Choose a Word Instead of a New Year’s Resolution

2021 finally came to an end.  

As challenging as both 2020 and 2021 have been, welcoming 2022 is something many looked forward to.  And no – I don’t mean 2020 too.  Let’s not even make that a thing, please.

Beginning a new year is like a fresh start. 

A clean slate.  An opportunity to leave the past in the past and look forward to what’s next.  Many have struggled and gone through hard times these last few years and are ready to leave it all in the past.

There will always be highs, lows, and ups and downs throughout the course of a year, but that’s life.  And if we’ve learned anything these last few years it’s that we can’t control what’s to come.  We can only control how we choose to handle it. 

As a new year begins, setting resolutions to break bad habits or to do better at something may seem like the obligatory thing to do. 

For some, resolutions may be helpful in holding themselves accountable. If it works for you that’s great! But for others, resolutions may lead to stress and disappointment if they aren’t able to keep them.  They are like a pass/fail– either you do it or you don’t. 

But in reality – life isn’t like that.  Life rarely provides instant gratification; it is more about making progress little by little as you go along.  Sometimes resolutions can feel more like “rules,” which can easily be broken.  And if those “rules” are broken it may cause feelings of failure. 

So instead, let’s change the path of our year from the very beginning by doing something different.  Instead of setting resolutions, try choosing a word.  

Picking a word (or words) for the year brings clarity and focus to who we want to become and what we want to accomplish during 2022.  It acts as a guide for your life.  In some ways, it is a form of a mental mentor allowing us to stay motivated. 

Your word can serve as a gentle reminder to stay the course and keep pushing towards your goals, whatever they may be.  

A word can simply add meaning to every action we take to help us reach our personal and professional goals.  It allows us to reset at any point while still moving forward without veering off course.  

I know the New Year has already started, but it’s not too late.  If choosing a word is something of interest to you, give it a try.

Take time to reflect back on previous years.  What brought you joy?  Where have you found yourself?  Is there an area in your life you feel needs more attention?  Make a list of words that describe the kind of person you are or the kind of person you would like to become by the end of 2022.  

Don’t necessarily focus on what you want to accomplish, but how you would like to grow personally to get there.    

Gratitude, Embrace, Comfort, Focus, Present, Intentional, Strength, Power, Hope, Overcome; these are just a few examples of words that could truly speak to you and how you want your year to feel.

Maybe you’ll have a “boom” moment and the perfect word will come to you.  Or maybe it will take a little time and thought, and that’s okay too.   

Choose a word that guides your journey, no matter what this year brings.  Allow it to set the tone for what’s to come.

Happy New Year – here’s to making 2022 the best one yet!

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Ashley is a ‘small town’ girl who moved to the ‘big city’ of Cedar Rapids after high school. A graduate of Coe College, Ashley is currently a kindergarten teacher and a true lover of yoga pants, cozy sweatshirts, chai tea lattes and cookie dough. Ashley and her husband, Mitch, first met each other back in middle school, dated when they were freshmen in high school, then reconnected one final time via Facebook back in 2006 shortly after Mitch returned from his first deployment. They've stood by their vows of ‘for better or worse,’ and as they approach their 10 year wedding anniversary, they aren’t afraid to admit that marriage isn’t easy. They welcomed their first child, Stella Grace Bass, in May of 2013 and their second child, Archer Mitchell Bass, in December of 2017!

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