My 2022 Word of the Year

I learned a long time ago that New Years’ resolutions don’t resonate with me. I make them, and I break them without a second thought. There are a few reasons for this. For starters, resolutions are typically too broad. Lose weight. Get organized. Write more. Volunteer often. Yes, I could drill down each of these statements with smaller steps, an overall plan, and a foreseeable goal. And then, to seal the deal, I would find the perfect app to accompany it.

To be honest, I already have the steps, plans, goals, and apps in place. And I’m working through each of these goals slowly but steadily. So, what do I need resolutions for? To commit to the same things I committed to last year? Seems a little silly to me.

Nevertheless, I like to jump on a good bandwagon, and writers have the perfect tradition for this. We pick a word of the year. Instead of making resolutions, we challenge ourselves to find a word that encompasses the kind of focus we want to achieve year-round.

It’s a pretty tall order, but I highly recommend it, especially if you aren’t a resolutions person.

Just to recap, in 2018, picked the word “coffee” and vowed to meet up with people to have coffee and catch up, network, or just for laughs. That was a fun year. I can’t find the word I chose in 2019, but for 2020, it was “believe,” and last year’s word was “today.”

For 2022, I wanted to pick something that motivates me and inspires me to grow and change for the better. Who better to turn to for inspiration than author and motivational speaker Brene Brown. She once said, “connection is why we’re here. It is what gives purpose and meaning in our lives.”

I agree with this on so many levels. What are we here for if not to find purpose and meaning in our lives? So, my word of the year is CONNECT. It speaks to me for several reasons. Here are a few of them.

Personally Speaking

For the past few years, I’ve said that I have a book in me. I am finally getting that book down on paper. In order to write a book, you have to connect on a deeper level with yourself, your past, and your future. This is what I have been doing for the last year with the help of the writing community, where I am an active participant. Soon enough, I will connect the dots on my story and hopefully be fortunate enough to share it with the rest of the world.

I will also start a new chapter in my life later this year as an empty nester. Both of my kids will be in college, which will be quite an adjustment. I admit that I’m feeling a bit anxious about it. But, I am combatting that anxiety by connecting on a different and exciting new level with my husband and my semi-adult children.

While I’m looking forward to the personal growth that will bring me, I’m also not rushing it. I plan to be present for all the special occasions and little parenting moments I can collect until I have to drop Andrew off at college.

Professionally Speaking

From a career perspective, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the people I’ve met along the way. I have an excellent professional support system made up of mentors, colleagues, friends, and family who continue to encourage and inspire me. I am so grateful to them, and in 2022, I want to reconnect with them, help them in their journey, and see where that leads. Networking has never been a chore for me. I thrive on meeting and learning from new people. LinkedIn was a big part of that when I was looking for a job. Now, I want to look for opportunities where I can share my expertise, continue learning, and give back to those who have been so good to me.

A Word on Disconnecting

When I think about connecting with what’s most important to me in 2022, it also helps to recognize what makes me unhappy. In 2020, I left a toxic work environment for a much more supportive one. This made all the difference in my life this past year. I’m much happier, healthier, and better for it. And now I know that life is too short for jobs, people, and things that don’t bring us joy.

I also want to disconnect from doom-scrolling on social media and watching hours and hours of news programs. I’ve been a news junkie all my life, but it has not served me well lately. At this point, I’m scared of the pandemic, the politics, and the pandemic politics. I want to be informed but need to find more balance here. And sometimes it is better to unplug from all of that shit instead – with the exception of Jake Tapper and all of the late-night talk show hosts. They still bring me plenty of joy.

I will also continue disconnecting from the world for a while with a good book. I read 30 books in 2021 and set a new Goodreads goal for 35 books in the new year. I’d actually like to read more than that, but we will see what happens. I also learned to DNF (do not finish) books that I can’t get into the story. Again, life is too short.

One More Thing

This post is the start of a new blog challenge for me – the Ultimate Blog Challenge consists of 31 posts in 31 days. Some days I’ll have plenty to say, and other days I may post a photo or a quick story. I hope you will read, comment, and share your stories with me too. Don’t want to miss a blog post? Subscribe above to get a post in your inbox every day!

Happy New Year! Let’s connect!



17 comments on My 2022 Word of the Year

  1. Glenda Cates
    January 5, 2022 at 5:31 pm (2 years ago)

    I loved that you choose Coffee for your word of the year one year and connect also hit home with me. But this year instead of using Believe or something like it I chose growth for my word of the year as I want to do this in so many ways including this challenge. I wish you the best and look forward to more of your post and seeing how your word fits into the year. Have a nice day.

