What’s Your Word for 2021?
January 8, 2021
This past year has seen much grief, loss, and tested our capacity to be resilient and the ability to “pivot.” It’s no wonder that some of us are looking at 2021 with cautious optimism.
That cautious optimism can still fill us with hope for the new year, motivating us to make resolutions. New Year’s resolutions can lead to feelings of disappointment and guilt as most are broken by February. An excellent alternative to resolutions is to choose a word that will represent your hopes for the new year. Last year my word was resilience. I had no idea how much I would say, think of, and dig deep for that word. It is still my word for 2021, but I’m also adding “reclaim.”
I’m a huge advocate for self-care, wellness, and balance. Self-care leads to wellness, which leads to balance. 2020 challenged all three of these for me. I know I’m not alone in this. My self-care toolbox depleted, I pivoted so much I still feel dizzy, and my wellness was completely unbalanced. So, in 2021, I will reclaim the many things that fell by the wayside in 2020, but most importantly, I will reclaim my wellness.
“Reclaiming” wellness starts with prioritizing self-care. Helping others begins with helping ourselves first—you need to put your oxygen mask on before helping someone else with theirs.
If you’re going to set goals for yourself, make sure they’re “S.M.A.R.T.” goals—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.
Focusing on making small changes help make your goals S.M.A.R.T.
Adding a healthy habit rather than eliminating an unhealthy habit, which can feel overwhelming, can make small S.M.A.R.T changes. Whether it’s drinking more water, going to bed a little earlier, a few days each week, or adding an extra lap around the parking lot while you’re walking to your car.
In adding these healthy habits, celebrate your wins, no matter how small, and show yourself the same compassion you show others.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, finding ways to remain connected to those you love. Social connection is one of the keys to resilience and wellness. Physical distance should not equal social isolation.
In 2021, I will “reclaim” all of the things that add to my wellness. My wish is that you, too, will be able to “reclaim” the things that add to your wellness and that set your soul on fire.
I challenge you to find your word for 2021 and then live intentionally to manifest your word. Write your word on post-it notes and stick them on mirrors, the refrigerator, your car dashboard, your desk, and make it your phone lock screen or wallpaper. I would love to hear or read all of the words we choose for 2021, so I welcome you to send me a quick email with your word or a picture of your post-it (I have no financial disclosures related to post-it). firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author: Amy Parks DSW, LCSW is a licensed mental health professional who provides services under the UCSF Fresno Department of Pediatrics. She has expertise in counseling, social and human services, and community outreach.