Anyone else love the feeling of starting a new calendar? Call me weird but nothing beats the feeling of turning the page to start fresh, whether it is a new week in your planner or new month on the wall calendar I love it! Except starting a new year, that takes the cake! It fills me with excitement over new possibilities and all the goals I plan to achieve.

To prep myself for turning that page, I have a practice of sitting down on New Year’s Day and reflecting on the previous year to look forward to the new year ahead of me. I think it is important to acknowledge the obstacles and struggles you faced, recognize the strength you gained from overcoming them and celebrate your successes. Recently the SYL committee did a one-word association for the year 2021 and we felt all the feelings, from “Gratitude to Good Riddance”.

By taking this reflection time it enables me to plan for the year ahead. This often involves journaling, vision boarding, card readings and a cup of hot tea. One of my favorite practices is coming up with a “Word of the Year”. This word is like a guidepost for me, something I can go back to when I am struggling and give myself the push or motivation to keep going. In the past I have used words like ‘Daring’, ‘Authentic’ and ‘Compassionate’.

After collecting the committee’s one-word association for 2021, I asked them to pick a “Word of the Year” for 2022. Before I share mine, I want to share a few from the committee and their thoughts behind their words.

Ryan Reiss picked “Rejuvenescence” as his word for 2022, which at its core is defined as a renewal of youth and vitality. “I started a journey of self discovery in 2021, and as I move through 2022, I am going to be intentional in continuing that – pushing my boundaries. Doing things I never thought I’d do. You only get one life and it’s never to late to try something new. I want my life to be an adventure, not a process”

2022 is all about being “Unreserved” for Amy Close. “I have been fairly conservative about things in the past, but I am ready to break free and speak freely, all aspects – life, work, relationships you name it. Time for me to use my voice.”

Meghan Fossenier chose “Change” because “it’s a constant in life, there is a lot of changes ahead in 2022 that I know of. I want to embrace that change and be optimistic about what that will bring to all of us.”

Blossom” is the word of 2022 for Darcy Griffith. “So… I turn 30 this year (I’ll let you collect yourself from the shock) and rather than cocoon in the darkness, I’m going to embrace the journey and the progress I have yet to make while showing off the work I have put in already.”

Embracing my Scandinavian roots, I love that Alex Roettger chose “Hygge”. For those who don’t know, Hygge is a Danish term meaning to take comfort and engenders a feeling of contentment and well-being.

Last year my word for 2021 was “Love”, love for myself, love for my partner and son. Joyful love. Intimate love. Friendly love…just love because after 2020 I know I needed more of it in my life.

As I reflect on what I could have used more of in 2021 and what I want to be intentional about in 2022, I chose “Grace” as my word of the year.

The past two years have been a rollercoaster, we all can admit to that and I found that I was not giving myself or those around me the time and space to be and feel what they needed, nor was I giving that to myself. I won’t lie, by the end of the year my patience was thin. However I came to realize that not all of us are walking through this life at the same pace and therefore we need to give grace to those who may be taking a little longer and more importantly to ourselves if we feel we are lagging behind the crowd.

2022 will continue to test our resiliency not just in overcoming obstacles but also in finding joy in new and exciting ways.

So, my intention is to give more grace. Grace to myself and those around me.

What’s your word for 2022?

On behalf of the entire SYL Committee we wish you a Happy New Year and live your 2022 word to the fullest!!

Caval Olson-Lepage

2021 Vice-Chair, SYL