The Word: 2020

word of the year for 2020

I’ve been choosing a word of the year since five years – this is my sixth – and it has been an intensely transformative journey. Which is somewhat magical, really, considering that the very first word I chose for myself five years ago was Transform.

Words, after all, are spells. They have an inherent magic and power that can work in ways you may never have anticipated to bring you the exact medicine you need at any point of time. And Transform is a spell that’s been woven into the very fabric my life, impacting it far beyond just one year.

Which is why I don’t take the word of the year practice too lightly. I need to be clear on at least some aspects of what I’m drawing towards me with the word that I choose. perhaps for this reason, it was much harder for me to tease out the word for this year.

Flourish gifted me with some amazing new developments and beautiful pathways last year, which made me somewhat reluctant – and afraid – to let it go. But just as some of my words from previous years continue to reverberate through my life, perhaps Flourish will, too.

While contemplating my word of the year, I knew I wanted a word that would represent forward momentum, to build on some of the changes that last year brought. I also wanted a word that was more focused, active and powerful, rather than one that was more gentle and seemingly more laid-back.

I had an inkling of my word in mid-December, but it took me some time to contemplate a few different versions of it, before I finally settled on

Word of the year radiate


That’s my word of the year. It’s active and powerful, calling for a deeply embodied and grounded way of showing up in the world. It feels like a statement of purpose, a clear-eyed clarion call for me to do the work so I can radiate…confidence, presence, gentleness, love, peace…into the world.

It asks for an anchoring of these feelings, requiring me to actively work on certain aspects of my psyche, which can be both deeply challenging and highly rewarding.

And though it is a little bit scary, it also feels just right, and I can’t wait to see what magic we create together!

Do you have a word of the year? Do share it with me in the comments!

Still to find a word of the year? Download the Visioning workbook – it’s designed to help you reflect on the year gone by, plan for the year to come, and choose a word for the year! Enter your email address in the form below, and I’ll pop it right over to you!

(Email box not showing up? Click here to download the workbook)

Posted in Soulful living.

I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


  1. a beautiful word, Shinjini! And knowing you, I am sure you will work towards this new direction you have found for yourself through this word. Wish you the best!
    My WOTY for 2020 is WELLNESS. Knowing how precious our health is for us to survive life, it’s what I need to focus on, not just through my diet and physical fitness, but also through my thoughts and deeds.

    • Thank you for your support and wishes, Shilpa!

      Wellness is a wonderful word. And such an important thing to focus on, too. Wish you all the best with making 2020 your year of wellness. <3

  2. Love your WOTY, Shinjini! ‘Radiate’ seems very powerful and full of light and positivity! I can already see how the word will lead you on with confidence, presence, gentleness, love and peace in the days and weeks ahead! Keep the great flow of creativity going, Shinjini! My best wishes are with you.

  3. What a magical word you’ve chosen – radiate . My accident last year gave me a new perspective on life and I’ve chosen Detach/distance as words of the year . I agree that they kind of set the tone for the year.

    • Detach would be an interesting word to work with – I think practising detachment is a good thing, and sometimes very difficult to do! Wish you all the best in 2020, and I hope you’re back to being fighting fit sooner rather than later! <3

  4. You radiate so much calm, peace, patience and love always Shinj.

    You are surely going to transcend boundaries.
    More power to you, dear girl.

  5. Yes WORDS have immense power and one need to be careful with their words. Choosing “RADIATE” as your word for this year is a really brilliant idea. I wish and pray that may Radiance emanate in all that you have thought of.
    My words for year 2019 were Travel and writing,which I am glad was able do a lot. This year my words are HEALTH, WEALTH, LOVE, FUN & ADVENTURE 🙂

  6. I had heard of Word of the year, theme of the year, thought of the year but never gave much thought to them. Honestly, never thought they could be impatful. But then I read this post and I thought maybe, if Shinjini says, maybe it is impactful. So I gave it a thought and think that ‘Balance’ would be my WOTY. Something I am desperately seeking to acheive between my work, life and hobbies.

    Meanwhile ‘Radiate’ is such a powerful word. I can feel the vibrations when I roll it on my toungue and speak it aloud. Here’s my heartfelt wish that may you attract all that you wish for in 2020.

    • Oh wow! So honoured you gave it a go because of me. Balance can be a tough thing to achieve! Especially the juggling of work and hobbies – and I know you’re very passionate about your hobbies just as I am. I hope 2020 is a beautiful year for you! xx

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