Since 2016, I’ve selected a ‘Word of the Year’. A word to motivate me and keep me focused on one intention throughout the year. How do I select my word? It’s a process! Throughout the year, I jot down words that resonate with me. I narrow it down to two or three words, and then I have a few conversations to 'test it out' before selecting my one word.
In reflecting and selecting my word for 2022, “Acceptance” felt like a natural choice. Accepting and meeting others where they are at. Accepting and loving myself as I am. Accepting a difficult reality. Accepting a challenge. Accepting help. Accepting praise, feedback, and different points of view. Accepting new opportunities. Deciding what one cannot - and will not - accept.
Acceptance isn’t about giving up, or surrendering. It’s about getting perspective, and making a decision that is best for you at that time.
There’s an old adage that was given a new twist over the past few years: “We’re all in the same storm, but in different boats”. I think it’s true across the board! We all process things in our own unique way. We’re all in different boats. We have different talents, opportunities and resources at our disposal. Acceptance is knowing how and when to use them.
Acceptance is knowing when to follow the current and when to row against it. It’s seeing dark clouds gathering and making the choice to find safe refuge in a nearby harbour. It’s acknowledging that storms are part of life, and taking steps to build the safest, sturdiest, most resilient version of your own boat.
Sometimes acceptance is deciding that a drizzle of rain isn’t going to spoil a good day of fishing. And other times, it’s having the wisdom to understand that your particular boat was not made for these particular waves.
Acceptance supports us in making good choices. When we get thrown a curveball, it helps us move forward towards new goals instead of getting stuck in muck of regret or disappointment. The longer I live, the more I’ve come to accept that things rarely go the way we imagine. While we may get blown off course from time to time, we may also end up somewhere more beautiful than we dared to dream.
What’s YOUR ‘Word of the Year’?
As we start 2022, I invite you to find YOUR word of the year! A word to motive, guide and focus your intentions throughout the year.
Below is a worksheet to help kickstart the process. You can use it to brainstorm and uncover your 2022 word, or keep it nearby and jot down the ones that stand out to you over the course of the year for your 2023 word.
And if “Acceptance” resonates with you, I’ve included some images to help keep the word front of mind. Use them as wallpaper on your devices, or keep it simple and tape a printed copy to your wall (that’s what I’ll be doing!).
The photo of the boat was from my trip to Curacao in 2019. While I’ve accepted my decision to stay closer to home these past couple years, I’m looking forward to traveling again!
I hope you find these resources helpful. If you choose a word of the year, please share!