Why you need a word of the year
And I don't mean 'goblin-mode'
Enjoying Out Of Office? You can buy me a coffee here.
Happy new year, Colleague!
I hope you had a suitably cheese-filled break and are even - whisper it - feeling glimmers of enthusiasm about the year to come.
I'm actually a big fan of January. I'm not one for self-punishment (the world of self-employment does quite enough of kicking a girl when she's down to require any effort on my part), but I like the slow, reflective quality of the month. The quiet, dark evenings and porridge-fuelled misty mornings (plus the slowing of social calendars) allow for some meditation on what's working, and what isn't.
If you're in a similarly reflective state, I'd like to recommend something I've found useful. Instead of a resolution per se, consider a word of the year. This is basically an intention, a goal of sorts, or at least a direction you're keen to move into.
The best words, IMO, have a double meaning, and can work in your professional and personal life. Last year, mine was 'create', which both meant embracing my more artistic side work-wise, and embarking on IVF. I wrote it childishly big in felt tip pen and pinned it above my desk to keep it in mind.
This year's, now I am waiting for the arrival of our much longed-for baby (less than five weeks to go!) is 'fluid'. Both evocative of birth itself (especially as I'm hoping to nab the hospital's only water birthing pool) but also the type of person and parent I would like to be. Someone who doesn't need to problem-solve around issues that don't yet exist; someone who goes with the flow and has faith in herself to work things out as they arise. I'm hoping this will also help me feel less freaked out about stepping away from my work for a few months, and the fear that it will all have dried up by the time I come back. That doesn't feel like a worry that a 'fluid' wonder woman would even entertain.
[Also, as someone who enjoys looking for patterns, I was also very excited to see that the next Lunar New Year will be that of the 'water rabbit' - it doesn't get much more fluid than that.]
Words of the year are something we've talked about in the accountability group over the past 12 months, and it was fun to get together in December and discuss whether we'd stuck to ours (for the most part, we had) and share new ones for 2023. Some of the group borrowed words that had proved successful for other members over the past year ('assert' was a popular choice.)
Have you had any luck with a word of the year in the past? What's your choice for 2023? I'd love to know.
As you may have guessed based on the whole 'five weeks to go' thing, this will actually be my last Out Of Office for the foreseeable. I'm hoping to bring it back once I'm working again, but you might have to bear with me - be fluid, guys - about when exactly that will be.
In the meantime, thanks so much for reading, emailing and donating coffees over the past couple of years - it's been an absolute pleasure talking shop with you and I hope 2023 brings you and your business everything your heart desires.