We adore setting our WOTYs. Mine was PLAY last year, and although I kind of forgot about it I did live up to it. This year it will be CHOICE. More and more, I’m realizing that I let others make decisions I’d rather make, or take the first obvious option, or just don’t even decide, let alone express, what I want. This year I’ll work on that. I want to work with people, I want (sometimes) opinions—but even if I choose to do what someone else wants, I want to know what I wanted and why I chose differently.
CHOICE also reflects the political clarity that the issue of bodily autonomy has given me. In the past, I’ve had a hard time arguing with some family members about voting choices. This year, I’m focused on one thing and one thing only: women’s rights to make our own health care decisions. And I have zero trouble telling anyone why.
Do you know your WOTY? Or want some help finding a word that captures where you’re heading? TALK, friends.
Mine is OTTER! Last year was LEAP, which was great, but this year I need to both FLOAT (go with the flow of what I've already got going on) and DIVE (go deeper into the same) so I picked on of my favorite creatures to represent that.
I like picking a word that has a bodily dimension to it. So this year mine is STRETCH. I’m going to push myself just to the point of being deliciously uncomfortable, but never so far that I injure myself. It’s about recognizing my limits and being okay with discomfort.
My word is LIGHTEN. I need to lighten up and not be so dang serious all the time - play and laugh and remember what fun feels like. I need to lighten my footprint - mindful consumption and reducing carbon footprint. I want to lighten myself a little - some weight snuck up on me after a surgery and it’s time to get healthier again. I want to lighten the load - shed burdens and things I don’t need, and help others with their loads. And finally, I want to lighten my heart and let it be buoyed by the love I’m so lucky to have around me.
Mine is FUTURE, as in making the changes and incremental progress now so that future me achieves her goals, is less stressed, and has a better chance of being healthier and happier. It allows for tiny steps (look at the document, think about the current writing project, plan next steps) as long as they take me forward, even if it’s a millimeter further than I was.
This year, I have chosen the word, “stretch,” because I want to stretch / do yoga for 20 minutes every day, and I also want to stretch beyond my comfort zone in my career and personal life. This year, I plan to stretch myself and show up as my strongest self physically, mentally, and spiritually. By showing up as my strongest self and stretching beyond my comfort zone, I plan to make 2023 the best one yet!
Mind is CRAFT. I want to work on the craft of writing a story, I want to play with crafts--particularly knitting, and I want to work on crafting the kind of life I want to live in the long-term.
Last year's was MOXIE since I was combating a lot of imposter syndrome as my novel Her Dying Day launched and I was doing book talks all over the country. I feel like I embodied Moxie pretty well so I have high hopes for CRAFT.
Thanks for sharing! I chose ALIGN last year and I did a good job of aligning my values and needs in the areas of work and relationships, but not so much in the area of health goals (ah, there's the obliger personality again)! This year, my word is CULTIVATE. Now that I am (mostly!) aligned, I need to cultivate all the things I want to grow, including the routines that will keep me writing, healthy, and connected with those I love. (As a side note, I love this SOOOO much that I also pick a word of the month - December's was SAVOR; January's is DEADLINE).
Mine is very focused on why I’m here – it’s LAUNCH! My pub day is March 8. This has been a long journey for me. This is the third edition of my non-fiction book that was first published in 2011. I had two editions with my previous publisher, which was a professional organization and not really a traditional publisher. They never did anything with that book and I was lucky to have done well enough with it on my own to get a contract with a new publisher. I have been pouring over episodes and absorbing as much information as I can to try to position this book as best I can this time.￼🤞￼
I just had my first baby in October so my PHRASE/THEME of the year is Relish, Regulate and Resume! I want to relish these newborn baby days instead of letting stress/tiredness be my focus, regulate how I keep on top of things like the house, garden and family photos, and resume activities that have fallen by the wayside these past couple of months. I couldn't think of a word to sum all that up hence my phrase!
This year I'm going with INTENTIONAL, as in spending my time and energy in an intentional way. I'm 1000 weeks pregnant and life is about to get nuts. I want those small glimpses of brain power in between naps and feedings and carting my older kids around to be as intentional as possible.
I just wrote my own substack about this! ￼ I do have a word, but it’s a guide, not a promise, and I’m taking off the pressure ￼to live up to it every day.
Mine is ORGANIC. In terms of my writing, I want projects, ideas, and practices to develop organically rather than forcing it or doing things because I think I’m “supposed to” do them.
Mine is "practical happiness." I think of it as the more down-to-earth cousin of gratitude. It is stopping to smell the roses. It is recognizing day-to-day pleasures: the first hot gulp of a cup of tea, putting a sticker in my bullet journal when I meet my daily work goal, the smell of garlic in hot olive oil or beans in the slow cooker, laughing with My Own True Love about not much.
I chose WATER. I live in Arizona and water is precious! On a practical level I need to drink more water. On a metaphorical level, I’m inspired by the way water moves gracefully around obstacles and always finds a way through. And still water - well, we all know that we writers tend to run deep!
Mine is NURTURE - as a new mama, a writer, and in general, I want to nurture myself, my family, and my writing so that all of the above can grow and flourish in the new year.
Love this! Mine is Bloom. I’m mum to two including a toddler and my husband has had chronic fatigue post covid for the last two years and I sometimes feel quite lost in all that so Bloom is my medicine. I have garden plans, self care plans and stripping back to simplicity too. Thanks for sharing 🌸
My word is brave. Brave enough to be confident in myself but also brave enough to say I need to relax a bit.
Mine is ENRICH. Marketing a new book this year has made me feel that all I do is ask for favors. But I wrote my book to enrich people's lives, so I need to steer myself back to my purpose. It's already working. Every encounter, even when I'm speaking about the book, is not about selling books, it's about ENRICHING others.
My word last year was CHOICE! It was all about the power of small acts and help me restore my sense of agency over the direction of my life. This year's word is RECLAIM, reclaiming my voice, my time, my power.
Mine is “soften.”
I’m expecting my first bub this summer, and something about that looming change has required a deconstruction and examination of how it is that my life is structured.
I (like many modern women & femme folk) am prone to unhealthy pushing against my own boundaries & contorting myself to meet other’s expectations -- in work, in my social obligations, in my own understanding and portrayal of self.
Becoming a mother, and living through the tender era of the first trimester wherein I became fragile, needy, and unable to fulfill every tall order I make for myself has delivered me to the conclusion that I am meant to give in. To choose less, and wisely. To listen to the needs of my body and my family. To move slowly and more mindfully; to savour the syrupy passage of time. Already I find myself at the close of my first trimester. Everyone tells you it goes faster than you think -- and they’re right. I want to be soft enough for time to leave an impression on me -- bending to it and with it, rather than fighting against it & losing in 24 hour cycles.
Mine is Actualize. I had my astrological chart read recently and with almost all my planets in my 7th house it’s my lesson to self-actualize apparently. It’s my time to fully embody myself. Wish me luck!
I've chosen ACTIVATE. For me this covers a number of bases – to be active in my writing goals, to activate that part of me that plans, and sticks to a plan so I can achieve my goal of writing and publishing a novel. This also includes ENGAGE – a Jean-Luc Picard saying that empowers me to push through the difficulties.
I chose CONNECT. I want to connect my work to its intended audience(s) and, as an historian, I want to make good analytical connections in my work. Personally, I want to be more connected to people in my life, both my immediate family and people I have seen less because of the pandemic. I want to feel more connected to my body through more yoga and more connected to the world through a bit more travel after very little for the last nearly three years.
My word of the year is REFRAME ✨