    • Elisa
      January 6, 2022 at 9:18 am (2 years ago)

      I love the word growth – you can do so much with it. Can’t wait to read about how you weave growth opportunities into your life. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Kate Loving Shenk
    January 4, 2022 at 11:53 am (2 years ago)

    I suddenly came up with the word “Presence.” Listening for inner guidance and intuition, tuning in to the guidance that is always there, like a best friend.

    • Elisa
      January 6, 2022 at 9:22 am (2 years ago)

      Love it!

  3. Robert Krantweiss
    January 2, 2022 at 10:36 am (2 years ago)

    Elisa, I liked your article and being a Words With Friends addict the title of your piece definitely encouraged me to read on. Before I tell you my word of the year I would like to bring to your attention to the word that I used to end the previous sentence. It brought to my mind a grammar rule that my good friend Joe Matisoff told me that Winston Churchill once said. It was “Ending a sentence with a preposition is one thing with which I will not put up!” Proceeding with my selection, I chose the word “SIXTY”. I hope that this will help me to NOT procrastinate or be late less because I have always been good at solving Math problems in my head by thinking of simple addition and multiplication using the base 100. Now when I have to be at a place at 6:00, the digits seem to suggest the base of a 100. I hope that by remembering that there are 60 minutes in an hour, not 100 I will be able to be closer to being on time more often. This method has already worked a few times for me. BTW, if you want a laugh check Mark Lipsky’s Facebook post from yesterday. BOB KRANTWEISS

  4. Laurie
    January 1, 2022 at 9:32 pm (2 years ago)

    It would be so hard to pick one word for the year for me. But, connect is a good goal to focus on.

    I, too have realized that DNF is not a crime. I’ve laid down a few that I just plain lost interest in. I can usually tell if I’m going to like a book before getting too far into it. I’ve learned to just leave it alone if I’m not connecting with it.

    I rarely set resolutions. I like the short term goals that we can focus on for a time and have some success. A whole year is too hard to keep track of for me.

    Let’s keep each other motivated to keep at the blogging challenge. Little by little we can do it!

    Ridge Haven Homestead

  5. Ronda Bowen
    January 1, 2022 at 5:38 pm (2 years ago)

    I love the word “connect.” Mine for 2021 was “simplify” and for 2022, it’s going to be “organize” with all of the connotations of that word (not just the obvious). I too have moved away from the whole resolution thing… I’d rather just start goals when I set them.

    • Elisa
      January 1, 2022 at 5:49 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks, Ronda! Simplify and organize are great words and they go together so well. Can’t wait to hear more about what organizing means to you.

  6. Julie JordanScott
    January 1, 2022 at 4:04 pm (2 years ago)

    What a fantastic word you chose, Elisa. I think Coffee is pretty connecting, too, actually. I seem to enjoy it more when I am with people. Enjoy seeing what you’re up to!

    • Elisa
      January 1, 2022 at 5:50 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Julie! You are right! Coffee and connecting definitely go together. And when I’m properly caffeinated, the connections I make are that much better!

  7. Grace Clancy
    January 1, 2022 at 3:50 pm (2 years ago)

    Your connecting and disconnecting are part of my future too, but I didn’t name them. Thanks for helping from afar, yet again!

    • Elisa
      January 1, 2022 at 5:52 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Grace! Let me know how it goes. There is so much that is going in all of our lives and connecting/discnnecting could be a great way to set priorities. Happy New year to you and your family!

  8. Lily Leung
    January 1, 2022 at 3:45 pm (2 years ago)

    Eliza, your words resonate with me. I do find having a word helpful in guiding me through the year. I haven’t made resolutions ever.

    • Elisa
      January 1, 2022 at 5:53 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks, Lily. Good to see you again. Glad to know I’m not the only one who is anti-resolutions at this time of year. 🙂

  9. Victoria Juster
    January 1, 2022 at 3:29 pm (2 years ago)

    I love the word connect. Connecting with myself, people, animals and nature. I enjoy your writing and thought that I could just relax and read your post. But now you’ve gotten me thinking about picking a word.

    • Elisa
      January 1, 2022 at 5:54 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks so much and YES to all of the above – people, pets, books, hikes… it all counts. Let me know if you pick a word and what you choose.

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