2022 – Here we go…

Okay, so last week I completed the closing ceremony for 2021…now it’s time to get stuck into 2022.

Word of the Year

I manage projects for a living in my day job and know that you can’t have “scope-creep” without it impacting one of the big three: time, money, or the quality of the end-product. So it is with boundaries – a concept I don’t have a good relationship with.

As a consequence over the last few years, I’ve allowed my day job to seep into my precious scheduled days off, and other responsibilities and excuses to come before the things that are important to me.

Not only does this impact the time I have available for my writing, my business, and the things I love doing, it also has an impact on the quality of my output. More importantly, it’s messing with my head and leaving an increasingly bitter taste in my mouth as I see myself working harder than ever but still so far from my end goal (more on that below).

It’s time, to put myself further up my own list. That’s why my word of the year for 2022 is … (wait for it) …


This year I’m putting myself first. My family, my health, my headspace, my work, my dreams, my goals.

Sure I have duties and responsibilities, but rather than making myself completely available I’ll be tightening some of those boundaries – enabling me to expand others, but on my terms.

I owe it to myself.

Goals and Resolutions

I’ve not set goals or uttered resolutions at the stroke of midnight on December 31 for many years. This is partly because it’s probably been that many years since I saw midnight on December 31 (I’m normally tucked up in bed well before that) but because it’s been easier for me not to. After all, if I don’t set goals or resolutions and I don’t achieve them, well, there’s been no harm done, right? And as an uber Pisces and a drifter at heart, that sort of suits me. Besides, it’s no longer fashionable to set them, right? We’re supposed to lean into things…or something.

That’s probably true. But not for everyone. The truth is I need goals not just to achieve things, but to make sense and order where there otherwise is none. The years I set goals I do more than the years where I allow myself to see what happens.

I totally get why it can impact your mental health to do the whole resolution palaver. I do. But, I woke on New Year’s Day this year feeling the same as I did last year and the year before that – although this year there was also a ball of anxiety in my tummy due to a project in the day job that’s keeping me awake. Hey ho. I don’t want to wake on January 1, 2023, feeling the same way, but if I do the same this year as last year, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.

While I mightn’t stick to all the goals I set – and the umpteen statistics I’ve read are positive I won’t – I will have made more of a difference than if I’d done nothing. And that, for me, is the key.

That’s why this year as well as a word of the year I’m making resolutions. They’re aligned with my 101 things in 1001 days (and that will be getting a reboot too), but essentially revolve around 3 long-term goals:

  • Become financially independent and replace my corporate salary with the proceeds of my writing
  • Create a body of work that I’m proud of
  • Create a physical body that’s healthy, strong, and fit for life

Underneath these are other short-term goals that hit all the usual “SMART” principles that I won’t bother you with now. 

As for my resolutions? I’m following the following set of principles:

  1. Thinking, pondering, visualising, sleeping on them before you start
  2. Make more than one, but not too many – I’m going with four.
  3. Make them SMART
  4. Have a mixture of timeframes – I’m going with 1 x daily, 1 x weekly, 1 x monthly and 1 x one-off.
  5. Tell the world

So, in the interests of telling the world, here are mine:

  1. Move daily – sometimes it might be 30 minutes, sometimes more, but move.
  2. Do something fun once a week – it might be a “date” with myself or my husband or something else entirely that doesn’t involve work.
  3. Send out an author newsletter each month.
  4. Book our UK trip and take the entire month of October off work.

What about you? Are you a goal setter, resolution maker, set a word or intention for the year?

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

34 thoughts

  1. I’m high fiving you at the moment Jo! This is the perfect word and focus for you in 2022. It is so easy to let our boundaries become blurred. I am also one who likes to have goals and I like the idea of not overwhelming myself with changing my world overnight. Your approach is ‘doable’ and definitely ‘achievable’ and I’m proud to be part of our ‘inner circle’ who will be there as cheerleader, backup and support. Go ME (that’s you doing a fist pump and shouting your worked of the year!) GO YOU! is me fist pumping and being your cheerleader! Have a wonderful year, Jo, you deserve it! x

  2. Love it Jo! You totally deserve to have a year focussed on ‘you’. Looking forward to seeing the year unfolds and helping out in any way if I can – that will be my GIFT to you 🙂

  3. I’m joining Sue and Debbie in high fiving you, Jo! This is such a great word. I ❤ your resolutions and your principles that go with them. I am so pleased that you are protecting your PEACE. You are right, you owe it to yourself.

