her guidance but to go their own way with the project. Although everyone has the same color palette, each piece is unique just like the participants. Of course, the chosen word of the year is the focal point of the piece.
“The word of the year is like a compass or GPS. It serves by helping you self-correct if you get off course.”
Sue and Lynn believe that art is a great way to unlock what’s in the heart.
“Art helps create clarity and intentionality, and it unlocks a part of our souls in the process. It’s fun too!”
Sue and her husband Dave Robson are the founders of LifeSource Coaches and are passionate about helping people grow. Their goal is to guide people to identify what’s ‘not working’ in their lives and to help them develop and implement sustainable strategies for change. The word of the year workshops is one of the many ways Sue uses her life coaching skills.
“It’s so fun to help people get ‘unstuck’ and to partner with them to transform their hopes and dreams into reality!”
Lynn Richards is a mixed-media collage artist. Her artistic process began early, learning from her grandmother who was an art teacher. Over time, she has found a true passion in the mixed media genre. Lynn’s art is characterized by combining vintage ephemera, bold colors and meaningful messages.
Sue and Lynn officially teamed up to create heART coaching in 2012 when they realized what a powerful union there was between coaching and art.
“The cool thing about doing this each year is you are building on the words from the past, then doing art helps expand it. And finally, you take home an art piece and have something to focus on throughout the year.”
Sue and Lynn do special classes with different themes using the heART Coaching technique. They have done Christmas parties, church groups, women’s ministries, and more.
We all know the power words possess. Choosing one word to help you navigate and self-correct if you get off course, can serve as a tool to push past doubts and fears. To quote the slogan from the heART Coaching website:
If you weren’t afraid what would you do?