New Year; New Word
Happy New Year! We made it to 2021. With a new year, I choose a new word to set the tone for the new year. I wrote an article about a year ago to help people learn how to choose a word to define their year. In it, I shared my words for the last three years, with some information about how those words impacted the year they defined. I also announced my word for 2020 in that article, OPEN.
The best thing that happened was that I was open to opportunities, and they found me. I started a part-time job, and I began to explore some different ideas. The worst thing was that a pandemic happened. It closed a lot in our world. Being open meant I was open to learning new things, and in April, I did a month-long challenge to work on myself and self-improvement is something I am totally open to.
Since I started 2020 with the idea of being open to whatever is coming to me, I do realize a blanket statement like that certainly allowed some negativity to cross my path. I continue to strive to look towards the bright side of everything, and in the process of living through a pandemic, I have had to learn to open my ears along with my eyes and my heart.
To choose a word for 2021, I started giving it some thought in November. My mother had commented on social media that tenacity is a family trait. I thought about this word for a while, but I did not want to spend the year fighting and struggling. I kept thinking. Another word that came to mind was “simplify”. While this word reflects what I am searching for, there is nothing simple about me. I kept pondering for another little while.
In December, I came across another word that would take words like tenacity and simplify a step further for me. On New Year’s Eve, I shared my new word for 2021. I picked BALANCE.
It is already making itself known in my mind and heart. I am searching for answers to what I am supposed to do with the gifts and talents I have been born with. In 2020, I came to understand that I need to embody the word, open, and in doing so, too many things came into my life. This is why I leaned into “simplify” for a bit. To be honest, though, a balance in all areas of my life is what I will be searching for in 2021.
Another result of the word open in 2020 was that I learned I needed to set up boundaries for myself. At times, there is too much information available to consume, and if it is not in alignment with your heart and spirit, it can have a detrimental effect. I found myself being dragged down into a depression from time to time in 2020. With so much negativity and upheaval in one year, it is a natural response that many of us felt and may still be feeling. I learned to detach my personal feelings from the majority of what I was exposing them to from the news and social media. Working in a retail store, sometimes it can strike when I am unprepared, and I need to take a break for a few minutes to compose myself. These are also lessons I have learned. I can be open to new ideas and possibilities without having to absorb every detail of what I am experiencing. Being open in 2020 allowed me to experience something I have been striving towards in the last five years: personal growth.
Not in the waistline with the Covid-19 Quarantine 15, but in my own self-esteem and personal development. Throughout 2020, I constantly challenged myself to expand my own thought horizons, to learn as much as I could. I still have a lot to learn, but this past year has allowed me to continue this journey. In spite of everything else, I am grateful for the gifts I have been given, and I continue to search for answers.
To move from being open to all of the possibilities to search for balance in all areas of my life seems like the next logical step for me. It involves starting a new habit, to blend in with what I am already working on. I will share more about that in two weeks. Until then, ponder this. What word will you choose to define your 2021?