Do we really need a word for the year? Or would this be better?

December 7, 2017

Helen Joy Butler - Trait quote

For the past few years I have chosen a word for the year.

I know you’ve heard about this concept.

It’s been doing the rounds for a little while now, with many women in the business and spiritual field that I know choosing a word to connect with throughout the year, to help them work toward their goals, dreams, aspirations.

For a while there I was lost in life and biz – as we all tend to be from time to time – and so I followed the trend. (fyi: for someone born a non-conformist this isn’t always the wisest thing to do) I sat with my plans for the year, I did free challenges, I answered questions, I spent a lot of time navel-gazing, and came up with the word I thought would save me each and every year.

In 2015 my word was Voice.

In 2016 my word was Dynamic.

In 2017 my word was Seek.

These words are great and all, and the whole idea of choosing a focus, a direction, a personal philosophy for twelve months is an excellent idea.

But I’ve decided it doesn’t work for me.


Because this approach makes me feel like a square peg in a round hole.

For twelve months I work studiously toward achieving some abstract concept which I chose for myself the year before that, to be honest, makes absolutely no sense.

I mean – what does Seek and Dynamic and Voice even really mean for me?

Other than interesting words, what road map or guidance or focus or direction are these words really giving me?

If you haven’t worked out already, they didn’t give me much of anything really – other than a pretty picture on the vision board in my office that I’d look at from time to time.

Maybe if I looked back on each year and analysed the word I chose for myself, and what I was going through, and what I achieved, and what I didn’t achieve, and who liked me, and who didn’t and …. I mean, really? I don’t have time for that!

All I know is that I had these words – Seek and Dynamic and Voice – and in hindsight, with the wisdom I have gained in that time, they make no sense to me at all.

{Just as an aside, I went searching to see if I’d been doing this for more than three years. I know I have but I have no idea what those words are now or where the document would be to tell me what my word was. I mean, I am organised but I’m not keeping a run sheet by any means. Does it matter? Probably not, but I think it says something about the effectiveness of this approach for me, don’t you think?}

So this coming year – 2018 – I’ve decided to do something completely different.

Something that feels comfortable, like a round peg in a round hole.

Something that will allow me to show up and be exactly who I want to be in 2018.

Want to know what it is?

Instead of choosing a word for the year I have decided to choose traits for the year.

{Yes, I realise I could have done that for the past three years or more but clearly I wasn’t ready for it right?} 

So, traits.

What’s a trait?

Now I’m not quoting a dictionary here at all. This is the down and dirty Helen Joy Butler definition of trait. Take it or leave it.

Helen Joy Butler - Your, Home, Your Heart, Your Sanctuary

“A trait is a way of being.

A way of showing up in the world in a way that is deeply connected to my Higher Self, my Soul, my Inner Core.

It is a part of me that I want and need to express more fully within myself, so that I can express it more fully with the people I come in contact with each and every day. In return I attract people to me who hold dear within themselves the same traits I hold dear.

By showing up with the traits I hold dear I am building a Tribe around me who I feel fully connected with and nurtured by, and fully love and nurture myself in the process.”

Helen Joy Butler - Your, Home, Your Heart, Your SanctuaryEasy right?

No way Jose!

We are all born with certain traits (says I, waving like a mad woman to all my fellow Scorpios out there – you know what I mean!) and for many of us these traits become ingrained behaviours that we simply can’t change or ignore.


We SO can change them!

And we can definitely choose to not ignore them!

It just takes work and quite a bit of time, that’s all.

So with this idea in mind, and my own definition of what a trait actually is, I sat with the question:

How do I want to show up in the world in 2018?

The traits I want to expand on more in my own consciousness, to share more fully for and with myself and others in 2018, are not rocket science. I know that. And in fact they’re traits that I would hope I express fully on daily basis already – but I am quite a practical chick and I know for sure I am not always these traits. But in 2018 I’m going to give it a red hot go at showing up with these traits each and every day.

But take a good look at my trait list below. Reflect on them. And decide whether you see these in yourself or the people around you each. and. every. day.

I want to be kind.

I want to be generous.

I want to be thoughtful.

When people are asked the question “Oh, do you know Helen Joy Butler? How would you describe her?” or God forbid (because it sounds gossipy and I’m not in for that) “What do you think of Helen Joy Butler?”, my hope is that their answer will be:

“Oh, she’s really kind and generous and thoughtful.”

Caveat here: You can be kind and generous and thoughtful and still stand in your own power. Being kind and generous and thoughtful does not mean you’re a push over and can be taken advantage of! It just means you’ve made a choice to show up in a certain way – and given the Universe gives you in return what you put out, this is a choice I am making for 2018.

I’ve already started playing with these three traits in my every day life.

When I go to the grocery store and people push in front of me to get the last item on the shelf that I was wanting to get as well – Am I being helpful and kind and compassionate?

When I go to school and interact with the parents and teachers and office staff – Am I being kind and generous and thoughtful?

When I drive in the busy city traffic – Am I being kind and generous and thoughtful? (not always easy right??)

When I look at myself in the mirror at a time when I’m feeling sad and vulnerable – Am I being kind and generous and thoughtful?

Because you see, this is the most important bit.

I can share these traits outwardly – but I most want to share these traits inwardly, for myself.

Because I know deep down that if I spend twelve months focusing on being kind and generous and thoughtful to myself I will shift my vibration to an entirely new sanctuary level altogether. And that feels beyond incredible!

So are you with me? If so, take some time to connect with the traits you’d like to share with yourself and the world in 2018 – and then go ahead and share them in the comments below. I’d love to hear about the good energy you’re going to share in your neck of the woods!

With much love,

Helen xx

PS The Sanctuary Creators Tribe doors are open again. If you’d like to get my support to help you work toward your traits in 2018 just pop over here for all the details.

Helen Joy Butler - Intuitive Professional Organiser and Elemental Space Clearer



  • Gina

    I really love this! I do think the word is meant to inspire traits, but how many people actually do that and allow for development to happen!? This is really beautiful and I commend you for the commitment to shift!

    • Helen Joy Butler

      Oh thank you Gina! ‘Shift’ is all I know now – because I’ve learnt that if I don’t shift it’s even more uncomfortable! I hope 2018 is incredible for you. Xx

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