I’ve almost missed the window to write my ‘new year’ piece. It’s ok, I suspected I would. January usually starts slowly for me – while everyone else seems to be making lists of goals, planning new projects and generally carpe diem-ing their way into the new year, I emerge from my Christmas stupor dazed and lethargic, with only enough energy to drag myself through the days.
My birthday is 2 weeks into January, and this is when I tend to look round and take stock of my life’s progress; not as the calendar rolls into a new year but as I myself clock up another year on the planet (this year, that number is 26). As I look back on the year just gone and the one ahead, I’m taking the ‘word of the year’ approach, and searching for the words that I would like to define the first year of what some would call my late twenties.
I like playing around with words – sometimes I think we don’t truly appreciate how each word has a unique meaning that matches it to certain situations, certain circumstances. Even synonyms of a word are not an exact match; they may mean roughly the same thing but every word is embedded with its own connotations that make it perfect for some uses, and completely wrong for others. So I’ve been trying some on for size as you would clothes, discarding the ones that don’t feel quite right until I settle on some that seem to fit.
If I was going to sum up 2016, I would use the word ‘stability’. I was settled at work, feeling confident for maybe the first time that I actually know things and am good at what I do, and my relationship developed the added comfort that you only get once it feels ‘long term’. In addition to this I only moved house once, which is a massive achievement for me. This isn’t to say I haven’t moved forward, and for this reason I’m going to add a second – ‘progress’. My improved confidence at work has gone hand in hand with new job roles and increased responsibility, and I also feel like I’ve taken good steps forward in some of my personal relationships.
So, what are my words for 2017? The first word I’ve chosen is ‘purpose’; I’m making it an aim to really think about what I want from the next few years, the skills I’d like to gain and how I’d like my career to develop, and take steps to make it happen. I’ve never been sure exactly what I want my life to look like, but I want to nail down some of my non-negotiables and make sure I’m doing something to secure them. I’m also playing around with another word…’change’. It might just be the new year making me restless and there’s definitely a lot of things in my life that I want to keep, but I’d quite like to get to 27 and feel like I’ve mixed things up a bit. Some of those changes are things I already have in my head, and hopefully the others will come to me…with a little bit of purpose.
Have you picked a word of the year? Let me know in the comments!