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Twenty Twenty-Four Word of the Year

Looking back over the past five years, I can somewhat pinpoint the exact moment in time when I decided having a word of the year was the new and improved way of living life. I was standing in the kitchen of my childhood best friend’s house attending a New Year’s Eve family party that she and her fiance had invited me to. Her older sister and I were chatting it up at the kitchen Island, when all of a sudden, my best friend handed me an empty styrofoam cup and a pen. I looked at her curiously wondering what new drinking game she was about to introduce me to. She told me that before the clock struck midnight, I needed to write down what I wanted out of this new year and we would pour our champagne (water for me that night because I had started my dry January a little earlier than most), and toast to whatever we wrote. 

She told me I could write down something I was saying goodbye to or write something I would be taking into the New Year. Without much thought, the word “intentionality” came to mind. It was a word at the time that crawled into my brain and created its very own campsite. Anytime I needed to make a decision, the word intentionality seemed to light a fire at the perfect time and remind me that I had to consider it in everything I chose. It had such a stronghold on me, I decided.. Why not intentionally invite intentionality to stay?

Five new years later, but the same old concept has managed to stay relevant in my life. Although I will admit that some years, the word I chose got lost somewhere along that year’s journey, I do know that starting off the year with a word to zoom in on and make a focus in every area of my life was the perfect fuel to ignite a new excitement in me about the idea of starting something over and ending that something at a better place than where I began. This year, I did not fall short of this five-year long-held tradition. 

While there are so many profound and relevant quotes I can share about the word discipline, because I know by sharing them all, they could cohesively write a blog of their own, I will do my best to combine them in a brief summary that shares the collective insight of the most relatable ones. Discipline is doing the work you may not want to do now in order to receive the results you eventually want to see later with no shortcuts and must remain an ongoing practice in order to maintain the results you have been working so hard to achieve… Discipline is committing and sticking to it even when you don’t feel like it… In short, discipline is doing what you said you were going to do. 

For me, this year is all about doing exactly what I said I was going to do and some things I may have never even dared to allow my heart and mind to proclaim… but somewhere in me, the desire, hunger, and/or ability to achieve it may very well still exist. With the understanding that everything I want and is aligned with God’s will for my life is already mine and just waiting for me to put in a consistent effort in that area of my life, I decided the best word for this year would be “discipline”. 

If you had asked me for my word around six months ago, it would have been growth. Three months ago it would have probably been clarity. Around a month ago, my word may have been consistency. To be completely honest, at the top of January, I was still deciding amongst four or more completely different words that each hold a great amount of significance in their own right. However, After a few days of thinking “Maybe this is the year, we release one word of the year and just create a ‘top list’ like Obama does with everything he holds dear,” I decided there was one word in the back of my mind I had been avoiding the entire time because just claiming it as my word of the year, required me to actually have it. 

Ultimately I decided that it didn’t matter how many words of the year I could think of that deserved my complete commitment, like all the rest from the past years, without discipline, I would look back at the end of the year and wonder where in time I dropped them off and forgot to pick them back up again. Discipline is the type of leader that leads from the back because it has to make sure that no other members of a winning team get left behind and push those members forward when they’re ready to give up. 

Whether my goal is to be more consistent, intentional, creative, graceful, grateful, healthy, or “Beyonce” (which, personally, I believe is just a synonym for every word I just mentioned…especially my chosen word of the year), Without discipline all of these things are merely wishes and dreams that require a commitment to match your actions to their definitions… even during times you may not feel like it. 

Now, what I have discovered in this first chapter of a book called Discipline is even though the word may be so straightforward, creating a plan around it seems almost ridiculous, not defining what discipline will look like for you and how to show up in that may leave you standing in December of 2024 feeling like you are the ridiculous one for believing that just claiming a word out loud, on paper, or in your head was going to miraculously change your entire life without actually mapping out a game plan on how you are going to put it into action.  

This month (and the rest of the year), I am guaranteeing my success by establishing routines that best maximize my productivity and keep me accountable for what I said I was going to do.

For example, I have recently updated my weekday morning routine by setting my alarm to an earlier time and also re-establishing a boundary I used to practice years ago between me and my phone for the first hour of being awake. This boundary limits me from checking emails, jumping on social media, and even checking and responding to non-emergency messages. Within that first hour, I have now created uninterrupted time for prayer, affirmations, meditation, journaling, and even the beginning of my workout routine for the day. 

Now, although the previous example keeps me disciplined in a few areas of my life, sometimes the routine can be as simple as “Every time I make a mistake or fall short, I will forgive myself and try again.” For some, this may be even harder than the first example. Still, it’s just as productive if you’re someone who has found that making mistakes often temporarily or permanently debilitates you from moving forward. If you can establish a healthy “routine” around mistakes, self- forgiveness, and resilience, you may find yourself leveling up a lot quicker than in previous years as you not only refuse to give up on your original goal but also spend less time dwelling on the disappointment, frustration, and/ or embarrassment that often accompanies most mistakes as a plus one. 

Discipline is not just a word. It’s a tool you use for reaching your goals, building healthy relationships with others and even yourself, and showing up even when it’s hard. Without discipline, any “word of the year” you choose can easily become a title in the chapter of your life story but with discipline, any word you choose can become a characteristic that is associated with who are for the rest of your life. 

So, go ahead and choose your word of the year. Write it on your vision board in big bold letters. Post it all over your social media pages. Even, set it as your screensaver on your phone so you remember what you’re working towards this year. Just remember, wherever you decide to share that word, the next word to come out of your mouth and echo throughout your entire body needs to be the one that shows up even when it’s hard. The next word deserves to be discipline… if we’re being completely honest, it probably deserved to be the first. 


  • This was there when I needed it most! Thanks for your words sis. THEY HELP!

  • Wow, from top to bottom this post was so inspiring. The end wrapped it up so nicely and came for my neck a little bit BUT I can’t wait to implement some of the healthy habits you wrote about. I’m excited for your next blog post☺️

  • Love this! Looking forward to the next one. definitely following/tuning in. ❤️

    Portia Roshamba

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