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Preparing for the new year with "one word"

In some ways, I expected this year to be an easy year; after all, the world was returning to some form of normalcy after two years of disruption.

Was it an easy year? Not quite.

It was a challenging year, some good, some bad and some quite ugly.

My year started with conflict and loss, and it ended with conflict and loss, the bookends of the year, so to speak. During the period in the middle, I, like many, took every opportunity for work and attempted to cram as much work as possible into a six-month period, so I was exhausted and unprepared for the disruption that came my way.

And this is how I enter my traditional “one-word” exercise.

Exhausted, mourning, and ready for a personal change in the new year.

Simple guidance needed

Each year the “one word” exercise has helped focus my efforts throughout the year. Each of them brought me a simple way to stay focused on the intention I had set for that year.

The question, “what’s your new year's resolution?” just reminds me that, like many of us, I have never kept a new years resolution longer than a few weeks, and every year brings me back to "one word" to keep things simple and agile.

So every year, I choose one word that resonates with me, of what I want to achieve and what I want from life in the coming year. When at a crossroads or when I am uncertain, my one word has helped me make the decision I need, and this exercise has been successful in leading me where I needed to go at the time. Therefore, I do not enter this activity lightly!

One word is continuous improvement, easier to remember, and focus is inherent. It is adaptable, creative and innovative, and it cannot fail.

At the end of this year, events have forced more self-reflection than usual, and the desire is to be more intentional in choosing my one word. To choose something that is a challenge, less work-related and more life-related, more personal.

My journey to one word

When we are tired, when we are struggling, and someone pushes our trigger buttons, we tend to revert back to our inbred settings, especially if we have not taken time to meditate or exercise or use whichever tool we use to maintain calm and non-reactionary.

  • I set a lot of boundaries this year but struggled to maintain them

  • I set out to implement healthy habits but struggled to keep them consistently

  • I enabled a lot of relationships but struggled to maintain energy for myself

My goal this year is not to learn more methods to be at peace and achieve happiness but rather to implement all the excellent tools I already have in my toolkit, revisit the tools I have studied and use them more intentionally.