As we start a new year, there’s much hope and promise ahead. Regardless of how the past year panned out, there’s always a sense of potential in the months that lay ahead of us, and now is a great idea to think about what you hope to achieve and how you can take steps towards becoming the best version of yourself.
9 years ago I discovered a concept that switched my thinking away from setting a New Years resolution and towards something much simpler, more forgiving, and for me, more effective. Once again I will be choosing a #OneWord to guide me through the year ahead, and I’ll share with you the reasons why I think you should choose a #OneWord too.
This article suggests that the failure rate for New Year’s resolutions is said to be about 80 percent, with most individuals losing their resolve by mid-February. Some resolutions are too generic, some unforgiving, and some just unrealistic, after all what is it about the start of the new year that miraculously makes you change your behavior when you haven’t attended to the problem in hand over the previous year?
Resolution. It’s a strong, demanding word. It screams, I must! It’s a demand that we place upon ourselves, and there is no room for failure. Yet, failure is pretty much inevitable. Most of us simply don’t respond to this word, and when we don’t, we feel disappointed in ourselves–even ashamed.Inc. Magazine
The theory behind the idea of identifying a single guiding word is that it points us towards the type of person that we want to become. And unlike a resolution, a single word can’t be broken. I visualize this as a word that sits on my shoulder and gently nudges me towards a more improved version of myself. In this article by Nicole Dean she suggests that you decide what one thing, if applied to every area of your life, will have the most impact and bring the most positive changes into your life. Then you work to apply that word to every area situation and task in which you find yourself. Personally I have had much success with the #OneWord concept and will reveal my chosen word for 2022 later in this post.
So how does one identify the #OneWord to guide them over the coming year? You could be inspired by the choice of others. Last year over 1200 people shared their #OneWord with me, from which I made the following graphic which might provide you with inspiration.
Perhaps you might be inspired by the #OneWord selections from the famous. Kanye West chose ‘Beautify’ last year, Rihanna chose ‘Faith’ and Beyonce chose ‘Surrender’. All of them turned their word into a My Intent bracelet, and their website has a great interactive quiz that you can take to help you identify a #OneWord.
Once I have chosen my word, I put it into action in a number of ways. I’ve blogged many times about my #OneWord experiences and I’ll continue to share my word with readers, my students, and friends and family. I know that if I share my word widely, then I have to commit to it. Plus I’ll also have the benefit of others nudging me towards a better version of myself.
One great tip to ensure success is to keep your word prominent in your daily life. Some people turn their word into a phone wallpaper, or frame it and hang it on their wall. My reading and podcast listening will revolve around my word as I discover the ways in which it can be interpreted and applied to my life. Additionally, I like to get creative and pin quotes and artwork pertaining to my word above my desk, also adding some to my iWatch face. Keeping your word prominent will inspire you and help inform the choices you make.
If you share your #OneWord2022 with me I’ll create some artwork similar to the one above, so that your choice can inspire others. Additionally, if you complete this google form, using the power of add-ons, you will be immediately sent some images like the one below, but with your #OneWord embedded in it! You can use the images to save and share with others. *This might not work if your email address filters out emails from outside of your network.*
And so to my chosen word for the year. 2021 was another year that started with hope and promise but seemed to fizzle out into pandemic-related frustrations. There were lows, which included teaching lessons remotely, without ever meeting many of my students. There were also highs, and the return to in-person learning, and physically being with students again, reminded me of the joys of teaching. However, as much as I had hoped that there would be a continued return to normalcy, we will soon be returning to school with both eyes on the COVID positivity rates. As such, I’ve been feeling deflated. The adrenaline that comes with the start of the school year has run out and I have found it as hard to teach as creatively as I wish. The darker, longer evenings have put me in a seasonal funk, and I feel like I have been operating on ‘auto mode’. Going through the motions. Wake, teach, eat, sleep. Repeat.
I need to hit the re-boot button. I need an update. I need to REFRESH.
By choosing REFRESH as my #OneWord2022, I hope to reboot all areas of my life. I can REFRESH in the morning by not checking my social media feed and drinking a pot of coffee. Instead I can switch to herbal teas and sneak in a 10 minute meditation to replace 10 minutes of doomscrolling my Instafeed.
I can REFRESH my time at school by switching up my lessons, modernizing some of my go-to lessons, and involving students in my planning process so that I can better align my content with their needs.
I can REFRESH my time at home by being more present with my family. I enjoy spending time with my family, but I can work harder at being more present for everyone. That requires me to finish lesson planning and grading at school, so that just as I am 100% there for 100% of my students….I can be 100% there for 100% of my family.
I’m excited to see where REFRESH will take me. I can REFRESH my weekly meals, exploring foods from different cookbooks and cultures. I can REFRESH my reading habits and incorporate more books that I read for pleasure, and not just for work. I can REFRESH my social life by being more open to new experiences, and saying yes when asked to try new things.
Look out for new REFRESH artwork, REFRESH-themed playlists, and requests for REFRESH-related reading materials in 2022.
Now it’s your turn. What #OneWord will YOU choose to guide you in the year ahead?
If you liked this post you’ll also appreciate ‘Make Next Year Your Best Year‘.
If you’re looking for reading inspiration for the year ahead, you should check out the titles chosen as our Books of the Month!
Here are a few questions for you to consider this week:
Q1: What steps have you already taken towards embracing your #oneword2022? #slowchathealth
Q2: Which areas of your life will be affected by your #oneword2022? #slowchathealth
Q3: With whom will you share your #oneword2022? #slowchathealth
Q4: How will you know if your #oneword2022 was a success? #slowchathealth