Wisdom//

15 Powerful Words That Are Helping Us Start 2022 Off Right

Starting the new year with a specific intention can help us set the tone for the months ahead.

Westend61/ Getty Images
Westend61/ Getty Images

Starting the new year with a specific intention can help us set the tone for the months ahead and maintain perspective when faced with challenges. One way to do that is by choosing a word or phrase to guide us. Thrive’s founder and CEO, Arianna Huffington, writes about how her word for 2022 is “Resilence+.” She explains, “Resilience+ is about refueling and replenishing so we can meet whatever challenges 2022 holds with less stress, more joy and endlessly renewable stores of resilience.”

We asked our Thrive community to share with us their word or phrase that’s helping them set the tone for this year. Which of these will be your word of the year?

“Gratitude”

“On January 1st, I did a wonderful virtual yoga class. The instructor asked us to set an intention and the word that instantly popped into mind was ‘gratitude.’ There is so much to worry or complain about, yet at the same time so much to be thankful for, so I have chosen to make that my 2022 word and mantra. I have gratitude for my health and that of my family and friends, gratitude for my thriving business, and gratitude for every new day and life experience. We are only a few days into 2022, and I already feel a shift in my outlook.”

—Cindy Joyce, founder, HR consulting, Boston, MA

“Kindness”

“Kindness is my word for the year. Kindness will set the tone for everything I say, do and write. It will guide me to look and listen to those I disagree with differently, to be more aware generally, listen more carefully and fully knowing that in these uncertain ground shifting times, kindness is needed for everyone. Near and far. Known and unknown.”

—Georgina Cannon, author and instructor at the University of Toronto, Toronto, CA

“Spaciousness”

“My word for the year is ‘spaciousness.’  I intend to create more space for what is the highest and best use of me, and find ways to delegate or dump all of the stuff that isn’t. This is likely to require some habit change and letting go of tasks that I’m convinced I’m the only one who can do really well! I’m up for the challenge. Let there be more space in my days.”

—Dede Henley, author and business leader, Seattle, WA

“Love”

“It’s the most powerful expression of energy in the universe and one of the highest levels of consciousness. Still, it can be challenging to express because many media sources focus on destructive thoughts of fear, worry, and hate. 2022 will be a year filled with love, a time to focus on sharing empathy, compassion, and kindness with all of humanity. There is more that unites us than should ever divide us. Love is the answer.”

—James Petrossi, president of PTNL, Austin, TX

“Celebration”

“My word of the year is ‘celebration.’ As a high performer, I tend to forget that I’m not the same person I was three months, six months, or a year ago! I get to the top of a personal or professional mountain and then jump down to climb the next. As part of my journaling, I’ve added a ‘daily win of the day.’ I’m celebrating along the way, not just when I get to the top!”

—Lisa Pezik, business strategist, Ontario, Canada

“Trust”

“This year, I’m focusing on ‘trust’ — trust that many good things will happen this year, trust in the goodness of people, trust that small voice inside, trust god.”

—Courtney Daniels, filmmaker, Sherman Oaks, CA

“Grace”

“My word for the year is ‘grace.’ To give grace is to forgive, understand and offer compassion, all of which are needed during this extremely difficult time. Starting the new year with this word will allow me to let go of some of the stress in my own life and deepen my appreciation to the struggles of others while not unintentionally adding to their burdens.”

—Jennefer Witter, entrepreneur and public speaker, New York, NY

“Stretch”

“This word is intended to inspire me to stretch physically every morning and evening, as well as to stretch myself professionally and in meeting my personal goals. It’s flexible enough to evolve throughout the year, as needed. My mantra is to stretch myself to reach new heights in 2022.”

—Marta Rzeszowska Chavent, management and change consultant, France 

“Courageous” 

“I always have goals, hopes, dreams, and aspirations. It’s easy to let circumstances get in the way — especially a pandemic. What’s even easier is fear and perfectionist tendencies. This year, I’m choosing to be courageous and going after the hard stuff that will get me to the next level of where I want to be.”

—Kim Regis, VP and coach, Columbus, OH

“Freedom” 

“This word helps me visualize a feeling state where I am flexible, open-minded, and excited about limitless possibilities — in work, my personal life, and beyond. Staying focused on the idea of freedom helps keep me motivated toward the exact feeling state I want to embody and sets an encouraging tone for 2022.”

—Tianna Soto, editor, New York, NY

“Discipline”

“I’m striving to make healthier diet, exercise, finance, and well-being decisions in 2022. But I’ve learned it’s not enough to only set an intention, I must also apply it to every thought, conversation and interaction. Discipline is the application that will help me get back to healthier routines, mindsets, and relationships.”

—Stacy Cassio, CEO, Charlotte, NC

“Patience”

“My word for 2022 is ‘patience.’ There’s a quote by St. Frances De Sales, ‘Have patience with all things, but, first of all with yourself.’ Given that we will never go back to what we thought was normal, we need to have patience with this ever-changing environment. It’s important to understand that everyone is struggling in their own way. Therefore, if I can have patience with myself, I’m more likely and willing to have patience with others.”

 —Nicki Anderson, women’s leadership director at Benedictine University, Lisle, IL

“Open”

‘I am realizing that I have been operating from a place of self-protection for as long as I can remember. I feel like this is a relatable place that people may find themselves in today, triggered by the pandemic and all of the struggles that have either been highlighted or created by it. And so, my 2022 word of the year is ‘open’. Being open is about being open-minded, open to new possibilities in work and in play, as well as open to change in order to approach life more compassionately, with a growth and abundance mindset.”

—Amal Mehic, continuous improvement engineer, Syracuse, NY

“Accept”

“I have realized that the time and energy we pour into resisting emotions, overthinking and disappointment is unnecessary and exhausting. Rather than resisting and fighting so much, this year I’ve moved into accepting how I feel, what’s difficult, what needs to change and most recently, that today is a new day. I can accept that it’s not my responsibility to change other people. I can accept that the past is behind me, the future is untold and largely out of my control. I can accept that what I have is today and everyday I am given with confidence my daily bread. I can accept this today.”

—Josh Neuer, licensed professional counselor, Greenville, SC

“Present”

“I am a fast-thinking, fast-moving wife, mom, and professional, always looking to knock out the next project, learn a new skill, achieve the next thing. But as I was gearing up for the new year, the word ‘present’ kept coming up in conversations and publications I read. I used it as the intention for the first yoga class I taught this year with heart-warming results. Then the word was put to the test as I said goodbye to my sweet, wonderful 94-year-old grandfather the next day. Families, natural or chosen, are the most important thing in our lives and my goal this year is to be more present with them every chance I get. I need this word to help me slow down and enjoy the wonderful people in my life.”

—Tara Bethell, HR and wellness leader, Phoenix, AZ

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