I’ve chosen my 2019 Word of the Year and I want to make sure I display it in a place where I’ll see it often as a reminder throughout the year. Of course, my bullet journal is with me ALL the time and I’m “in it” dozens of times a day – so adding my Word of the Year to my bullet journal is the logical choice. So that’s what I did because that’s what nerds do… logical things.

Before we get into how I added my Word of the Year to my journal, let’s talk about which word I chose for 2019.

The last time we chatted about choosing a single word to guide your goals and actions for the year, I walked you through my process for how I pick the word. If you missed that article, go check it out here: “Choosing my Word of the Year

So I roughed out my goals for the year, brainstormed a list of possible words, lived with that list for a couple weeks … and now I’ve picked the word. The next step will be to finish setting those goals and action steps for the year, but that’ll come later since I do all that on my birthday instead of the start of the New Year (which means you can look forward to another article about that process in a month or so).

My Word for 2019 is…

One of my biggest goals for 2019 will be stress management and slowing down enough to catch my breath once in a while. I seem to have two modes: all-on or all-off. Or better known as full-on-hustle or drop-dead-exhaustion. There never seems to be a middle ground where I’m just coasting but still being productive. So that’s what I’m working on this year (and my chiropractor will be happy about that too).


The intentional inaction between hustle and exhaustion.
A temporary break in action.
Rest in the moment.
To linger for a time.

This simply means that I need to stop and sit quietly without distractions or activities. Just to sit and be present in the moment. Sort of like meditation, but with less meditating. Can I just sit still for 20 minutes a day?

Over the couple weeks, I’ve been working to put this word into practice. The first step is to remember that I want to pause. I get so caught up in checking things off the task list that I find myself at the end of the day only to realize that I never took the time to relax for a moment. So if step one is to remember to pause, step two is to actually do the pause and not push it aside because “I don’t have the time to pause.” Ha! The struggle is real, people!

The next hurdle is being able to sit still for 20 minutes at a time. So far I can make it about 5 minutes before I get too restless and need to get up and do something. Who knew it would be so hard to just sit and not do anything. No phone, no book, no music, no TV, no plotting or planning… just sit and breath.

Once I master the 20-minute pause, I’ll work up to full-day pauses. I mean, I do that pretty well already with a day trip to the beach. But interestingly when I hit the beach I always take a book with me (or my journal for planning or writing).

How I added my Word of the Year to my Bullet Journal

Let’s just start with acknowledging that I don’t draw. Notice I didn’t say “can’t draw” because I’m sure if I practiced and really worked at learning how to draw then it would totally be possible. I truly believe anyone can learn how to draw and be good at it. But I’ve never taken the time to put in the practice to get to that point. And yes, I’m a graphic designer who doesn’t draw. So to compensate for that, I find other ways to be creative while still making my bullet journal beautiful.

Printables to the rescue!

If you’ve been around here for any amount of time, you know that I love adding printed layouts to my bullet journal. I’ve used lots of different types of printables — ones I’ve designed myself, ones I’ve purchased from sellers on Etsy, and even things I clip from magazines and glue onto the pages of my journal.

Not long ago I launched the customizable Word of the Year printables in my shop so of course, I wanted to use one of those beautiful options. I picked the yellow watercolor mandala print and added my Word and what it means to me before printing. When I was ready to add it to my journal, I decided to use some watercolor paints and give the page a base of yellow to match the print. I’ve used scrapbook paper in the past and it works great, too.


To attach the printed page to my journal, I typically use double-sided craft tape, but glue sticks work great too. But my took of choice is a tape gun. At the start of my scrapbooking days, a dozen (or so) years ago, I bought a big 3M ATG 714 Industrial tape gun before they were even considered a crafting tool. I had to buy it from a warehouse supply company – you know, the types of business that sell pallet jacks and shipping boxes to warehouses who do mass shipping operations.

Nowadays you can get the same tape gun at every local craft store and it even comes in pretty colors – Scotch Tape Glider (such a friendlier name, too). My tape gun is probably the best crafting purchase I’ve ever made. I mean… it’s 12+ years later and I still use it almost every day.

One other big reason I love printables is the convenience of reprinting. A single notebook doesn’t last me the whole year of planning and it’s normal to move into a new journal 2 or 3 times during a single year. Each time I start a new journal, I reprint my Word of the Year page and add it to the beginning of the new journal. Not only does this save me from redrawing an elaborate illustration, but it’s also a way to bring consistency and familiarity into my new notebook.

This bright yellow print will follow me all year and become part of my life and mindset. I didn’t choose yellow lightly – it was a deliberate choice based on the mood I wanted that Word to bring to my journal. To me, yellow means happiness, a sense of peace and calm, sunshine and a bright sunny attitude. I’ll begin to associate this yellow print with my Word each time I flip by this page in my journal.

Keeping my Word of the Year front and center

By adding my Word of the Year print to my bullet journal I am able to keep that reminder front and center in my life all through the year. I carry my bullet journal with me everywhere I go. I open that notebook dozens of times during the day and flip by this page at least a couple times a day. This daily reminder helps to embed the word into my behavior and mindset even further.

Other options for keeping your Word of the Year at the forefront of your mind is to print it large and hang it in your home. You could add it to the living area of your home or near your desk or crafting area. The more you see it, the more fully it will become part of your mindset and daily intentions.

How do you honor your Word of the Year?

Do you have a page in your bullet journal or planner? Do you print it and hang it in a frame somewhere in your house? Do you have it tattooed or made into a t-shirt?

Share your experience with your Word of the Year in the comments. Let’s chat about ideas!

My Word is Pause