Choosing a Word-of-the-Year is another tool to help focus on a vision or goal you want to achieve in your Retirement Transition. I’ve had more success than failure in my choices through the past few years with my word. I’m looking back and reflecting on what worked in order to help me in my selection for my 2020 word. (Here’s a link to a blog I wrote about choosing a WOTY.)
WOTY 2016 – JOY
I really enjoyed having this word of the year (no pun intended). It was my second year of retirement and I really wanted to become a more positive person. That was a key part of my early retirement vision! A couple of things that really worked for this word:
- I purchased a coffee mug that has the quote “Find Joy in Each Day”. To this day I still use that mug for my morning coffee! And it still reminds me to slow down, live in the moment, and see the positive elements in my life.
- I created a list of Jolts of Joy – little things that simply make me smile. I picked a few and added them into my everyday life – like fine tip blue pens and a lovely morning journal. I also use that list regularly to recognize those small moments of joy in my day or to add something to my day when I need a jolt of happiness. Since then I’ve created Jolts of Joy A to Z lists and Seasonal Jolts of Joy lists. They help with focusing on the many positives in my life.
I feel like that WOTY was a key element in my retirement transitioning from a negative cynic to more positive person. Having things in plain sight (coffee mug) that reinforced my word and additional tools that supported the WOTY really helped.
WOTY 2018 – SOAR
SOAR was an acronym for Savoring – Optimism – Activating – Resilient. This was a more complicated WOTY – but it really did capture where I was on my retirement transition journey.
You can see the continuation of the positivity desire of my retirement vision with the word Optimism. I was also recognizing the challenge of both Doing – my natural tendency – and Being – my desire to appreciate quiet times. Hence, you see the Activating (DO) and Savoring (BE) word duality in the acronym. Learning to live this duality continues as I recently blogged about both Seasonal Action Plans and Being Un-busy! And then, the word Resilient – because 2018 was my fight-cancer year.
Finding quotes and items that utilized the WOTY again helped to keep my focus.
- I created a number of visuals with SOAR quotes like “Do more of what makes your heart sing, your eyes sparkle, and your spirit soar.” I used these visuals in blog posts and on my laptop.
- One of my inspiration journals that year had the quote “Your wings already exist, you just need to fly” on the cover.
- I used that word often – here’s a link to a blog that year reflecting its use!
What I liked about this WOTY was it once again reflected exactly where I wanted to grow for the year. It also helped me refine my retirement lifestyle vision statement, which has evolved from a series of “I AM” statements to now just 4 key words: “Active. Connected. Creative. Contemplative.” Contemplation brings in learning to “Be” and my personal exploration area – a transition from my earlier growth area of positivity.
WOTY 2019 – JOURNEY
I’ve always had paths as an inspirational life metaphor. The Robert Frost poem about two paths diverging is the inspiration for my blog’s key visual. My husband has given me many items with “It’s the journey, not the destination” quote to help me (the Type A destination-girl that I am) slow down and enjoy the moments. I guess it was only a matter of time before Journey became a WOTY for me.
It was actually this full quote that made the WOTY feel right for me at this time in my retirement transition:
Create the Vision. Plan the Path. Live the Journey.
This phrase captures where I need to be – living life. It’s no longer about visioning and planning on paper, but getting out there and living.
Of course, this year has had its significant change in planning… with a 10-year vision shifting to a 2-year vision! But keeping the focus on Living the Life I’ve envisioned has been helpful.
What I didn’t like about this WOTY was it did not connect to my vision statement as closely as I would like, so I often felt like I had 2 focus areas – Live the Journey and my vision statement of “Active. Connected. Creative. Contemplative.”
WOTY 2020 – ???
As I look towards 2020 and think about my WOTY, I’ve got a few things tumbling around in my brain:
- It’s the start of a new decade! (Thanks to Michele for pointing that out – link here.)
- It’s the start of my 60’s. A significant milestone.
- It’s a year of great upheaval, as we start a new lifestyle for us. My tendency to worry about future steps 5-6 when we are not even through step 1 will be hard to quell. Can my WOTY help me focus on the moment?
- I want to continue to grow as an individual and release my tendency to Compare & Despair, my need for external validation, and my tendency to be judgmental. I want to shift away from old, self-limiting beliefs. I want to feel I am enough. I want to feel I am worthy.
- I want my WOTY to support my life vision statement – Active. Connected. Creative. Contemplative.
- I want the WOTY I choose to have some great associated quotes and maybe find something I can use to keep it front and center like a new coffee mug or journal.
There are a few possible WOTY words in that jumble of thoughts right now. Any word ideas you might have for me?
Do you use a WOTY? Have I inspired you to try one?