It’s 2022 and even saying that out loud sounds futuristic.
I know there’s a lot we could say about the last two years, but that’s not why we’re here! We’re here to look forward and think deeply and intentionally about what we want to carry with us in this new year.
Looking back can be helpful, for sure. In fact, I recently had Emily P. Freeman on The Happy Hour who talked about why looking back helps her move forward with more purpose. But only do so if it helps you learn something that you can apply to your present and future self.
January is usually all about setting goals. We take time to reevaluate ourselves, our lives, our habits and ask ourselves what we want to accomplish in the new year relating to our careers, physical and mental health, relationships, faith, and more.
None of this is wrong – it’s great to map out the things you want to achieve. But maybe you’re the type of person who can get overwhelmed writing it all down, organizing your thoughts, and nailing down a direction.
Or maybe you don’t get overwhelmed at all, but are just looking for a different system!
So here’s something that might help you out: Word of the Year.
You’ve probably heard of this before but if you’ve never taken the time to try it out yourself, I encourage you to give it a shot. Here’s why:
Sometimes listing out several different goals can feel like a lot, especially if the goals are within different categories of life (family, career, health, etc.). It helps to have something to tie it all together. A way to connect these different parts of your life. A theme.
That’s where your word of the year comes in.
Let’s say your word of the year is “execute”.
Maybe there’s something you really want to execute in your career, like that product idea that’s been in your notebook for a while or that promotion you’ve been too afraid to go after.
Maybe there are some health goals you’ve been putting off, like eating more vegetables or finally making an appointment with a therapist.
Maybe you’ve been wanting to spend more time as a family, like planning a vacation or setting aside intentional time to do activities together.
Maybe these are all goals of yours but you weren’t sure how to tie them all together.
This year, you will commit to executing small things in all areas of your life. Tackling one project that leads you closer to your career goals. Planning one day a month to go to the park together as a family. Choosing one vegetable to add to your weekly diet. Spending two days a month finding the right mental health resource for you. These are all things you can execute.
Something important to take note of: The word that you choose doesn’t have to be something that elicits a tangible achievement. Maybe your word is “grace” because you need to be more gracious in the way you talk and think about yourself.
This is the beauty of choosing a word over clear-cut goals. It can simply be something you want to carry in your spirit through the year. It can be a one-word manifesto that you commit to following.
Here are some good places to start for a word of the year:
Heal | Create | Dream | Rest | Inspire | Still | Faithful | Serve | Grace | Forgive | Atone | Boundaries | Gratitude | Focus | Compassion | Grow
This is important work. It matters. It doesn’t have to be extravagant for it to have a real impact on the way you navigate through life. Maybe 2022 is the year that you release expectations of yourself, have a spirit of thanksgiving, and allow God to do the work He’s going to do.
Any one-word jump out at you? Have you chosen a word of the year yet? Have you done so in the past? What was the result?
I’d love to know!
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