Like many people, I select a one-word intention at the start of a new year. It’s gentler than a resolution and more akin to a promise. I watch for opportunities to put it into practice, and I use it as a barometer to make decisions.
In 2021, I was intending to Thrive. But instead, I sort of sprouted. Not a bad outcome, just not what I’d envisioned. I was aiming a little too high in a (not quite) post-pandemic world.
This past year the word Forward whispered to me. Within days, my inbox filled up with posts related to that: “5 Ways to Start The New Year!” “7 Things That Will Make Your New Year Great!” “11 Questions to Ask Yourself This Year!”
It was a lot. I didn’t want to make a forced march. I just wanted to take a step forward, get the lay of the land, then take one more.
During periods of great change (like the one we’re living in), we don’t have to commit to 5, 7, or 11 things. We can, however, commit to One Thing. Then, if that feels okay, we can choose one more. And so on.
So I spent the year taking one forward step at a time and ended up congratulating myself for how far I’d come.
We’ve all earned permission to take things at our own pace.
So, if you’re eager to hear what’s calling to you in 2023, here’s a simple formula for finding your magic word.
It helps to acknowledge what was in order to get clearer about what’s to come. To get to the heart of what matters most in the coming year, ask yourself some questions:
Too often, we make long lists of things to do, goals to accomplish, items to check off. Then we feel overwhelmed, maybe even defeated.
Our culture doesn’t reward standing still. It values action, problem-solving! “Just do it-ness.”
Forget all those years of conditioned response. Be true to yourself, stay true to the spirit of small, and be content with one step at a time.
Repeat as you can, when you can. Build a little momentum. Notice how you feel – are you on a hot track or a cold trail? Follow what feels best.
The key to living our intentions is to identify what we don’t want and to be honest about the life-affirming nature of what we do want. And if one word shines brightly after you play with these three simple invitations, then you have a North Star to guide you.
Whatever your intention, may your New Year sparkle with traces of the Peace, Joy and Love your holiday season left behind like specks of glitter on the living room floor.
What have you learned about taking things one step at a time? What is your intention for yourself in the New Year? Join the conversation!