Introspection & Intention Setting: Ownership

For the past few years I have been doing an introspective intention setting exercise at the start of the year. I love my strategic planning exercise to get really concrete and detailed about what I want to accomplish in the next year, and this intention setting exercise has a different way of guiding me along my path.

Welcome 2013 With Intention Setting and Introspection

What this intention exercise does is ask you to choose one word that will act like an anchor throughout the year, so that you can focus on what makes you feel your best.

I’ve been doing this exercise for the past 3 years, and I’ve found that it helps to review the past year or two before you set your intention for the one coming ahead.

  • In 2010 my word was Confidence. I absolutely exceeded my definition of confidence by swimming with sharks while scuba diving, taking the stage in some of my first big public speaking gigs, and just putting myself out there in a more confident way in general.
  • In 2011 my word was Best. I used this as a word to check in with myself constantly to ensure I was doing my best in every moment, and that I was focusing on being the best at what I was doing. Interestingly, this is the year that I went from doing raw food coaching to making websites professionally again.
  • In 2012 my word was Be Seen. It was time for me to stop being a behind-the-scenes person on other people’s businesses as a web designer, and become the front runner and face of my own business. 2012 brought all kinds of changes, from letting go of web design entirely to focusing solely on consulting and creating my own products, an edgy photo shoot, more speaking gigs, and the new Nathalie Lussier Media brand.

Stolen Moments of Inspired Action

intention setting

Last summer my husband and I were invited to dinner and drinks on a chartered boat in Toronto’s harbor, to a team event for my husband’s work.

We had both been traveling to the United States on and off for months, and it was the perfect opportunity to just let go and enjoy the sunset together on the water.

While everyone on the boat was busy chatting downstairs about work, we sneaked up to the roof to dance our buns off to some addictive dance songs.

It was spontaneous, and it felt like we were the only ones on the boat. Like we owned it, and we knew how to make the most of it.

We had a great time dancing and taking pictures as the sun set. It was romantic as can be, and it sparked something inside of me that came back around as I was choosing my word for 2013.


Intention Setting: My word for 2013 is Ownership.

The dictionary definition of ownership is the act, state, or right of possessing something.

In the past few years I’ve been working toward total ownership: confidence, being my best and owning what I’m great at, being seen and owning it.

I’m shifting toward an ownership mentality around my business. Looking at ways to build that into the way I interact with it, treat it, and talk about it.

I’m taking ownership of my new home office space, decorating it and really owning how I want to feel when I walk into my office to work.

I’m ready to own all of my gifts and talents, and really see them as others are seeing them.

I’m taking ownership of my dreams, and making them a reality. Just thinking about my upcoming book in terms of ownership changes the way I plan to create it.

I’m ready to think like a full and complete owner when it comes to my business, creating teams around my vision, setting up a new structure for it, and really owning what I want to create.

Want more introspective intention setting exercises?

Business planning

A few years ago I used my friend Leonie Dawson’s first Incredible Year workbook, and it totally blew my socks off.

The 2013 Create Your Incredible Year workbook, planner and calendar is an incredibly popular tool to help you plan out and make happen your most incredible year in life and business.

Over the last four years, thousands of women have used this workbook with the most amazing results. It’s the best planning tool available to help you make your year your most exceptional yet!

Used by entrepreneurs, artists, mamas, creatives, coaches, teachers and women of all ages, the Creating Your Incredible Year workbooks are filled with dozens of pages of powerful worksheets & a printable calendar to help you create your amazing new year.


Another exercise I love was created by my friend Jamie Ridler, and it takes the vision board even further through a set of vision cards to really unearth your vision for the new year.

What I love about this exercise is that it uses your intuition to help you chart your course and discover hidden dreams that might have been at the outside of your consciousness… and that are now ready to take shape through your vision cards!

Definitely check out Jamie’s vision cards workshop, because this woman has creativity in her bones and she’s ready to help you unleash yours, too!


Finally, check out Christine Kane’s Word of the year discovery tool, the little ebook that started this whole intention setting momentum years ago. She’s recently updated it if you need a little more inspiration on choosing your own word of the year!

What’s your word? Leave a comment below.

I want to know what word you’re going to use as an anchor this year. After doing this intention setting exercise, leave a comment below and tell me your word!

Leave a link if you’ve written a post about your word!


  1. Jenny Shih on December 31, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    I love reading your words of the year, Nathalie! I can totally see how you’ve grown with them and it’s fun to bear witness.

