Establishing a word for the year is something I began a few years ago. I’ve never been big on resolutions but I do love setting my intentions for the year. Rather than making narrowly defined goals, I like to establish a feel and vision for what the new year and I wrap up that intent in one word.
I love how the selection of one word is an instant and easy source of accountability, as the early days of a new year fade into weeks and months. It can be hard to remember the many goals you established, as the new year progresses, but surely you can remember one word that is laced with meaning and intent.
In 2020, my word was FOCUS. I remember picking it because I was in a place where I said “yes” to way too much and needed to consolidated my time, effort, emotions, and energy. That word helped me make wiser decisions as the year progressed. When the pandemic hit, it helped me start this blog. I realized I needed to focus on the things that mattered deeply to me – like writing and encouraging others.
In 2021, my word was MEASURED. This word spoke to pace and the rhythms of life. As I entered into a beautiful new work season, I wanted to be intentional and thoughtful with the plans and movements of my life. The word helped me structure my days, as I tackle working remotely for an international non-profit.
In 2022, my word will be EMBRACE.
As 2021 was wrapping up, and I started dreaming of my new word, I was mentally playing with several options but nothing felt exactly right. I had word-of-the-year writer’s block! It was when my family took a last minute trip to the beach that the word hit me with clarity.
One day, early in the morning, I took our kids out to walk on the beach. The temperature was mild but the skies were foggy and dense. The chill and moisture in the air had a magical feel; I could tell we all felt the magic. I trailed behind as my kids ran ahead, in and out of the surf. The water was freezing – but it didn’t phase them. They shrieked with delight, giggled, and went back for more, as the waves chased their toes.
I stood as a quiet observer, my cheeks hurting from grinning as I watched. I reflected on how deeply they were embracing the moment. They were all in. They didn’t ask me what we were doing later, they were fully and perfectly present. Gratitude, focus, joy, delight – that is what I witnessed – that is what I want.
My Intent for 2022
I want to live the coming year in a way that embraces each moment in a perfectly present way. I want to feel joy rise from within. I want to live with an underpinning sense of childhood joy. To me “embrace” is pairing contentment with delight.
Since that “ah-ha” moment on the beach, I have spent time considering all the many things that EMBRACE means to me. An embrace is so much more than a hug. When I think of a physical embrace, I picture a person wrapping their arms around another; grabbing on with both arms. It is so much more than a hug. That word means a deep connection and pressing in.
I want to press in this year. I want to connect deeply with the people and things that matter to me. I want to feel it and to wrap both arms around it.
Now it is your turn!
If you are feeling stuck on what to choose for your word of the year, I suggest you start by reflecting on what you loved about this past year. Consider aspects you want to replicate in the year to come – all the good!
Then, consider the parts of your year brought you frustration or you know are areas for improvement. For example, I tend to struggle with being fully present – I try to multitask far too much. That is something I want to work on, which is one reason why EMBRACE was a great choice for my 2022 word.
Brainstorm a list of options and then read the definition of each. Sometimes is helps to see how the word is explained or the various use-cases. I feel certain that you’ll know the right word in your gut when you land on it.
Harper, my daughter, has picked COLORFUL this year for her word. To her that word is fun, creative, pretty, and new; all things she wants to characterize her year. Another friend picked ENRICH because she wants to nurture the important things in her life.
Tell me your word! Let’s Connect!
I can’t wait to learn what you’ve picked and watch as the next 365 days of your adventure play out. I hope you will let me know your word in the comments below or connect with me on Instagram! Let’s encourage each other into 2022 and beyond!