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Tuesday, January 4, 2022

In Other Words: Step Into the New Year With A Personal Word Of The Year


If you have watched the Ted Lasso series then you know that he posted a sign above the door to his office that says “Believe.” One word. And that one word drove everything he did for his team. 

I bring that up because this is the time when so many make resolutions in hopes of self-improvement. Now I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions but I am a fan of focused change and growth — even though that is not often easy. 

I’m not against having goals. I am, after all, a life long teacher so I understand the power of goal setting in order to achieve a desired end. But I also like to keep things simple especially if they work. So let’s step sideways to view our goal of self-improvement in a slightly different way. Instead of a resolution, choose a Word of the Year. 

Yup. It’s that simple — at least, on the surface. Choose one word to guide you through the upcoming madness, turmoil, surprises, changes, joy, sorrow, twists, turns, beginnings, and endings of 2022 that we know are bound to come. More people are choosing a Word of the Year instead of a resolution. Google “Word of the Year” and you’ll see what I mean. 

We don’t need to state “I hereby resolve to get into better physical shape” because we will likely fail. Instead use “health” as your guide. You may not hit the weights like you want but you might end up walking three to five miles a day or eating better or tending your mental health or, well, you get the idea. This is not a new idea but it’s an idea that needs to catch on. 

Fort Thomas resident, Gina Shenefelt, has chosen “Growth. I had a really bad accident in June, and I was afraid I would be stuck in that fear forever. I've learned that I can't just sit in that.”

Susan Deis Stewart of Colonel De’s Herbs and Spices, says that, “My word is change. I know there will be so many changes in my life. Personally. Professionally. And in every other way.” 

Highlands High School teacher, Ahren George Wagner, says, “My word for 2022 is Create. I am going to be more intentional in all areas of my life. Creating new experiences and programs for my students and FCCLA members, creating connections and relationships with coworkers and colleagues, creating memories and experiences with Craig, Addy, Lainey and Michael and the rest of my family members, creating a better physical self, creating a better home, physically, socially, emotionally, and of course creating through quilting, sewing, cross stitch, and other hobbies.”

A few words I am considering for my Word for the Year for 2022 include forgive, resilience, communicate, plant, create, health.  I haven’t quite decided but I am working that out. 

But whatever I choose, I’m going to write it on a piece of paper and put it where I’ll see it every day - like the mirror. Imagine the effect of seeing and planting that one word in your head every day. It becomes a mantra. And, of course, the purpose of a mantra is to stay focused. 

Here are a few words to get you started. Let me know what word you choose and how it works for you. 

health- fitness - family - consistency - create - acknowledge - faith - listen - learn - adventure - patience - understanding - simplicity - challenge - mindful - commit - forgive - resilience - communicate - plant - focus - seek - respect - enlighten - renew - transform - purpose - imagine - learn - courage - journey - contribute - here - vision - cultivate - kindness 

The truth is that all of us will be different by the time we reach the end of the year. All of us will change. We will either act or we will be acted upon. The choice is ours. Choosing a personal Word of the Year is a strong step in the inevitable move forward. 

What will your future be? One word can help you determine that. 


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