Last year I ran across an email or a social media post from Jon Gordon promoting the One Word Challenge. Without doing much investigating, I half-heartedly chose my word for 2021: Perseverance. Although it was a half-hearted effort at choosing One Word, and I didn’t regularly reflect on it, I’m still going to call it my first One Word. And I did persevere through 2021, a year that was supposed to be easier than 2020, but wasn’t. All in all, 2021 wasn’t the worst on record for me personally, but the struggles that many others suffered were not lost on me.
A few weeks ago, Jon threw his challenge back out for the upcoming year. This time around, I took it a bit more seriously and invested more time and thought into choosing a word for 2022. In so doing, I signed up to receive a week’s worth of One Word Challenge emails that I committed to reading each day, and that have helped me choose a word with more intention.
The “One Word that will Change Your Life” video ( 4 minutes) and accompanying description may help those who are considering choosing One Word: “One Word that Will Change Your Life will inspire you to simplify your life and work by focusing on just one word for this year. That’s right! One Word creates clarity, power, passion and life-change. The simple power of One Word is that it impacts all six dimensions of your life – mental, physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and financial. Simply put, One Word sticks. There is a word meant for you and when you find it, live it, and share it, your life will become more rewarding and exciting than ever.”
In addition to choosing One Word for the upcoming year, Jon and his co-authors of the book One Word that will Change Your Life, Dan Britton and Jimmy Page, discuss the concept of beginning with the end in mind. In that vein, they propose choosing a Life Word, in addition to your yearly word. The following video is a more in-depth conversation (40 minutes) about the One Word Challenge and its origins.
Jon reminds us that your “One Word” will often come to you. You may think about it for several days, or even for several weeks. One day, it will just come to you. I didn’t necessarily experience this magical acquisition of my 2022 word, but I had been pondering it for a few days when my sisters and I took our annual “Day After Christmas Get-Away.” As always, we spent our time together talking, talking, and talking. It was actually on the drive to our “Get Away” that my sister, Jenny, dropped a word in casual conversation. That word was quickly added to my list of One Word possibilities. Within a few days, and after much thinking and debating, I settled on my 2022 word. Jenny – you get the credit for this one.
The list of possibilities for my 2022 word that didn’t make the cut, but that may very well be my One Word in future years, include: GRATITUDE, POSITIVE, IMPACT, WARMTH, PASSION, INTEGRITY, GRIT, SOPHISTICATION, UNDERSTAND, IMPROVE, LISTEN, and OVERCOME. I continue to wrestle with my life word, but have easily narrowed it down to one of two words: GRATITUDE or POSITIVE.
My One Word for 2022 will be: CLARITY
- As an instructional coach , I will seek clarity by listening. Less talking, more listening. When I do talk (or write!), I intend to be more clear, succinct, and affirming.
- As a consumer of those things I put in my body, I will seek clarity of mind, body, and spirit by ingesting less salt, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. More specifically, I will quit consuming mindlessly and in excess.
- As a wife and mother, I will continue to work on clarity in my roll as a selfless (ooooh, this is going to be tough!) person who lifts my spouse and children up. I spend loads of time and effort trying to perfect my role as an instructional literacy coach, and not near as much time and effort on my role as a wife and mother. Granted, our children are older and don’t require the time and attention that they did in their younger years. I believe my efforts now could be focused on lifting them up as they people they are (not who I want them to be.) The words of Kahlil Gibran ring loud and clear here: