I am a big fan of doing a Word of the Year. It is a fun way to remind you what you want more of in your life in a really gentle and flexible way.
I do lots of goal planning in the gap between Christmas and New Year. Little bite-sized chunks, working out what I want to do in the coming year. I get excited about all the possibilities which exist in a fresh year barely started. I’m described as relentlessly cheerful by my partner and so I approach every New Year with a great deal of excitement about all the awesome things we will do in it. But I don’t leave things to chance – I’m a planner and so I work out what magic I want in my life in the coming year. I work out how to make it happen and I schedule it in.
A word of the year is like a quiet theme that wends it way through the year; something I can come back to time and time again to remind myself what is important for me right now. It isn’t as defined as my goals, although I definitely have a set of actions to take to make it real!
I’m not sure where the ‘Word of the Year’ originates. I’ve seen it pop up in so many places in blogland over the years and I first encountered it through the Leonie Dawson Life Workbook (my main planning tool) about 4-5 years ago.
To the nitty gritty… this year has been a strange one for me in terms of planning my goals. Although this blog was almost silent last year I did a lot of writing behind the scenes. I had a role-playing game published and launched a successful kickstarter (role-playing again!) with Josh. It was a great year for goals and projects even if the blogging took backseat.
Now we are going into 2016 expecting a second amazing baby in May. So I’ve been reluctant to plan lots of big projects and goals into my life because you never know how your life will change when you detonate a baby into it. (And frankly levels of exhaustion unknown last time are already kicking my bottom). I’ve no idea how long I’ll need to adjust to the change post-birth. So although I have plans this year they are fairly low key and I can scale them up or down as I need to. The priority is fulfilling the kickstarter before detonation day and a couple of other similar projects and hopefully getting chickens in the Spring but otherwise my plans are for art, role-playing, knitting, writing, mending, lots of outdoor time as a family and a modest veg garden if I can manage it.
Which brings me back to my word of the year.
As in ‘go with the…’.
I wanted a word which meant I could ditch, downscale or change any of my other goals GUILT FREE if our family’s needs (and my needs) required it. I wanted a word I could mutter under my breath to help me relax when R refuses to wear trousers in freezing temps. I wanted a word that was the opposite of the anxiety which I’ve lived with for much of my life.
I’m posting this with one month into 2016. I’ve made lots of small changes which are sticking, more yoga and swimming, banning screens for an hour before bed, breathing and consciously unbunching my muscles when I hear the awful phrase “I don’t want my teeth cleaned, I do it myself”. I’m still getting tired and stressed, but when I feel that way I remember my word and at the very least I cease feeling guilty that I’m stressed. And that is a huge step forward.
Do any of you do a Word of the Year, planning or goal setting? I’d love to hear about it!