Each new year’s eve or day, as I reflect on the past year and look forward to what the next may bring, I choose a word to help me focus on the lessons I learned and want to keep close.
My 2022 word was EASE, focused on trying not to make things any more complicated than they need to be. Like most years, my success fluctuated over time. I never fully achieve what I hope to, but that focus results in the lessons I can build into the following year.
After journaling the accomplishments and disappointments of the past year, I express gratitude for the good times, celebrate the accomplishments, and focus on the lessons my disappointments taught me.
To choose my word for the year ahead, I start with at least 10 words that pop out of my brain on their own and then I use one of the many lists that can be found on Pinterest and add those that speak to me until to bring my list to 20-30 potential words.
From that list, I pare down to 10-12 that I am most drawn to. The next step is to group or categorize words that go together or “feel” the same to me. In the final steps, I choose one word from each group that captures that feeling best and write out a definition of that word, synonyms, and antonyms. This step almost always leads to the one word that calls to me most.
For 2023, my focus word is ATTRACT, defined as “to bring something into place by offering something of interest, favorable conditions, or opportunities.” Other connected words included evoke, charm, and enchant. Since magic, manifest, radiate and shine were also in the running, attract seemed to fully encompass the essence I was yearning to capture.
The law of attraction states that whatever you focus your energy on will come back to you. By putting out positive energy you attract achievement. You create the life you want. You allow what is meant for you to come to you.
Oh ALLOW…there you are again. A sub-focus of 2022’s word EASE, ALLOW is a directive I carry forward. Allowing things to happen has never been my forte. I’m more of a “hunt-it-down-with-the-relentless-focus-of-a-bloodhound” kind of gal. Somehow that seems at odds with ease, no?
Which got me thinking…what other Ghosts of New Years Past linger in this year’s word? I can’t locate my list of past words of the year right now, but those I can remember off the top of my head are: LIVE, AWAKEN, LESS, CHOICES, and INSPIRE.
There’s a little bit of each of them in my 2023 focus. When I chose LIVE, it was because I wanted to decrease my obsession on next steps and the future and just LIVE my life in the present. (LIVE ended up being a great choice for 2020 for many reasons!)
AWAKEN came from my desire to focus on living my life with intention.
LESS came from my wish to focus less on material goods, but also to worry less.
Looking back at CHOICES now, I see that AWAKEN was really just another chance to do this right. CHOICES focused me on living intentionally, too. I was wasting a lot of time watching TV or other mindless things while lamenting having no time to do the things “I really wanted to do.” My word reminded me to make mindful CHOICES and not float unconsciously through my days.
INSPIRE was my first word of the year. It came from a desire to live a life that inspires others to live their authentic lives as well. In 2022, I started this blog, coaching, and speaking business that I hope does just that.
Instead of ghosts, I guess I will look at them as words that have been integrated into my being. Soul words. Keys that have unlocked bigger and deeper pieces of my authentic life. The building blocks of my Corner of Wild and Free.
I’d love to help you develop yours.