Why choose a word (or phrase) of the year? Because unlike a resolution, you can’t fail an idea. A concrete goal might be “lose 20 lbs.” You could succeed or fail at that. But a word of the year provides a direction for your compass. Maybe that word would be “health,” if you’re looking to become healthier, but maybe it would be “let go,” if the idea is to get rid of elements in your life that aren’t serving you any longer. See how it’s different? I like to think of the WotY as a gentler, kinder guide than the more militant new year’s resolution.
Here’s a quick review of all the words of the year I’ve chosen and why:
2017. habitual = habit + ritual. I wanted to take the activities I enjoyed and make them more sacred. I wanted to celebrate those things I did regularly rather than criticize myself for when my discipline lapsed. Reading, writing, cleaning, exercising.
2018. get up and go. I was active and I wanted to stay active. This was an exercise year.
2019. grind. I loved the double meaning of grind being a workout word as well as a coffee word. This was also an exercise year.
2020. realize. I wanted to “realize” — to make real — my dreams. The forever dream is to publish a book, which I didn’t do that year, but I did start a writing group, which gave me the accountability I needed of deadlines and expectant readers.
2021. step. As y’all likely remember, everything felt difficult that year. But I told myself that I could focus on one step at a time. Just write a little each day. Just tidy a few things. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be worth it.
2022. stride. Keeping with the forward movement and picking up the pace. I felt a little more empowered to keep going strong. This was a writing year.
2023. reach. I love that reach means “to try” and also “to achieve.” I chose a tarot card this year as well, the seven of pentacles, because it’s about trusting that the hard work you’re doing is good work and that it will pay off in the end. As I see it, this is the Trust the Process card. Don’t lose hope, don’t lose faith. Keep on keepin’ on.
Thanks for reading. I hope you choose a WotY that works for you. Remember, you don’t have to pick it by Jan 1 and you don’t have to keep it if it isn’t working–change it up any time! Love, Jobe.