passion my word of the year

What is Your Word of the Year?

Goblin mode, gaslighting, and permacrisis were the 2022 Words of the Year identified by the English language’s most notable dictionaries.  Pretty depressing, no?  But these are all words that describe last year.  I like to choose a word to describe the coming year, a guideline of how I want the new year to evolve.  What are your hopes and dreams for 2023?  What is your word of the year?

Reflecting Back & Looking Ahead

As I wrote in my post last week, I love the beginning of the year.  It’s a time to embrace stillness: to reflect on what worked and what didn’t and to formulate how and where you’d like to grow.  Now, I know that this blog is supposed to be about creating the habit of kindness in your life.  And this may seem a bit off topic.  But, for me, it is a kindness to take time for personal reflection.  It’s a kindness to myself. 

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about choosing a word of the year.  In my post, My Year of Discovery, I talked about how the word, “discovery,” guided me and gave shape to my first year back in the United States, when I really had no idea what I wanted to do with this new chapter in life.  And last year in this post, I explained how the word, “fearless,” helped me with intimidating first steps. “Persevere” pushed me through the times I wanted to quit.

What’s MY New Word of the Year?

Passion.  It dawned on me while I was reading Angela Duckworth’s exceptional book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.  Last year, my goal was to persevere—keep striving and working even when the returns felt marginal.  But Duckworth helped me realize that’s not enough.  It’s just as important to love what you’re doing and foster passion in your life.

Interest is one source of passion. Purpose—the intention to contribute to the well-being of others—is another. 

-Angela Duckworth

Your Word of the Year: Making It Happen

When you try to find information on the how-to’s of a “word of the year,” the bulk of articles outline how to choose one.  I like this one in particular.  Since they did such a good job, I’m going to tackle how to make sure your word of the year isn’t forgotten by February. So, like any new habit, you’ll need some strategies to keep it at the top of your mind and serving its purpose.

1. Make it meaningful.

When you choose your word of the year, consider all aspects of your life: work, family, friends, emotional and physical health, etc.  Are you able to apply your word to all areas? Will it make those aspects of your life more meaningful?  Does it encompass the overall direction you want to take in your life?

2. Make it fun.

You gotta wanna do it.  Sure, there are some things in life we have to do that we don’t particularly want to.  But I think that should be a rarity.  When you pick your word, does it make you smile?  Does the prospect of working that word into your daily activities excite you?

3. Tell people about it.

Accountability.  It’s one of the keys to creating new habits.  If we have someone or something that helps hold us accountable, we are more likely to follow through with our intentions. Every year, I discuss my word with my sister and a friend of mine.  Plus – I’ve told you in this post!

4. Plan it, schedule it, write it down.

You are much more likely to think about your word of the year if it’s highly visible.  Put it on a sticky on your computer…or make it your screensaver.  Book events or activities related to your word.  Buy a bracelet with the word engraved on it for yourself.  Whatever it takes so you don’t forget your intention for the year.

5. Revel in it.

Don’t underestimate the power of patting yourself on the back. If you manage to incorporate your word, celebrate it!  Post pictures to your Instagram, scrapbook about it, savor the accomplishment.  Be proud that you set an intention and achieved it.  Rewarding yourself makes it more likely you’ll do it again.

A Source of Inspiration

I’m excited about my word of the year, passion. I’ve already started to incorporate it into my life. I switched up my normal cardio workout and tried a dance class, had a romantic weekend jaunt with my husband, and even interviewed for a program to attend to further develop my passion for positive psychology.  It’s fun trying to spice up my life, and it’s rewarding feeling growth along the way. 

Take a few moments to be kind to yourself—choose a word of the year.  It may be the source of inspiration you need for a fantastic year ahead. 

“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.”
-Christopher K. Germer

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