January is the time of the year when we see an explosion of articles and social media posts from the personal development world helping us set our 2022 goals. Whether it’s making resolutions, creating a vision board, or listing our 10 goal for the year, there is no shortage of advice to help us set our intentions for the new year. As a self-described personal-development fanatic, I’ve done all of the above — and more! I love the fresh-start feeling each January 1 brings.
This year something different caught my eye, and I’m trying it — a word of the year.
Like a beacon of light, a word of the year is a guide to navigating the next 365 days. It’s a useful tool that can grant clarity and help with decision making. Choosing a word for the year can provide focus when sight is lost of objectives. It can produce accountability to remain honest with oneself. It can inspire the motivation needed when circumstances create bumps along the road.
As I think about all I want to accomplish in 2022, one word that comes to mind is “lean in.” So yeah… it’s more of a phrase than a word, but it perfectly sums up my intentions for the new year. I have a lot of challenging but fun agenda items on the horizon, from going back to school (yikes!), continuing my powerlifting training, and parenting my threenager.
Each of those is exciting one second and frightening the next. As my emotions ebb and flow, I can really overthink it all. Instead of letting fear hold me back in my comfort zone, I want to just lean in and see where it takes me. I’m thinking I will be pleasantly surprised by how much I’ll thrive regardless of the obstacles I will face. It’s all part of the journey.
For those looking to give this a go with me for 2022 but are not sure where to start, here are some questions to help narrow down your word:
- What did you love about 2021?
- What would you improve from 2021?
- What do you want more of in life?
- What do you want less of?
- What do you want to focus on in 2022?
- How do you want to feel once 2022 is over?
Are there any common themes in your answers? List all the words that come to mind when you review your answers. From this list, is there one that stands out and seems the most energizing or motivational?
Feel free to post your word as a screensaver, on the bathroom mirror, on the cover of a yearly planner, or anywhere useful as a constant reminder of your beacon of light for 2022.