Do I really need a “word of the year”?
Hi. My name is Kim, and I am a recovering resolution maker.
It was a problem. Every year, I’d kick through the door with lists of goals, mission statements, armed with vision boards and self-help books. “This year is going to be MY YEAR,” I’d proclaim. Every freaking year I’d buy into this “New Year, New Me!” slogan.
Picking A Word
Don’t get me wrong, there were times I created lasting habits. As a result of a resolution in 2010, I have a daily exercise habit that is almost as good as therapy (almost). You’re reading this blog! That was a resolution in 2014.
But this year? I tip-toed to the doorstep of 2021, gently knocking. I looked both ways before reluctantly stepping in. For the first time in my memory, I have no resolutions for this calendar year. No lofty ambitions for drastic changes. No book lists or declarations of new organization routines.
Nope. I don’t need to be better, I just need to … be.
A friend suggested, instead of a resolution, I declare a “Word of The Year.”
“A what?” I asked.
This very determined friend explained, to focus on one word helps set intentions for the year. It’s not a resolution, just a reminder. She suggested visualizing how I wanted to feel this year, and create a one word mantra that would center me when chaos inevitably hit.
I was reluctant. I even laughed enough to write a script about the process. We made it a video:
But here’s the thing: I discovered I may benefit from this mini-mantra. The last year taught me to value all the things I had taken for granted. I recently followed an Instagram account call @1000hoursoutside, with a goal to get kids, well, outside. They posted this from William Martin:
“Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may be admirable, but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples, and pears.
Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.”
I could have read those same words two years ago and moved on, but this year, it hit differently. I was so wrapped up in goals, targets, and resolutions that when the world came to a screeching halt in 2020 — it showed me I was missing the joys right in front of me.
So my word? (Well, I’m cheating and technically using two.) I’m choosing, “Extra Ordinary.” My goal is to find the “extra” in the “ordinary.”
As I type this, the sun came out on what was forecasted to be a gloomy January day. How cool is that? My dog just chased, then caught her tail for a full 14 minutes and it was hilarious. My son got a fart machine for Christmas (stay with me on this) and it’s malfunctioning, so randomly throughout the day it releases a big rip out of nowhere. It makes us laugh every. Single. Time.
So that’s my word(s) for the year. Finding the joys in things I once took for granted.
Friends, I wish you happiness in this new year. Do you have a goal, a word, or even a resolution? Let me know.