What Is Your Word of the Year? Taking Wisdom into the New Year

Did you know that there is actually a very big difference between goals or resolutions and intentions?

Setting resolutions or goals for the New Year rarely comes from a place of self-acceptance. These desires usually stem from a place of feeling like you aren’t enough and needing to change in order to be a ‘better you.’ This creates a feeling of “have to” vs. “get to,” which can feel heavy and burdensome, and is the last thing I want for you with all that you have on your plate.

Goals, especially when there is no plan, or they are not chunked into smaller steps to develop habits, just do not last or “stick”, as we like to say. :) We can often feel let down and discouraged. Parenting goals, especially, set us up for failure.

On the other hand, we can focus on setting intentions that come from a place of priorities and empowerment. Intentions help us determine how we want to feel and show up in the world. We can come back to the intentions that we set day after day, or even hour after hour, to remind ourselves how we want to “be” with the people who we support and love so much (including ourselves).

Last year, I wrote about 5 Simple Steps for Setting Intentions for Yourself and Your Family and included a worksheet to help you work through it. Here’s an updated 2022 worksheet.

I just spent the morning doing some deep reflection and filling out my worksheet. I have to admit, it wasn’t easy to think about this past year, it hasn’t been an easy one. But it feels so good to focus on what did go well, the lessons I learned, what I want to let go of, and what I want to focus on for the new year.

As a parent of two neurodivergent teen boys and an educator focusing on social-emotional learning, it is crucial that I continue to listen, learn, reflect and evolve in these important roles. Although we have made progress in science, inclusion, neurodiversity, and equity in the systems and our culture we live in, we still have a long way to go. I am committed to being a part of that evolution.

I am grateful for the neurodiverse community, and all of the advocates, authors, trainers, parents, educators, etc. who I have had the fortune to listen to and learn from. Change is inevitable and growth is critical. I am looking forward to entering the new year with listening ears, and an open mind and heart, with the intention to direct my energy towards the importance of supporting neurodivergent children and their families, including my own.

This year has brought a lot of wonderful collaborations and connections, as well as a lot of growth for myself as a parent and professional. As I work through the worksheet, I thought I would use myself as an example for you and hopefully provide some inspiration to fill one out yourself.



Working Through The Worksheet Myself

  1. Reflect: I started by reviewing 2021 by journaling and meditating to get quiet and go inward. I usually like to get out into nature and go for a walk but it’s raining today so I'm cozy inside (another tool that helps me tap into my inner wisdom - making sure that my body is calm, comfy, and regulated). The experiences, relationships, and situations flowing through my mind bring up so many feelings. Some examples are overwhelmed, fear, shame, disappointment, excitement, pride, frustration, deep connections, admiration, abundance, and love.

  2. Cultivate: Once I was clear on what I wanted less of and more of, I focused on the sensations, feelings, and words that relate. Last year, the patterns and feelings that came up for me were connection, collaboration, joy, and ease. This year, I’m choosing to listen, learn, evolve, accept, have self-compassion and lead with love.

  3. Let go: After thinking about some of the hard times, I wrote down my feelings and reactions. In 2020, I chose to let go of confusion, overwhelm, and frustration. This year, I will let go of judgment, shame, disappointment, and frustration.

  4. Anchor: Once I was clear, I decided to anchor those intentions with a few words that I can reflect on and refer to daily. In 2021, my words were CLARITY, JOY & EASE. In 2022, I choose LOVE (for myself, and others), acceptance (for myself, others and situations I’m in), and growth.

  5. Say YES! After choosing the words, I will try to come up with different ways to remind myself of these feelings and intentions on a daily basis. I’m going to make a vision board and put these words on my screen saver. I’m excited to lean into them daily and see what happens. Let the magic begin!

Check out Generation Mindful’s latest blog post, In 2022, Ditch The Parenting Goals. Set Intentions Instead, for some ideas on how to set intentions as a family!

It’s important to remember that kids (and parents) do well if they can! Knowledge and daily tools can certainly help make it easier. This is why I’ve designed a 12-month calendar with activities that you can use in your home. 



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