Do you have a “Word of the Year”? If not, give it a try and SHINE!

Do you have a “Word of the Year”? If not, give it a try and SHINE!



I have never been big on New Year’s Resolutions. Just never resonated with me.

Over time, if I saw an issue or issues, I needed to focus on…I just focused on them. Or I didn’t and paid for it later.

BUT, I am an eternal learner and adapter…and even plagiarizer. About 2 years ago, I read about this elementary school principal who did this every year:

This stuck with me. It just did. And, since it did, I decided to act on it. I really liked this idea.


So, my 2022 Word of The Year was: SHINE!

How could we as businesses shine? How could we shine in how we treated our customers? How could my coaches (we work with kids) shine in how they coached and treated kids in their charge? How could I shine as a leader and manager?

If I focused on that word throughout the year, and applied my focus and energy to important areas, I figured we would…well…shine!


And it worked!

If I shined as a manager and leader, my coaches received more productive attention and ideas from me. If that happened, they would enjoy their job more and I would likely retain them longer. Plus, their productivity and performance would constantly improve.

If they shined as coaches, the kids enrolled in our programs would benefit more, and that is our mission. On a selfish note, if the kids we served had coaches who shined, and thus, enjoyed the programs more, they would tell their parents. AND: Their parents would continue to enroll them!

Of course, there were/are many other areas we focused SHINE on.


For 2023, I decided my word of the year would be: KINDNESS.

In my estimation, the world can use more of this…so that is what we are going to focus on. Well, we always have focused on kindness, but for 2023, this is the word we’re going to uber-emphasize.

Here’s the deal with Word of The Year. You can’t just present it to your people in January, and then never talk about it again. You need to present it to your people, talk about why it is your word of the year, giving them tools and ideas to work with. They need to understand why you chose it, and buy in.

With Word of the Year, you need to constantly talk about it, present ideas or areas you can focus on and improve. It should not be a static word or concept. Your W.O.Y. should be an ever moving, evolving entity…but you have to keep everyone’s eyes on it throughout the year.

You would be the champion of your Word of The Year…just like you are the champion of your team, company or organization.

Word of the year can be anything important to you. Some ideas are flourish, dedicate, compromise, encourage, commit, tenacity…and oh, so much more!

  • Make it easy for people to do and keep doing business with you!
  • Look up…and surprise someone!


Spencer Rubin is a sales/marketing expert and a passionate advocate for the success of small, local business owners. To sign up for Spencer’s weekly Catalyst Newsletter, contact 971-732-4745.

“Don’t give up, don’t EVER give up” ~Coach Jim Valvano