Word Of The Year Workshop
MMMS S2 57 | Word Of The Year


Our brain loves to focus. When we focus on something, it becomes possible. In this episode, Tracey Pontarelli suggests that if we choose a single word of the year, it becomes the keyword of our entire vision board. She discusses developing your vision plan to help acquire what you seek. Tracey urges you to keep dreaming because dreaming is planning! Don’t forget to hit that play button so you wouldn’t miss out on this opportunity to learn how to create positive connections in your subconscious.

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Word Of The Year Workshop

Vision Planning

It’s time to pick our Word of the Year. I’m so excited to do this with you. I’m going to walk you through my workbook. It’s one of my favorites. Download the workbook and then be able to follow along with me. That’s going to be great exercise for you. I want to start this episode with a quote that my friend Riley sent to me. It’s by Gloria Steinem, whom I love. “Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”

The dreams that sit in your heart and the desires that you have been there as a guide for you of what you are here to do and what’s potentially there for you. Your dreams are your possibilities. They’re not pie in the sky that’s not going to happen. We are creators. We are making everything up as we go along. We decide how we spend our days. All of it is made up.

I want you to think about the car you drive in. At one point, someone said, “Let’s make a car.” Someone said, “Let’s make a red car or a fast car. Let’s make it better.” Here’s the car that you’re driving in. Someone made it. It was created. It wasn’t there and now it’s here. The job that you do wasn’t a job until it was. I went to college for journalism. Before my college was a college, it wasn’t a college and then someday someone decided to make it a college. They said, “Let’s make programs like a journalism program. Let’s make these courses that you need to take before you get the degree.”

People made it up. We create the whole thing. You can do whatever you want. Once you realize that and you stop getting your doubts and interfering with what you can and cannot do, the world’s your oyster. It’s going to start with picking your word of the year. I love this exercise. It’s a great precursor to the Vision Board Workshop that we’ll do next.

Once you stop getting doubts and do not interfere with what you can and cannot do, the world is your oyster. Share on X

You’ll have a word. Maybe you’ll have more than one but I like a word for the year. I don’t know what mine is yet. I’ll keep you posted. The word is going to be your focus. Our brains love to focus. Either you tell it what to focus on or it will decide on its own, it’ll decide to focus on the negative news. Who annoyed you in traffic? What you’re worried about? You can say, “Pay attention, brain. Here’s what we’re going to focus on.”

That’s what the word of the year does for you. We’re then going to have all these other words that can become some of the keywords for your vision board. This is a great first step for the vision board. I love that we do this. There are a couple of steps to this process and if you don’t have the notebook yet, you can write it down.

The first piece is to back up and start dreaming. No judgment. I’m going to ask you for this on the vision board to stop saying no to yourself before you’ve even written it down. You can synthesize the things that feel most possible for you at this moment in your life. On the other side of the process, don’t self-select yourself. Don’t say no to yourself before you’ve even gotten it written down on paper.

MMMS S2 57 | Word Of The Year
Word Of The Year: Stop saying no to yourself before writing something down on your vision board. Synthe-size to the things that feel most possible to you at the moment.


We’re going to start by asking clarifying questions. I want you to take your time with this, come back and revisit it as many times as you want and save this. I did this in an editable PDF. I’m proud of myself for figuring out how to do this. It’s a new skill I learned. I learned it all by myself. I’m excited for you to be able to write this stuff down and keep it.

Number one is, “What do I want more of in my life?” You then say, “I want more fun, travel, money and time,” or whatever you want. What do you want more of? More date nights? More time to read? Just what you want more of in your life. Number two is, “How do I want to feel each day when I wake up?” I want you to dig into this a little bit.

We could all agree that we want to wake up feeling in a good mood. Let’s think a little bit more about that. Do we want to wake up feeling refreshed, focused, excited to get out of bed or excited about the day that it’s like Christmas morning every day? How do you want to feel when you wake up in the morning? Do you want to wake up feeling calm or feeling like you’ve got time, that you don’t have to get up and jump out of bed and run? Go ahead and think about that.

Number three is, what do you want less of in your life? This is an important question because of the law of subtraction. To do more of one thing, you often need to get rid of some things that are not serving you. I’m going to ask you to be honest with yourself. For me, some things in the coming year have got to go. There are some things I’m doing out of obligation. There are some things that I’m doing because I don’t want people to be disappointed in me. There are some things that I’m doing because I’m afraid if I let them go some people won’t like me or be my friend anymore. There’s some stuff.

