My life word (and how to find yours)

November 1, 2017

Written By

Tabitha Dumas

I’ve chosen a word at the start of every year for the past six years and thought it was time to try my life word. As someone determined to live with purpose and intention, choosing a word then creating a vision board (or shelf like I did one year) has been transforming. Recently I saw that a friend of mine picked up the Life Word book and I was intrigued. A word for your entire life?? I had to learn more.

My life word

I must have heard about the “one word” concept in 2011 when I was in the midst of recovering from burnout. Getting focused at the beginning of the year appealed to me, plus I thought it would be fun to have a word that would define my year. And in that first year, I’m sure I was excited to collect items with “joy” on them!

I love creating vision boards so I knew having one word would help with creating my boards, too.

My words have been

2012: joy

2013: peace

2014: beloved

2015: shine

2016: utilize

2017: rooted

2018: simplify

2019: together

2020: light

2021: strong

2022: cultivate

I’ll admit, getting pregnant at the start of 2017 threw my year off a bit. And 2020-2021…well…you know. Most years, however, I truly could look back and see that my year was guided by my word.

The Life Word book is written by the guys behind One Word That Will Change Your Life. Purchase on Amazon hereRead all about it on

It’s taking the concept to a new level and I made my way through the book in about an hour, but I’d done the exercises before. I’d advise you to set aside at least an afternoon, preferably a quiet one alone with a journal and pen.

It walks you through

  • Defining your POWER (gifts and strength)
  • Determining your PURPOSE (calling and cause)
  • Discovering your PASSION (motivation and energy)

then you put it together and come up with your life word.

I narrowed it down by looking in (by walking through the exercises), looking around (by asking my husband, mom and friends for feedback), looking ahead (what I want people to say about me), and looking up. It all came together to…

Get your life word! Tabitha Dumas life word elevate


My hubby pointed out, “Well, it has been in your tag-line for years.”

Indeed my coach (Coach Erin, she’s fantastic) helped me pull out “Elevate your image” to focus my brand and my business several years ago.

It was affirmed by my dear friend and mentor when she told me, “You have a gift for elevating everyone around you.”

Elevating others is closely tied to my passion. It’s what I did as a ghost writer and editor for small businesses. It’s what I try to do when I work with or for ministry leaders and non-profits. It’s why I am a life group co-leader and why I volunteer in the community. I became a Certified Image Consultant to help women elevate their image. It comes down to this:

I work behind the scenes to elevate others.

Even when I’m the one up front, the topic is almost always about elevating the listeners, whether their life, their faith, their thinking or their style.

Little makes me happier than seeing someone take a step toward their greatest potential and their highest purpose.

That’s how it should be. My life word applies to what the book refers to as six dimensions:

  • physical
  • mental
  • spiritual
  • emotional
  • relational
  • financial

Whole-istic living at its best!

The last step in the process is “looking out” and keeping your word front and center.

Here are some of my blog posts to explore:

Choosing your One Word

Rethinking the vision board

Creating a Vision Affirmation Statement

Let me know if I can help you with your process and check my events page here for updates on vision board events and more.

And once you have your life word, make sure to download the action plan PDF on

Please pin and share!

Get your life word! Tabitha Dumas life word elevate

Get your life word! Tabitha Dumas life word elevate


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