    My word for 2013 is EMERGE. And it scares me! (That means it’s the right word.) It’s a deeply personal word and I’m not quite ready to elaborate, but I’m excited to post it out there for the world, so thanks for asking.

    Happy New Year to you and congrats on all that you’ve created in 2012! You are a true inspiration!!

  2. Nathalie Lussier on December 31, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Oooh Jenny Shih!! I can totally see how “Emerge” is the right word for you, and I know it’s going to take you far in 2013! I’m so excited for you, and thank you for sharing it in the comments here.

    You rock girlfriend!

  3. Deborah Skye on January 2, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Love how you put this all together Nathalie! Your images expose your true desire to take full ownership! I can full relate to this word/essence as I feel it deeply in my heart also. I am looking forward to connecting with you this year on many levels. Hugs to you!

    • Nathalie Lussier on January 3, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Thank you Deborah Skye! I love that this word is also resonating with you. I can't wait to connect with you even more this coming year, you are incredible!

  4. gina rafkind on January 2, 2013 at 9:54 am

    So resonate with this Nathalie…… your word of the year…..the word that has shown up for me for this year is ENGAGE. I’ve started some new, new year rituals this year too that just showed themselves to me as well…….will be talking about those in next week’s blog post……thx for sharing…..that boat ride sounds like it was amazing!

  5. Do Less, Earn More on January 2, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    My word for the year is Pro- as in, Professional. 2013 will be the year of commiting to my business, and my life like a pro- giving myself permission to play full out, take risks, and give myself the best tools (and toys!) for my business and life. I'm looking forward to watching you own it in 2013 Nathalie!

    • Nathalie Lussier on January 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      Yay!! I love this one – going Pro is going to shift so much in your life and business, I have no doubt about it. Congrats on taking the charge and playing full out. :)

    • Lena Penteado on January 31, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Yay too :) I love it!!!

  6. Terra Bohlmann on January 2, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    My word this year is Simplify in all aspects of my personal life, home life and work life. So far so good! Great post, Nathalie.

    • Nathalie Lussier on January 3, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      I love this so much for you Terra! I think we could all use a little more Simplify in so many areas of our life. Way to go!

  7. Jenna Dalton on January 2, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Thanks so much for sharing, Nathalie!

    I was thinking about what I wanted my word to be and I’ve decided on Go Big.

    I’m a bit of a shrinking violet and I know in order for my business to grow I need to go all in and use every opportunity possible to create big things for my business and life.

    I cannot wait to see what 2013 brings. Happy New Year!

  8. Sabrina at MyMiBoSo on January 2, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Nathalie, I love your words, your process, and mostly that amazing collage of you dancing!

    I let myself have 2 words this year – Conscious Creation – serving me as a reminder that I’m the one creating MY best life and business, and that I will do that by literally CREATING (not just reading about how others do it!). With your help I’ve kicked off 2013 with a bang by consciously creating my new website that I’m really proud of!

  9. Natasha Lakos on January 2, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Nath, I just came across this via Sherold Barr (I can’t believe I’m not signed up on your list – doing that now!)
    My word for 2013 is PLAY :)

  10. Journey to Healing on January 2, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you Nathalie! Your posts are such an inspiration. My word this year is Breakthrough. I know that 2013 will be an amazing year :-) Wishing you all the best in your year of Ownership.

  11. Web Navigator Gal on January 3, 2013 at 3:17 am

    Purpose is the word that comes to mind. Getting clear on how each and every step is important for specific goals. I can see how this exercise can be amazingly powerful. Thanks so much again, Nathalie, for sharing something that resonates with so many.

    • Nathalie Lussier on January 3, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Aww thank you, I'm so happy this resonates and that you've found your word for the year. I love "purpose" it's got clarity written all over it, and will definitely help you along your journey!

  12. Jo-Na Williams on January 3, 2013 at 5:10 am

    Love this blog. You have me thinking of the word I want to use for this year. Wonderful job Nathalie!

    • Nathalie Lussier on January 3, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      Awesome Jo-Na! I know you will find just the word to do the trick. :) BTW, I sent someone your way the other day who was looking to set up her LLC.

    • Jo-Na Williams on January 4, 2013 at 11:09 am

      Thanks Nathalie! Let's chat. I've been thinking about you lately!

    • Jo-Na Williams on January 8, 2013 at 5:38 am

      Figured out my word: Choice

  13. Anna on January 2, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Nathalie you are so down to earth and such a inspiration! Thanks for sharing not only your “words” but your story. You are truly someone to “follow” in this next year! Own your talents my friend as you have soooo many!

