Home Community Voices What’s Your Word for 2024?

What’s Your Word for 2024?

For the last 5 years I’ve been working with a group of elderly women on Friday mornings, teaching a chair yoga class. Our small, consistent group, gathers together in a parish hall of tiny church, chat for a few minutes, get our stretches in, and part ways for the weekend. This precious routine has taught me many lessons over the years, as there is always wisdom to be gained from those who have gone before us.


Each week, I ask the women to share a single word to summarize how they are feeling. My grandmother is one of the students in the class, and she always has something smart to say. The rest of us often joke that we need to carry a small dictionary every Friday to help us define the unique word she is going to share. I often wonder if her thoughtful selection of words is where my love for them stems from.

Words like joyful, happy, community, felicity, perseverance, peaceful, love, and grateful are just a few of my favorites. Each week, their words help me read the room and understand where they are physically, emotionally, or spiritually on any given Friday.

Summarizing thoughts and feelings into a single word has become a regular practice I’ve implemented into my own life. I’ll ask students during group time to share a word about the lesson, I’ll pick a word to represent my new year, and incorporate the single word summary with my daughter when trying to learn about her day.

Simplifying our big emotions and feelings into a single word can often help us dial in on what is truly going on.

Summarizing is harder than we think. We like to talk and fill in the gaps of silence with our words. The English language is full of adjectives and descriptions that help to embellish everything we say. Overcomplicating what we say is easier than being concise.

Whether I’m working with a rambunctious group of middle schoolers or a seasoned group of seniors, it amazes me every time to see how similar the response is when I ask for either group to “Share a word”. It challenges them to focus, to dial in, and to think through how they are actually feeling. It’s a “Shoot your shot and don’t miss” kind of moment, without there actually being a rule saying so.

As I’ve challenged many to select a word, it felt natural to challenge you to do the same. The challenge is to select a word that will carry you through your 2024 year. This may be something you already do, and if so – I’d love if you shared your word with me so that we can hold one another accountable to it.

Let this word be a healing balm that you apply to your spirit each day.

Choose a word that aligns with where you are and where you want to go.

Meditate on this word and see where it shows up in your day to day life.

I often see this large wall of words in my mind, words that summarize my own life, words that others have shared – and they fuel my focus. These words act as a pulse check to how the world around me is living.

My word for the 2024 year is “trust”.  What will your word be?

Local Pulse Staff Writer & Holy Moments Columnist, Makenna Curtis