Now I am a mother, my years start slowly. No longer forced to drag myself back into an office as soon as Christmas is over, I’ve embraced a long transition period from the holiday season, gently finding our way back to a normal daily rhythm. Over the last couple of weeks I have been making the most of this stillness, and have carved out time between all the book reading, playing, and pancake making, to reflect on the past year and think about what I want from the year ahead.
Self-care continues to feature high on my agenda, so with huge joy I took myself along to an absolutely wonderful and nurturing workshop lead by the inspiring Ray Dodd. I spent the day with a group of women in the beautiful home of stylist and blogger Hannah Bullivant where we looked at our achievements from the past year, visualised what we wanted from the year to come, discussed the importance of mindset in living the sort of life we want, and made banners with our “Word of the Year”.
This is my second year choosing a “Word of the Year”. Coming up with a word feels like a lovely, positive, reflective process – it feels SO much kinder than setting myself up to fail with punitive goals and resolutions, which inevitably tend to focus around what I am currently lacking or failing at. When thinking about what my word should be, I took time to truly consider what I wanted from the year ahead. I thought not just about myself and how I want to feel throughout the year, but about how I want the people around me to feel.
Last year, my word for the year was “EMBRACE”. It ended up being more important than I could have guessed. Reflecting back on what I achieved last year, one of the things I am proudest of was the way I embraced the uncertainty and sadness which went hand in hand with recurrent miscarriages; I searched for and embraced the good bits in a pretty rubbish situation. I believe it’s this mindset which has enabled me to look back on the last year and feel positive rather than horrified. Yes, our family faced some challenges, but we got through them, and despite everything we are so very incredibly lucky for all we do have.
This year, my word is THRIVE. Because that’s exactly what I want to do. At times over the last couple of years I have felt at times like I was surviving, be it from sleep deprivation, sickness, sadness, or health issues. This year I want to thrive, mentally, intellectually, and physically. As a mother, as a woman, as a wife, as a friend. I want my family to thrive and be happy, for my relationship with my husband to thrive, and for Frida to thrive over the course of the year. I want this blog to thrive and continue to grow. I have ideas for how I want to go about thriving, of course, but focusing on a word rather than a list of “must-do’s” feels like a far better way of achieving my overall aim with none of the guilt of failure. Just thinking about the word thrive makes me feel energised and happy (and also a bit like a plant? Which I suppose is a good reminder to get plenty of sunshine and drink lots of water!) At the moment I feel positive and excited about the year to come, and I’m sure that my word has a part to play in that joy.
Hanging my banner in a visible place, our hallway, also feels good. I means I see it and am reminded of it throughout the day. I quite like that it’s right there for anyone who comes into our home to see.
Have you set a word for the year set? If you haven’t I really would recommend thinking about choosing one (Susannah Conway has some great free resources if you feel you need some prompts to get you started). Setting a word is such a simple change to make, but I think it can have a profound impact on the way you approach your year.
If you have set a word for the year, I would love to hear it!