  14. Nikole Gipps on January 3, 2013 at 2:23 am

    I don’t know that I have a word (or one that I am brave enough to admit even to myself), but when did you redo your site? I love it the new header and photos! I think much of my year is going to be about training myself into systems … sounds incredibly boring though, doesn’t it?

  15. Prime on January 3, 2013 at 3:00 am

    Words are indeed powerful. But then, I’m a writer and I know for a fact that words have the power to either harm or do good. And having a theme word for the year sets the mood and inspire action.

    Last year, my theme word (or perhaps theme phrase was more apt) was “follow your heart”. Which is why I did a lot of inner work and a lot of experimenting in 2012. This year, with my travel blog growing, I have chosen “PLAY BIG” as my theme phrase (that or perhaps, “Go Big or Go Home”?). It’s time for me to occupy a place in the big girls table. So I have to invest more time, money and energy into making The Gypsygals the ultimate source for solo female travelers. And that has to start NOW!

  16. Mary Wiseman on January 3, 2013 at 4:33 am

    Hi Nathalie, for me, it’s been a great year in part because I have discovered you, your stories, your blog and your offerrings. I love the idea of choosing words to represent your year and goals.

    My word for 2013 is consistency. My intent is to be consistent in showing up, expressing my ideas and my offerrings.

    Thank you again for your inspiration….Happy New Year!

  17. Marielle on January 3, 2013 at 8:20 am

    What an interesting approach to a new year resolution, It’s so nice to see that your 2012 word was Be seen, and that’s the year I found your website through smartcreativewoman. You seem to me like a really self driven woman, congratulations for that. I’ll think about my word.

  18. Nathalie Lussier on January 3, 2013 at 9:51 am

    @Gina: Oooh I love that for you Gina, engage is so powerful too!

    @Jenna: YES! I can’t wait to see how thing works out for you this year Jenna, so excited for you.

    @Sabrina: I love the distinction – not just reading about others, but doing it yourself!

    @Edita: Breakthrough is SO coming your way this year!

    @Anna: Aww you are such a sweetheart, thank you. :)

    @Nikole: Systems are great, I love them – and I think they will treat you well. :) I redid the site in April of 2012.

    @Prime: I love what you’re creating with Gypsygals – way to take your dream and make it happen! I know there’s so much goodness coming your way, you’ve been putting all the foundational work in and it’s going to pay off. :)

  19. Jessica on January 3, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Totally agree Leonie’s book is a must-have, Nathalie. I’ve been a circle member since the beginning, so each year I’d downloaded it, but it wasn’t until this year that I’ve really been *using* it, and it’s so much more than just pretty ;-). It’s interesting how cathartic the 2012 processing was for me, and I’m having fun diving into 2013 planning with it. So glad you recommended it here!

    For me, my 2013 word is integration. It fits in many different ways–integrating the lessons and learnings of last year (and previous years), and also coming into deeper connection with life and business and the people around me. I did the “be seen” thing last year, too… and yowzas was it scary (and intense, and amazing!). Fingers crossed “integration” won’t be quite as much of a roller coaster ;-).

  20. Purna Bhattacharya on January 3, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Courage. After my best friend passed away, I learned he had a lot of courage and displayed it regularly, even until the very end. If he could do it under his circumstances, then so can I! I've already seen a major shift since I start using it to set my intentions in September. Great post, Nath!

    • Nathalie Lussier on January 4, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      Oh dear Purna, I totally hear you. Courage is so important and life changing, sending you so much love.

  21. Purna Bhattacharya on January 3, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Courage. After my best friend passed away, I learned he had a lot of courage and displayed it regularly, even until the very end. If he could do it under his circumstances, then so can I! I've already seen a major shift since I start using it to set my intentions in September. Great post, Nath!

  22. Briana Borten on January 3, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Rad. My word for 2013 is rad. Love you Nathalie!

    • Nathalie Lussier on January 4, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      Rad! That totally describes who you are and what your life is all about already. Love it. :)

    • Briana Borten on January 4, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      Thanks Nathalie. I love it because it feels young and silly and vibrant, and yet totally ready to rock :).

  23. april on January 3, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    hi, nathalie!

    i just detailed the whole process of how i chose my word of the year in a blog post on my website today. i would love to share it here as well . . .

    my word is WAVE.

    i am ready for the many curves, bends, and swells that 2013 may bring. i plan to catch the wave, however tumultuous, of my personal odyssey.

    thank you for a wonderful article.

