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Finding Your Word: Where to Begin and How to Go Deeper

by Tammi Leader
 ∙ Jan 3 ∙ 5 Min Read

Here’s the good news as we ease gently into 2022, albeit sideways: it’s already brighter (and lighter!) today than it was yesterday and the day before. 

The perfect time to ground yourself and reset? Today, always today.

Here at Campowerment, we like to invite our peeps to pick one word to focus on, at the start of each new year.

Yes, it’s actually a thing…choosing a word that can challenge and inspire you to accomplish something new, or release something that has overstayed its welcome. For us, it works better than making resolutions we won’t keep. And this year, we upped the ante, by bringing our community together online, to help one another pick a word to guide us from now ‘til next year at this time.

And so we gathered a few dozen campers live, online through to work with two of our favorite Coaches, Meryl Russo, Reinvention Coach, and Barbara Palmer, Professional Development Coach. From the comfort of our own “cabins,” they took us through a simple, guided process, to help us each choose a “word” to shape our next moves in 2022 and guide us, deliberately, into the year ahead.

Then they shared this list. 

We each found ourselves on an expedition, confronting some uncomfortable words that lightly whispered, “I dare you.”

Here’s how Meryl explained it:

If you found yourself a bit judgmental last year, maybe your word for the year ahead is “curious.” Too self-critical? Try on “worthy.” If you don’t finish things you start, could your word be “accountable? Or, if you’re disorganized and functioning without the right systems, maybe your word is “grounded?” If drama has been rearing its ugly head in your life, consider the word “peace.” See a pattern here?

Orient towards positivity and action.

Ready to start digging for yours? 

Step 1:

Begin by running through this above list of words, to see if your body and/or soul responds to any of them. Write down five words from this list that might resonate for you, or pick your own…create your short list of words to “try” on. 

Don’t: overthink it, or look for the perfect word. 

Do: notice what you intuitively connect to, and whatever emotion comes up for you when you first read that word.

Set yourself up for success. If “healthy” is your word, don’t commit to running a marathon, or even a 5K…yet. Start with a walk around your block. 

If it’s joy you’re seeking, find it nearby, write about when you feel it, get outside. Don’t think you have to plan a trip to experience it (or you won’t see it everywhere!).

Step 2: 

Take 3 minutes to write out the one big thing you want to accomplish in the year ahead. 

Step 3: 

Name three obstacles that might stand in the way of you accomplishing that thing.*

“Once you find your word, let it simmer,” instructed Meryl, “a word can initially feel right, only to lose its grip within a few days.” Then she made us promise to never hold our word against ourselves. For a few of us, that was tricky.

After much back and forth, here are some of the words our group landed on:

Planting. Aligned. Grace. Expansion. Resilient. Renewal. Fun. Elevate. Rise. Compassion. Emerge, Joy, and Push (as in: to get my butt out of bed every morning).

Barbara’s invitation:

I invite you to claim your word for 2022. Gather some friends, break out this list and create your own word group. Toss around the above prompts and work with your people to create the word that describes how you want to be living in 2022. Remember: You get to decide. Give yourself grace and time, and you’ll likely find the word that’s also looking for you.*

Journal about it. Dream of it, manifesting the year you want to create for yourself (because remember: you have the power to create your year). Writing it down and posting it everywhere is the best way to keep your word alive, all year long.  

Did you pick a word for this year? Share it here.

Wanna make 2022 the year you intentionally GROW in the company of purpose-driven folx like you? Check out our transformational digital playground — — where we gather, live, 10x every month to dive deep into exercises like the one you’re reading about here!

*Group process, if you have a community you want to do this full exercise with: 

In our sessions, breaking into groups of 3, we spoke of our truths and our trip ups. Alongside a mutual willingness to grow through this process, we began chipping away at our lists by asking each other probing questions. That led to some unexpected, profound insight…the kind that means even more when it comes from authentic strangers who just want to help each other. Collaborative thinking is less about giving advice and more about powerfully listening to each other, while getting curious with yourself.

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