I listened to a story that I thought was so great. Some of the best solutions come from doing fewer things. An example was teaching kids how to ride a bike. If you’ve got kids, you’ve been through this. “If I could go back in time or rewind the clock.” They didn’t exist yet but it’s the bikes without wheels. When your kid first learns how to ride a bike, you see these are wheels without pedals and kids learn how to balance.

We put training wheels on all of our kids’ bikes. Having them learn how to ride their bikes was so much work because we live in Manhattan so finding space to get out and do this was real work. They didn’t need to learn how to pedal. They needed to learn how to balance. Once you know how to balance, pedaling is easy. Someone at some point decided to take the pedals off the bike and then it was easy-peasy. Less became more. What do you want to do less of in your life? What do you want less of? Don’t think about how you can’t do less of it, just write it down.

Next, how do you want to show up? How do you want to show up in the world, for your family and your friends? Do you want to be more excited, loving, calmer or accepting? Like popcorn, all of these things are going to start to emerge. That’s step one, which is discovery. You’re trying to discover. Step two is the imagining part of the process.

You’re going to imagine yourself a year from now. Have fun with this. Dreams are planning. Where do you want to be? You can think physically of where you want to be. You can also think about where you want to be in your life or relationships. We’re going to be digging into all this a little bit more but answer the general question, “Where do you want to be in a year from now?”

MMMS S2 57 | Word Of The Year
Word Of The Year: Dreams are planning. Be clear about where you truly want to be.


I’m proud of myself because it was on my vision board in 2021. I wanted to start to travel more and I’ve gotten the opportunity to travel more. I get to spend time in Rhode Island, which was important to me. I want more of that in 2023. That felt good to me. What do you want to be doing with your work and leisure time? Think about how you want to be spending your day. What kind of things do you want to be doing?

Our life gets put on autopilot because we do what we’ve already done. Our egos do not like change. You’re going to find, even as you write this down, there’s going to be a voice in your head. That’s when you can tell your ego has joined the party where it’s like, “You’re not going to be able to do that. Why are you writing that down? We can’t do that.” Ignore her. She’s a liar. Do not be afraid of your ego.

Whom do you want to be spending time with? This is so important. If you don’t like the people that you’re currently hanging around with, you can change that. Your life is by your design. You’re not a victim. You’re a creator. You’re going to write all that stuff down. What you’re going to start to do is go through, start to circle, underline and highlight themes that emerge. From that, you’re going to find words that show up.

MMMS S2 57 | Word Of The Year
Word Of The Year: If you don’t like the people you’re currently hanging around with, you can change that. Your life is by your design. You’re not a victim but a creator.


This is in my guide. You can google it and find my guide, which will help you. If you haven’t found the words, I’ve got a full page of words that you can pick from or use as inspiration to start to narrow down your words. What I’m going to encourage you to do in the workbook is to come up with a top 10 list and then you’re going to have 1 that emerges as the one.

If you don’t do it all in one sitting, that’s great. I’d encourage you not to do it all in one sitting. It’s what we’re trying to fire up here, not our ego but our positive subconscious brain which will start to make some connections. You’ll then start to think about some things. Think about words, go away and start to think about how they feel for you. Things will then emerge. Those ten words are going to end up being words for your vision board. The one word becomes your word for the year.

I’m going to encourage you to do a couple of different things with these. Once you’ve got your word of the year, put it in different places. You could write it wherever you are. You can put it on a Post-it pad, on the kitchen refrigerator, on the bathroom mirror or on your desk where you do your work. You can make it your screen saver. I’m going to suggest that you make your vision board your screensaver, at least on your phone but you could put it on your phone.

You can also customize bracelets and necklaces. You can do whatever you want. There are so many ways to customize your word. The key is to see it regularly as a reminder of what it is you said you wanted so that habit, routine and doubt do not dictate the next twelve months of your life. I’m excited to see what your words are. I want you to reach out to me on social media and tell me what your words are.

We’re doing some workshops for the word of the year for the vision board. When this episode gets published, I might have already done it so I might have the workshop to do as a link for you. Reach out to me. Read this if you want this workbook and if you want to listen to the Vision Board Masterclass that I’m doing. You can have all of that.

I do this all because I love to share it with you. Together, we’re going to make some magic happen. We need to lean into each other and stay close to people who feel like a possibility. I love you. I’ll be back next time to talk about the Vision Board Workshop. I’m so excited for you. This is fun stuff to do. Remember, dreaming is planning. It’s all good stuff. Don’t shortchange yourself. I’ll see you in the next episode.