One word for 2017 – Why

Long-time readers of this blog will know that instead of setting New Year’s Resolutions or goals for a year, I like to set an intention for my year, using a word or phrase as a guide.

In 2012 I chose the word ‘No’. It helped me break a cycle I couldn’t seem to get out of, one of constantly over-committing, getting overwhelmed, hating the world and burning out.

In 2013 I chose the word ‘Float’. That was the year Mia was born and ‘Float’ helped me take a break from striving so I could enjoy my new baby.

In 2014 I thought I’d do an experiment in ceding ‘control’ of my life to the Universe. I’m not sure I ever fully bought into that … but it was interesting spending a year repeating the mantra ‘Relax, nothing is under control.

2015 was the year of ‘Whitespace’ and that was a life-changing year for me. My days are now built around copious whitespace and everyone in my life benefits from this.

In 2016 I decided to tackle the things I have scarcity complex about, (scarcity complex is that thing where humans place higher value on the stuff that’s scarce, and a lower value on the things that are abundant). Using the word Abundance to guide 2016 brought more mindfulness, meditation and gratitude into my life along with the ability to be more present in the moment. These are highly useful skills to take into 2017 and beyond.

And now for 2017. My word for this year is going to be ‘Why’.

Last week I typed up a ‘summary of 2016’ to send out to friends. A bit of a catch up on all my and my family’s news. And I’ll admit, I was a little … disturbed.

Helping Ant run our businesses. Editing Flying Solo. Publishing two books. Starting two new weekly podcasts. Speaking at four events. Running an event. Finishing the build of our house. Two overseas trips. Four guest posts each for Copyblogger and Problogger. 50 weekly editorial columns for Flying Solo. 12 monthly columns for Flying Solo. 33 posts here on this blog. All while striving to be the mum, wife and human I aspire to be.

Even by my standards, the above seemed a little excessive when I put it down on paper.

But – it didn’t feel excessive at the time. And I think that’s because it was all done with intention. None of it involved getting sucked into things I didn’t really want to do/doing things because I felt obliged to.

In 2017, the fact we’ve finished building our house means I’ll feel I have the time to add things to my plate. While I don’t want to rule out any new projects or ventures, I think the life goals I have will be best served by doubling down on what I’m already doing. Which means every time I feel tempted to take on something new, even something like a new series here on the blog, I’m going to ask myself ‘WHY?’

And if the ‘Why’ is purely for ego or attention or validation, rather than the legitimate furthering of my life goals – then I need to question very seriously whether I really need to do that thing. Pandering to our egos or doing things because they’re validating is not the worst thing in the world. But my ego is solid and my work gets all the validation it needs currently. I really don’t need more.

Do you have a word to guide 2017? I’d love to hear it in the comments below.