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2017 | word of the year

2017 word of the year forge

After inadvertently picking a word in 2016 and loving it, I’m officially committed to setting a word of the year over New Year’s resolutions. I’ve journaled on and off for over a month about my word, and after much consideration, was finally struck by The One. Before getting into that, I want to share a little about last year’s word!
In 2016, I set three resolutions: listen to my body; give myself grace; work harder, not smarter. While I didn’t discuss it in that blog post, I realized through conversations with friends and through other writing that my 2016 word was Mindfulness. Being aware, being thoughtful, being present — it’s all about mindfulness. Being in tune with my needs, as well as the needs of those around me, was a powerful way to go through the year. I used Mindfulness as a touchstone when I got overwhelmed. “If I’m feeling like there’s too much going on right now, what are my immediate needs?” Realizing that I hadn’t done something simple like eaten, taken a shower, or spent a few minutes away from a screen instantly gave me an action item toward feeling better and more capable of moving forward.
In 2017, I want to do exactly that — move forward. Not that I don’t want to continue the practice of being present, but I can feel that I need a push to actually do. One of the first words I considered for 2017 was Success. Before taking a break from therapy, I had a breakthrough with my therapist about my fear of success. I’m totally cool with failure. Nothing changes when you fail! Your life continues exactly as it was before. Success? That’s what scares me. When someone tells you “yes,” the hard work begins. However, it’s not the work that scares me. It’s the expectations that come with working towards someone else’s version of success. It’s the potential for disappointing someone other than myself. But success? It’s not exactly what I had in mind for a word of the year, and it doesn’t quite get at everything I’m hoping to do in 2017.
My next consideration was Movement/Motion. The idea of moving forward, rather than staying comfortable where I am, has a similar effect to success. Another big goal of mine in 2017 is to travel, as well as to participate in more physical activity. Both words get closer to what I have in mind, but something didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel attached to either word, nor did they light a fire in me.
I was explaining the concept of a word of the year to a close friend via text. We were throwing movement-esque words back and forth. In an explanation for another word she suggested — Onward — she used the word Forge. I all-caps typed the word back to her. I felt the fire, as well as all the related meanings I hoped for in 2017.
Forge has a sense of progress and direction that appeals to me, while conjuring visions of uncharted territory — forging a new path, both for me personally and in general. When I close my eyes and think of the word forge, I envision myself wearing hiking boots and carrying the necessary gear to face the unexpected. Forge isn’t afraid; it’s about fearlessly creating a path ahead. I also love that one of the alternate definitions of forge is about creating, as in forging a relationship. Connection absolutely plays a part in reaching the success I seek, and I’m excited by the idea of forging relationships as I travel on this road ahead.
Isn’t it thrilling?
Okay, it’s time for your word! I asked back in December if y’all were interested in a word of the year link up, and there was a resounding “yes!” I am so pumped to read what y’all came up with! I’ll leave this one open all month, so even if you haven’t thought of one yet, you can join in the fun!

P.S. if you’re looking for the monthly small goal link up for January, I’ll be posting that next Monday (so many goals!!).
P.P.S. Pantone may have chosen a sucky shade of green for 2017, but my synesthesia tells me that the color of the year is actually yellow. Take that, Pantone!
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