Finding My Word of the Year

Finding My Word of the Year
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Finding My Word of the Year

New Year’s Eve 2022

I received a text from my 22-year-old daughter with her 2023 “resolutions.” I immediately sat down my charcuterie party plate because it was a pretty cool, new twist, on an old theme. Rather than a collection of ways she could better herself, she shared a word burst of feelings, thoughts, ideas, and intentions.

Finding My Word of the YearNew Year’s Day 2023

As I was cooking our lucky black-eyed peas, my 20-year-old son casually asked me what my resolutions were, to which I replied that I didn’t have any. I explained it was too much pressure and that I usually end up being disappointed. He thought a moment, agreed with me and then sent me an impactful quote by author Mark Manson that explains it perfectly.

In the past when I have attempted new year’s goals, I would visualize the person I “should” be – the body I should have, the career improvements I should make, how I should operate in all my relationships, and all the perceived flaws I should fix.

This year, I realized I hadn’t visualized the one thing I should – myself as happy.

So how am I approaching 2023? As my children often do, they have inspired me, and I’m taking ideas from both of their approaches, and putting together a “plan” of my own – my Word Of The Year.  This alternative way to tackle New Year’s Resolutions has a pretty decent following, with many suggestions online on how to find the best “word” for you. It’s been referred to as a “nudge-word”, “mindset”, or “guiding star.”

I started out by making a list of questions to discover the feelings and experiences I would like to have this year, just like my daughter did. And just like my son, I was careful to avoid anything that skewed too critical of myself.

  1. How do I want to feel this year?
  2. What in my life needs nurturing?
  3. What/who inspires me?
  4. What holds me back?
  5. What’s missing?
  6. How can I be a better friend to myself?
  7. What are some words that speak to me?
  8. What don’t I need?
  9. How can take better care of myself?
  10. Where do I need to disconnect or reconnect?

According to followers of this plan, once you have found your word, it’s time to commit to it. That means keeping it at the forefront of your mind on a daily basis and letting it influence the choices you make.

This could mean saying “no” when you would typically say “yes”, or taking yourself out of your comfort zone to make better decisions for yourself. Maybe it’s acknowledging what is distracting you from living your “word”, and eliminating those obstacles, even if it stings.  Seek help where needed, and keep reminding yourself that you deserve this, and the people who love you want this for you too.

The Word of the Year I have landed on is Healthy. 

I think it’s a good umbrella term that will help me live with intention and carry it out in all aspects of my life. I can’t wait to see where it takes me in 2023!