For some time now many of us here at Fit Is a Feminist Issue have been choosing a word-of-the-year as a sort of guide or focal point or value for the year to come (or at least that’s how I see it). You can read about our last year’s words of the year here. We also posted a check-in at around the halfway point to see how our words were serving us. Earlier this month Mina posted about the WOTY challenge and set us all to thinking about it. Her new word of the year, which she coined herself: skillflow.
Here are the rest of our words of the year, some with a little context about why we chose them.
In 2021 my word was “mindfulness” and it helped me stay aware and present. For 2022 I have chosen the word “focus” because despite aiming for mindfulness, I have been feeling scattered, distracted, and overextended. I think “focus” will help me feel more grounded in one thing at a time and more aware of when I am taking on too many things that distract me from the things I would like to focus on. I am not an effective multi-tasker, and the idea of making a conscious effort to focus makes me feel lighter already. It will also remind me to take out my camera more often, since photography is one of the things that gives me joy.
My word is “better”. Not in the sense of improving my skills, or doing longer or more frequent workouts, though I would be happy if those things also happened. I struggle with inertia and decision paralysis when there is no crisis or element of “new, shiny” to focus on. This year I want to focus on remembering that doing something is better than doing nothing. And then do something, even if it is just for a few minutes.
My word is “blossom”.In the year when I turn 50, I would like to encourage myself to blossom not settle or become stagnant. Whether it’s improving my speed when running or trying new strength exercises or finding things in my career that inspire a sense of blossoming.
My word for the year is ‘integrity.’ I’m not sure that’s exactly what I want though. I was torn between that and ‘authenticity.’ I do know that in a world that’s increasingly turbulent I feel the need to anchor in my own values and centre my way of being in the world. It’s the idea of being ‘rooted’ in the things that matter. Obviously I’m still thinking about the exact word but ‘integrity’ works for now.
My WOTY for 2021 was awake. And I have been. Awake to where I am in the moment, fretting slightly less over possible futures and past events. It’s been work, staying awake. But I’m here. For 2022, my WOTY is creativity. I’m looking forward to exploring the less analytical parts of myself, especially through writing, but also through movement. What does creativity in movement look like? I don’t know yet. I believe it will include more dancing, wild swimming, nature exploring on foot and bike, taking time out from my usual goal-oriented self. Stay tuned…
I took a beginners soccer clinic a few years ago. To introduce our first passing exercise, the coach asked us, “Do you know what is the first thing you do when you receive the ball?” I was expecting him to give an answer about footwork mechanics, but instead he said, “You smile. Because you have possession, and that’s why you are here. To play, be part of the game, and have fun. So no matter what, when you first touch the ball, smile.”It can be challenging to start or continue with new activities when you aren’t really good at them or feel you could be better. So in the new year, as I continue to explore new sports and exercises, instead of thinking negatively and being hard on myself I will instead remember to smile.
I made a vision board this year and hadn’t settled on a word per se as I was still letting things bubble. When I looked at the images, they reflected creative pursuits, physical adventures, risk taking, and embracing change. I realized all of these things were about space: My word is space: Taking space, making space, holding space. I’m taking space back for things that matter. I’m making space to grow, to reclaim and to explore. I’m holding space for me — to see where I want to go in this next decade.
My word for 2021 was consistency and that worked pretty well. I wasn’t necessarily consistent in that I always did things every day or over and over in the way I had originally intended, but I did achieve a sense of consistency overall. I was quicker to come back to the things that I intended to do, they didn’t just drift away until I was reminded of them again. And I’ve also put a lot of systems in place to support consistency and make things easier for me overall.For 2022, my theme is spaciousness. After writing a month of blog posts about making space, I have a richer sense of the sort of space I need in my life on a day-to-day basis. The fact that this knowledge is coming at the same time as my best level of medication yet and at the same time that I have finished homeschooling my youngest child seems fortuitous. Because of a combination of ADHD and personality I have felt rushed and out of control of my time for a lot of my life. I’ve done a lot of work in the last few years to unpack that feeling and figure out which aspects I can change and which ones I have to accept or reframe.Seeking spaciousness for the next year will help me to continue that work and create space in my mind, in my projects, in my home, and in my schedule.
Last year was “rest” and it really helped me relax into what I could and couldn’t do in 2021. But like a muscle that has been retracted or coiled up I’m choosing 2022 to “stretch” my body, my talents and my ways of thinking. All that rest and inward focus has put me in a rut and I need to stretch out into new spaces and places to grow.
Let’s see what next year’s new voices reveal!
What’s your #woty?