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What's the Word?: 2024 Words of The Year


For the fifth year, each MADE team member has chosen a "Word of the Year" — a single word that sums up what we want to focus on, achieve, or embrace in the coming year. 

Choosing a word is a little bit different than setting the traditional New Year's resolutions. Choosing a word allows us to determine what our mindset for the year will be. It allows us to summarize all of our goals, hopes, and pursuits into one, simple word for the year and provides us direction, a mantra, or a north star. It also allows us to reflect on the previous year and add some direction for the year ahead as a team, keeping our goals in check. Somehow, even though we pick our words independently, they fit together nicely each year, and 2024 is no exception.

Here are the MADE 2024 Words of the Year:

Allen Reed

“You have to motivate yourself with challenges. That's how you know you're still alive."
~Jerry Seinfeld

This year, I’m committing to challenge myself—a personal call to action and a reminder that growth happens when I step beyond my comfort zone. Challenges, while not always a joy ride, offer an opportunity for me to tackle the uncomfortable aspects of my personal and work life, reimagining them—not as roadblocks—but as achievable goals.

Part of any personal growth journey involves letting go—shedding the unnecessary to make room for what truly matters. Challenge is an ongoing process, a continual effort to refine and focus on what’s important and beneficial. Interestingly, when I chose it, I didn’t immediately notice that my name sits smack dab in the middle of the word “chALLENge.” Call it a happy accident or a funny twist, but I believe it adds a personal touch to my commitment.

As I navigate this long and winding road, I’m open to being challenged by others and helping them challenge themselves. It’s a two-way street of learning and growth, where shared perspectives lead to shared success. So, as I challenge myself to let go of unnecessary stuff, embrace discomfort, and allow for change, feel free to join me. Let’s find joy in the uncertain and, most importantly, discover the extraordinary possibilities that come with taking on life’s challenges, one step at a time.



Michelle Ledford

Never get too comfortable. This motto echoes loudly in my mind as a business owner.

Because what can happen when you become too comfortable? You can easily fall into old routines, bad habits and the “we’ve always done it that way” mentality. So, instead, how do you become uncomfortable? You reset.

But why the word “reset”? When you reset something, you start it over again or adjust it. I know that the strategies that have brought us nearly seven years of success are not the exact same strategies that will help us grow for the next seven.

For me, reset is a power move. It reflects my entrepreneurial spirit's deep-rooted drive to pivot, innovate, and redefine success. Whether it's giving our business model a facelift, revamping our operations, or diving into new markets, this reset is the secret sauce for our growth.

In 2024, I’m embracing the opportunities that come with hitting that reset button – fresh strategies, improved processes, new innovations, and more success.

It won’t be easy. But it will be worth it.



Cindy Joyce

Persistent determination

I ended 2023 quietly with my family—laying low so that the new year was unaware I was trying to sneak in under the radar. I knew with certainty that if it checked my ID at the door, I’d be denied entrance.

As I reflected on the trials (and triumphs) of the past year, it's evident that resilience is not just about enduring difficulties, but trying to focus on and embrace the good.

Tenacity is more than endurance, it is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire. Tenacity is more than hanging on, which may be but the weakness of being too afraid to fall off.
~Psalm 46:10

On December 30th while scrolling Instagram, @advice posted an image that read, “First rule of 2024: Do not dwell on what went wrong in 2023. Wrap that up by December 31st.” How could such a simple statement be the most poignant thing I’d read all year? I decided then and there that there was no point in dwelling on things I couldn’t change and that it was time to grab hold of the things I could.

So for 2024, I put only a few achievable and calculable goals in place that I’m determined to achieve. The emphasis lies not only on enduring challenges, but on facing them with a tenacity that guarantees success. This mindset is not only a personal commitmentI hope it becomes a professional asset. As this new year unfolds, I hope this determined spirit propels me forward and inspires those around me.



Erin Hollenkamp

purpose: the object toward which one strives or for which something exists; an aim or goal

Toward the end of 2023, I was reading (and loving!) a book about creating meaningful events called The Art of Gathering. The author encourages readers to step away from focusing on event planning logistics and, instead, start by asking big-picture questions. Why are you planning a gathering? How do you want attendees to feel when they walk away? What makes the event distinctive? While these questions are specific to event planning, a central theme was emerging.

Why are we doing what we're doing?

We have so many exciting options for what to do and how to do it—why waste time on the things that aren't serving our purpose? This year, I plan to use purpose as a filter. Does this event/blog/action/meeting really contribute to my goals or our clients' goals? If it doesn't, then I'm sweeping it to the side! If it does, let's dive into it more. A new year is the perfect time to take a fresh look at our actions, and I'm looking forward to choosing my actions with more intention.



Taylor Nobbe

Each year, I get so excited to set the new year's intentions and goals. For me, it's a chance to process all the great and hard things from the year before, but also reset and embrace opportunities and fresh energy of the new year. 

As I sat down to plan 2024, the podcast I was listening to suggested I get up, put on a great song, and just dance before settling into the practice. I had a song come to mind immediately (Work This Body by Walk the Moon). So, I got up and danced. 

Afterward, slightly sweaty and breathing heavier than I expected I would be, I felt so energetic, bubbling with happiness. As I sat back down, I realized I wanted more of that this year. More joy. More excitement. More wins. More love. More confidence. More abundance. More happiness.

Last year, I created space for myself to settle, giving myself patience and time to adapt to change. This year, I resolve to find joy—to seek it out. I resolve to cultivate a supportive community. I resolve to continue to grow and thrive at work and strengthen my relationships with clients and my coworkers. I resolve to embrace creativity and accomplish my goals. It feels empowering to remind myself that I'm capable of cultivating the things I want in life, regardless of what it throws my way.

Oh, and there will definitely be more dance parties, too. 

Do you choose a word of the year? Share your word in our blog comments—we would love to hear from you!