  24. Jat on January 3, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Hey Nathalie, To think that such a simple exercise can be so powerful. Love it!!

    My word for the year will be “Today” as in to focus on the present, live in the here and now. To accept the past and leave it there. And when it comes to the future I have set my goals but will be sure to approach them by taking each day as it comes, to make “Today” the ultimate focus of my being.

    What can I say. Thanks again for this little gem!!

  25. Katie Adler on January 4, 2013 at 1:35 am

    SHINE! is my word! Thanks Nathalie great way to keep the ball rolling…….

    • Nathalie Lussier on January 4, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      Awesome Katie! I have a friend whose word is also Shine – what a great and sparkly one to kick off the new year with!

  26. april on January 3, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    oh, i’d love to leave the link to the post about my word (wave):


  27. Cathy Sykora on January 4, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Great post Nathalie! I set my intention today and it is “service”. You inspired my post for the day…plus you are very right, setting an intention early in the year will keep my eye on what is most important to me in life and in business! I appreciate all the tools you provide. Thanks. ~Cathy

  28. Nathalie Lussier on January 4, 2013 at 10:30 am

    @Jessica: Oh I hear you on the rollercoaster-ness of being seen! I love integration for you, I think that has so much depth and will take you really far, too!

    @April: Ride it April! I love “wave”, it’s a powerful one!

    @Jat: Wowza! Today is a genius one. I feel that it will really help you enjoy your year, day by day, amazing!

    @Cathy: Oh Cathy, service is such an amazing guiding word. I’m excited for you and I feel like it’s got some grounding energy that will keep you focused, love it. :)

  29. jean on January 4, 2013 at 10:35 am


  30. Julie Varughese on January 4, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Standards. When people, projects or jobs harm me personally or professionally, I don't keep them in my life. Gracefully phasing out harmful people has been a challenge. Thus far, the best way I've determined is to ignore them.

    • Nathalie Lussier on January 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      Ahh yes! Getting boundaries in place in your life is uber important Julie Varughese! I'm excited for your year of standards!

  31. Daisy on January 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Hey Nathalie, I LOVE this idea! I’ve been going through the words in my head checking to see which one ties the plans I have for my year together the best and, interestingly enough, the word that comes to mind, although not fancy shmancy is: BEST. Yup, that’s the one, it sits well.

    “Rise” was another but I figured I’ll be rising while putting my best work out there – rising half-a$$ed won’t cut it ;)

  32. Natalie MacNeil on January 4, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Awesome post Nathalie Lussier! Love it. My word of 2013 is CONQUER, I'm going bigger in every aspect of my life and business this year. Last year I laid a lot of foundations and raised my first round of funding to take my company She Takes on the World to the next level. This year is all about building a mansion onto that foundations ;).

    • Nathalie Lussier on January 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      Ooh I like that Natalie MacNeil! I feel like Conquer is such a "you"-word and I can't wait to visit the mansion. :)

  33. Jessica Scheer on January 7, 2013 at 4:49 am

    Wow, I loved this post and the "Word of the Year" exercise! My word is Fearless. I've been prepping for this for the last few months… practicing listening to my inner voice and validating *me*. I am excited to keep at this and go with the idea of "If I were fearless, I would…" Thanks for the tool share! xo

  34. Leanne Jones Eft on January 7, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Hi Natalie What a great idea… a word for the year! I read your blog about this yesterday and have been giving some thought to my word… I've decided on TRANSFORMATION. I am going to transform every aspect of my life this year, my finances, my business by taking it to a higher level and myself (work in progress!)/ I'm going to get out of my comfort zone and make some magic happen! Thanks for such an inspiring idea :)

    • Nathalie Lussier on January 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      Way to go Leanne Jones EFT – Emotional Freedom Coach – I think Transformation is going to take you really far in 2013. I love that you're focusing in on finances, business, and yourself too – very well rounded Transformation!

  35. Nathalie Lussier on January 8, 2013 at 10:55 am

    @Jean: Woohoo, manifest is a good one for you – excited to see what you conjure. :)

    @Daisy: Yes, Best is a really good one, it will elevate you in so many ways!

    @Jessica: Awesome – I love the “If I were fearless I would…” question!

    @Cynthia: Yay!!

  36. Kelly Anne Tuohey on January 26, 2013 at 5:19 am

    My word for 2013 is connection. Bring it.