What's In A Word?
I'm wishing you a 2022 filled with focus and direction--a year that keeps returning you to your path even when it twists and turns unexpectedly with no warning. Isn't that how we've experienced our lives the past few years? We think we've got a map, a way forward--but even the newest GPS turns up suddenly obsolete.
That's why there's power in choosing a word or phrase for your year.
What is a word or phrase that focuses your intention for 2022?
I chose "CREATE” as my word for 2021, walking myself through a selection process similar to the process I'm going to share with you. On January 1st, 2021 I didn't know exactly what I’d create, but I had ideas and the possibilities seemed endless.
Then came June 8 and a Breast Cancer diagnosis. Oh my. At first, hearing the word "CANCER" created fear tinged with an edge of terror. I found myself reeling, watching all that I'd planned to CREATE slip through my fingers.
And then I began to CREATE space for empowering myself. After all, I'm an Empowerment Coach. The first thing I created were my Ten Cancer Commandments--if you're following my blog you've read them in a previous post. Clinging to those 10 cancer commandments created space to breathe, to remember my intention, to stay empowered as I walked a path I didn't choose or intend or ever want to walk.
It turns out that choosing a word for your year isn't a full-proof way to reach all the goals you've set for your week, month, or year...
So what good does it do to identify a word or phrase for each year? Does it really make any kind of difference to have a focus word if you find yourself part way through the year and life begins to unravel?
Yes, a word for your year makes a powerful difference. Choosing a word for your year names where you want to focus your energy, time and resources. Naming ONE word (or short phrase) for the year keeps you aligned to your purpose and values, no matter what's coming along to derail you (like breast cancer, for example).
Yes, AND... you'll need to keep your word front and center, externally posted in front you where you'll see it every day. You'll want to say it aloud often, write it over and over again. Your word won't make any difference if you declare it and then ignore it. Your word won't guide you if you don't hold it out in front of you, letting it shine on the road ahead--like a good headlamp--as you get to parts of the path that are dark and unfamiliar.
Your word for 2022 has the potential to keep you focused, energized, fully empowered. If you choose an empowering word, you'll stay aligned to what matters most--even when your daily existence keeps shifting and changing.
Try this process for discovering THE WORD or PHRASE for your year:
Brainstorm around your favorite words--words that motivate, energize and inspire you--words that describe what you value most. If you've already spent time identifying your core values, add those to your list. Try to stay with verbs, but keep open to any words that pull you toward them for whatever reason. Write as many words or phrases as you want, without editing or discarding any word unless you see it on the page in front of you and realize it's not going to make the cut.
Now start your edits--gently, not rushing to get to your decision. Notice patterns and similarities, putting words and phrases into categories if you think it's helpful. Begin to cross off words or phrases that you're not resonating with as much as you did when the word first came to mind.
By now you have a shorter list. Say each word or phrase aloud--considering trying out different tones, inflections and volumes.
Begin to circle any word or phrase that seems motivating, inspiring and empowering--the words that that feel powerful when you're saying them aloud.
Once you have a short list, write down any goals you want to accomplish this year--include any of your dreams that seem important, the ones that seem to be drawing you toward them sooner rather than later.
Spend time listening, praying (whatever that looks like for you), meditating. This step is where your inner guidance and intuition will come into play if you're willing to be still, to listen and breathe and give yourself space.
If you're a verbal processor or getting input is important to you, run your final choices by a trusted friend or family member who knows you well. Name your top choices and offer them some reasons why you're drawn toward each each of the words or phrases on your short list. Let them know that you're the one who gets to choose your own word, but you'd like to hear their thoughts as they've listened to what you've said about your process and the words that have made your top 3-10 list.
Now it's time to choose and let your chosen word or phrase marinate for a bit. Trust that you'll know whether it's THE WORD ready to be your guide and focus through 2022.
I've chosen my word for 2022. It's a simple YES. I'll say more. That's a blog post for another day.
I'm curious. What’s the word or phrase that will guide you and keep you focused through 2022?