If you are wise, you will show yourself rather as a reservoir than as a canal. A canal spreads abroad water as it receives it, but a reservoir waits until it is filled before overflowing, and thus without loss to itself shares its super abundant water.
I have kept my journals for over over ten years but have only been choosing a word-of-the-year to set my intention for the year since 2010 (you can read previous selections here). My journal - which is used for writing (gratitude), notes, sketches, ideas, paintings, etc.- is kept by my bedside all year round so that I can begin or end my days with whatever catches my fancy and so having my word-of-the-year on the cover is a great daily reminder. Since I began setting an annual intention rather than resolutions I have seen a huge shift in my life. I can't say whether it is just a natural shift or whether it is the focus word but I am so glad I started doing this six years ago.
Initially I read about this process on Christine Kane's blog and she still offers a free Word-of-the-Year Discovery Tool download to help select a guiding word. Another great worksheet that I like to download each year just to remind myself of the great things that have happened over the past year and to document what I am looking forward to is Susannah Conway's Unravelling the Year Ahead. I like to make a pot of tea, light a candle, put on some music and pull out my coloured Staedtler markers. It's another great way to focus on gratitude and to remember what is important to me and a great way to begin a new year.