The Happiness Connection  

A word can improve your year

Setting goals for new year

As the new year arrives, I’ve started to turn my attention to what I want to accomplish in 2023.

I’m more excited about the potential and possibilities that may be lurking around the corner than ever. This is probably because it felt like much of the last three or four years haven’t been my own. Between a separation, looking after two aging parents on my own, their deaths nine months apart and all of the stuff that comes with that, there’s been little time to devote to my own goals.

This year, I’m determined to focus on a few things that have been on the back burner because other things demanded my time and energy.

Will I be successful? I’m not sure. If the past few years are anything to go on, there may be unexpected circumstances ready to jump out and throw me off my anticipated course.

At first, I found the unexpected change of plans frustrating. I felt like I hadn’t accomplished anything. Of course, that was far from the truth. I’d simply achieved a different set of tasks than I’d expected to.

This situation led me to appreciate more strongly than ever, a tradition I started practicing about six years ago. Rather than creating New Year’s Resolutions, or specific goals, I set intentions.

This year I intend to further my writing career and work towards becoming even healthier. I hope that will include traditionally publishing my novel and improved physical and mental wellbeing. As long as my writing is moving forward, and I’m healthier in some way, I’ll consider the year to be successful.

I’m learning to leave room for the unexpected rather than trying to unsuccessfully avoid it. I’ve come to realize that life is better when you leave a little space for a few surprises and more importantly for a little magic.

It may not feel amazing at the time, but it’s astonishing how much good can come out of adversity and chaos.

I’m sure there are many possibilities that I haven’t even considered when it comes to my work and health. Maybe I won’t get my novel published but it’s possible that I could write another book this year and that becomes an amazing success, or maybe someone will want to turn my novel into a movie.

When you consider the year ahead and what you want it to contain, there may be wonderful possibilities that you haven’t even contemplated.

As my good friend Meaghan Alton said to me recently, “The Universe knows better than I do.”

To help you navigate whatever happens in the coming year, I recommend choosing a theme word that summarizes your intentions.

I find this to be an exceptionally successful way to keep myself focused. When an unexpected situation arises, I use my chosen word to consider how best to keep myself moving towards my intentions.

My word for 2022 was “authenticity.” This helped me navigate the numerous decisions I had to make during the year. I took time to consider what felt right and whether it was in alignment with my intentions.

In an effort to be more authentic, I took time in 2022 to rediscover aspects of myself that I’d forgotten or ignored. This led me to choose “liberation” as my word for the coming year.

There are many definitions of the word, but the one I’m focusing on is from Dictionary.com.

Liberation: freedom from limits on thought or behaviour.

If my situation resonates with you, I highly recommend you try setting some intentions for the year and then choosing a word to guide you.

If, in 12 months’ time, you feel like you haven’t accomplished any of the things you thought you would, review your year with your word in mind. It may be reassuring to know you moved in your chosen direction, even if your route was different than the one, you’d originally selected.

Don’t feel this has to be done by Jan. 1. It’s a long year. Take the time to choose a word that feels right for where you are at this moment in your journey.

The English language is full of amazing vocabulary. Have fun choosing the right one to improve your year.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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