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Dear 2022, We need to have a word

Guest Post by Lauryn Woodman
Guest Post by Lauryn Woodman

Instructional Designer, Educator, Accessibility Advocate

Well, that happened. I think we can all agree that 2021 was kind of a whirlwind. In any event, whatever it was for you, it’s over now. With the end of a year comes closure, reflection, excitement, and hopefully some semblance of focus and vision.

What do you want to do in this year ahead? Who do you want to be? In a perfect world? Well, what would that perfect world be? What would it look like?

What went right or wrong in 2021? And how can you make sure that 2022 brings you positivity, peace, and happiness?

I don’t love the idea of New Year’s resolutions. I never set them, and even in the past when I had I always failed almost instantly. What I’ve started doing over the past few years is setting a word of intention. Something to focus on. Something to ground me. Something to bring me back to my purpose, to keep me going through the year.

After the torment that was 2020, that saw so much loss and so much pain, I chose to focus on the word peace for the first six months of 2021. I sought peace in every aspect of my life, in all my interactions. I thought hard about my situation, my relationships, and evaluated if they were bringing me the peace that I wanted and needed. Weirdly (or perhaps intuitively), as I started to embrace peace, and started to turn away from the things that didn’t bring me that peace, I found it and I found myself at ease. Peaceful.

And so having made it to the mountaintop by midway through 2021, I decided to choose another word, and that word was free. I had found peace but I still felt caged and restricted. A lot of that was having a job that was no longer serving me or my purpose and feeling really uninspired. I wanted to break free. There were also a lot of relationships that I felt trapped in. I was “keeping the peace” but I wasn’t free to be myself.

Finding myself and remembering who I was, and learning to manage those relationships played a key role in helping me feel free. By the end of 2021, I had a new job that valued and inspired me. I have some new and different and stronger relationships with people who support me and my freedom and my peace. And the year ahead looks really bright. There’s a lot of opportunities. And when I look back to a year ago, my life on the surface might seem similar but it feels so different because I have peace and I have freedom.

As we approach 2022, I challenge you to take a look at your life. Think hard about what it is you want. Who you want to be, how you want to live, how you want to feel. Then choose a word to focus on as you move forward into 2022. I find that focusing on a feeling is much more profound than focusing on something tangible. You might think that you want more money, but why? What’s the goal? Do you want to be able to provide? Do you want to feel fulfilled? Do you want the freedom that comes with more money? We should be chasing those feelings rather than their tangible outcomes. If you seek fulfillment in the feeling, no matter what the tangible outcome is, you’ll feel fulfilled.

So what will your word be?

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