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  • Writer's pictureArika Lawrence

My 2022 Words of the Year + Wellness Goal Setting

Updated: Feb 10, 2023

New Year, new resolutions, right? Wrong. For me, I've never been big on resolutions. I prefer to pick words to live by throughout the year. I find resolutions have lost their weight in value. To be honest, I’m not sure if I know anyone that has set 2022 resolutions, and it’s understandable because life has been hard (sigh). My brain broke several times in 2021, but I was determined to finish the year strong.

By November 2021, I knew I needed to start working on my 2022 goals. Despite how I felt, I knew that I needed to push and channel it into something positive. So, I revved up my “feel-good work” like mentoring, pouring into myself, and lifting others, while we both climbed our mountains. By December, I was motivated to start tilling my soil of dreams and start sowing the seeds that will bloom in 2022.

Smooth stones stacked in a tower on the beach

Seven dimensions of goals

The first thing I like to do is write personal goals aligned to the Individual Wellness Wheel. I’ve been designing my personal goals using this approach for a few years now, but I only recently learned of the proper name of this magical wheel. I’ve seen different variations of the Individual Wellness Wheel, but for the most part, it illustrates the seven dimensions of wellness: spiritual, emotional, physical, intellectual, environmental, financial, and social. Under each wellness dimension, I like to outline 1-2 goals. For example, one of my intellectual goals for the year is to read 22 books (any genre). I set my reading challenge goal on the Goodreads app, so I have accountability and visibility in keeping this goal top of mind for the year.

2021 was the year of expansion

Outside of personal goal setting, I might design a vision board, too. It also feels natural to choose a word (or two) that I'd like to embody for the year. Keeping a word at the forefront of my mind helps me stay grounded. In 2021, I chose the word expansion. It was all about growing in different directions of my life and career. In particular, I wanted to expand my mind in learning more about the latest tech trends and develop a futuristic mindset. Like a sponge to water, I soaked up what I learned from industry peers, and by doing so, I was expanding my mind and network, too (Hi Lunchclub!). It's been no easy feat to switch careers in the last few years and keep up with new lingo, influencers, leaders, and power talks, but it's been worth the ride. I also expanded in my personal life.

I had no idea that more defining moments were on the way, like stepping into the role to help care for a loved one. In these moments, it expanded my heart. I'm an empath by birth, but serving as a caregiver grew my heart in ways I never thought were possible. Keeping in mind that the pandemic hasn’t let up at all; I kept witnessing many people, including myself, coping with unprecedented losses. It became more about meeting people where they are versus trying to find a way to distract them. It increased my active listening skills to understand what they need at the moment, and for most people, they just needed an ear and encouragement.

By the way, a huge shout out to all the part-time & full-time caregivers out there!

Tale of two words that chose me

This year, I chose two words because they kept sitting in my mind. Honestly, I felt these two words chose me: restoration and harmony. Adopting more wellness practices in my daily life has helped me stay afloat through this pandemic. I had no idea that the 2019 pre-work was preparing me for unprecedented times. I always had good vibes about 2022; in fact, I felt this way two years ago. Perhaps it’s the numerology energy that comes with the year or that the number 2 holds special meaning to me. Whatever it is, I always felt that this would be the year that whatever I thought was lost would be found. Whatever I thought was tarnished or done would be restored anew.

The beautiful thing is, I know I am a spiritual being having a human experience, and I recognize that my timing isn’t mine at all. I don’t control the rules here; I follow them to the best of my ability. However, because I’m part of this human collective, I sometimes get caught up in the hype of wanting to know what happens next or finding myself asking why something didn’t work out. It might feel like a loss or confusion now, but it’s not at all. Life has a funny and mysterious way of revealing itself, and somehow, it all works out in the end. As the saying goes: “what’s meant for you will not pass you by.”

The other word that chose me is harmony. By December 2021, there was a deep calling in my bones to seek out work/life harmony. In particular, there’s a specific calling to address the need to seek out more harmonious relationships. Now, this is tough because this requires taking inventory of people, places, and things that disrupt harmony in my life. I know this will require radical changes, but it’s necessary. As a society, we love to promote a work/life balance lifestyle; however, we have to recognize that it’s bigger than “balance,” we need more harmony.

The thing is, work/life responsibilities never stop; they’ve grown tremendously since the pandemic has started. For example, I constantly think about the additional cognitive load my parental friends/family with full-time jobs (including those who were already stay-at-home moms) have had to take on since the pandemic started. I have no idea how my friends/family are surviving, like seriously. This is next-level superpower parenting, and it’s beyond me. I know how hard it’s been for them to juggle incorporating virtual learning while working remotely and taking on the roles as a: teacher, tech support, lunch staff, physical activity, additional custodial tasks, school nurse, etc. Whew!

At this point, we’re all doing our best to survive, and part of committing to more harmony in my life is doing whatever it takes to protect your peace. For me, this means becoming less accessible so I can prioritize “me time.” Harmony looks more like setting undisturbed hours on my calendar and phone, so I can use the time to do focus work. Harmony looks like cutting out the noise and confusion. Whatever you need to do to incorporate more peace, do more of that.


All in all, I’m optimistic about the year 2022! I know they’ll be lemons thrown my way, and I’m ready to turn those lemons into batteries. What’s a word you’re living by for 2022? How do you plan to incorporate more harmony into your work/life?

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