Word of the Year

January 13, 2021

by Lauren McMillan, NJHA director

At the end of every year it is common to hear, “new year, new me.” This comment then expands into making New Years Resolutions to improve themselves in the coming year. Although this idea is wholesome, studies have shown that only 25% of people follow their resolution after 30 days. We have all been there. However, for those still looking to grow in the coming year, there is a new approach to this solution and it’s called “word of the year.” Instead of setting multiple New Years Resolutions, you can select one single word to be your focus for the year. By setting goals around the word of your choice, you are able to stay more focused and remember to achieve your goals. The word I chose for the year 2021 is “challenge.”

After assessing my hopes for the future, challenge came to mind because it can be seen in many different environments. Google defines challenge as, “a call to take part in a contest or competition, especially a duel.” Although I hope no one is dueling, I believe it is important to compete against yourself. Working to be the best version of you, enables you to feel confident in your skin and achieve things that seemed impossible. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” is a saying that relates to my goal perfectly. I hope to show great improvement by challenging myself at different points in the year.

Whether I strive to get good grades in school, plan to work out every day or work to wash cattle twice a day, challenges will occur along the way. My “word of the year” will remind me to embrace these challenges to achieve success in the end. As we experienced in 2020, we may not be ready for what is to come, but I plan to remember my goal and work hard to see growth in my future no matter what. “Do one thing every day that scares you” – Elenor Roosevelt, is another great quote to live by. Through this action, you will be able to learn things about yourself that will help you advance in several unique ways.

Now, it is your turn to choose how you plan to access the coming year. I challenge you to ask yourself, who you are, and what your different aspirations have in common? Visualize what your perfect day would feel like and what word can help you achieve that. Once you have chosen your word, make it your lock screen or write it on your bathroom mirror to remind you of your goals. “New year, new challenges” is my slogan to make an impact on my future, what’s yours?