  4. Hooray! A great word and fantastic goals, resolutions and principles to go with it. Happy New Year to you Jo and I know you’ll achieve your goals this year as you impress me every year with what you juggle and still manage to produce (really fantastic books and of course your incredible cooking skills)! xo

    1. Thank you. I have to say I don’t impress myself – I think because the juggle is really only so I can do what I want to do after I’ve done what I have to do. Happy new year to you.

  5. Hi Jo – I think you’ve well and truly earnt the right to focus on “Me” and put some strong boundaries in place. I had no idea what boundaries were when I started in the job from hell, but one benefit from it all was learning what they were and how important they are for our mental health. People who are helpers and fixers tend to let others encroach (creep) and step over our lines in the sand, but I think we reach a point where it’s vital enough to us that we start making those boundaries into fences and claiming some personal space back. Good on you for deciding that 2022 is your year to do that – go you!!

    1. Thanks… it’s one of those times I think to claw back some of that time. It would be lovely not to be writing all weekend in order to catch up.

  6. I think your word of the year and goals sound great! I rarely set new years resolutions but do set mini goals for myself each month. I find that holds me more accountable and that way I am breaking big goals into small steps that work for me. I am pretty much at a loss this year though as I have not picked a WOTY or any goals yet!

    1. I hear you. I’ve set mini weekly & monthly goals – designed to build into the big picture. Unless something is front and centre for me my focus goes elsewhere – I truly do forget what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s those little ones I check in on each week and each month.

  7. I’m enjoying reading about everyone’s WOTY and more interestingly, their why. I chuckled at your “I’m a drifter at heart” comment since I am the opposite. While I’m not doing a WOTY, I do have goals and plans in place. Because planning brings me peace. The plans might change, I might not achieve the goals set, but it all gives me a direction for the path forward and a way to live everyday with intention.

  8. Wow – what a wonderful post! I love your word and your goals and principles. The entire month of October off! WooHoo! And replacing your corporate salary from your writing proceeds. I’m cheering you on from way over here in Chicago.

  9. That is a great WOTY! You have terrific – and attainable – goals and by putting yourself in front of what others may have planned for you is the way to achieve them. I remember work creep… I would start out putting in reasonable hours but somehow they kept growing (and, of course, my boss was fine with that). You go, girl!

  10. I’ve never really made resolutions, but I’ve had goals, and they’ve been very vague. Most years I failed but I managed with 2019 to make it a good year. Now I’ve been inspired by people (like yourself) to set a word of the year – to have an ultimate focus. I really love your word and concepts, and goals, for 2022. Both focus on YOU and your financial long-term goals. I wish you all the best with it!

  11. Jo, sometimes we just have to say WTF, it is all about ME! I like your process. Guiding principles first, followed by concrete, but flexible, goals. Add in a dash of commitment and you have the perfect recipe for success. Best wishes for a healthy, productive, prosperous and HAPPY New Year!

  12. ME! Congratulations…”we” women who have many roles….usually, culturally and perhaps even out of habit…and wanting to please others (leaving ourselves last!) rarely do this. And it is similar to what I decided… I have never been me first…ever. So, I love how you are planning it all out and setting goals and so on. What I would struggle with, and it was like this 24/7 in education, is keeping the ‘paid work’ out of my head when not doing it. So, fingers and toes crossed for all coming together well for you in 2022.

    Thank you for linking up for the first Life This Week in 2022 at Denyse Whelan Blogs.
    Thank you too for sharing your post with our community and commenting on mine.
    See you next week for 2/51 Life This Week,
    Warm wishes

    1. Thanks Denyse. Normally I can keep the 2 parts of my brain separate – day job and creative. As I’m getting older that’s harder to do.

  13. Happy New Year, Jo and congratulations for choosing ME as your WOTY! You can accomplish what you’ve set out for this year. I like that you have “do something fun once a week” on your list. I set goals and keep track of them on a spreadsheet on my desktop so it’s my visible reminder. Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare. Have a wonderful week!

  14. Your word is perfect Jo. I understand how the boundaries can get fuzzy over time. In my previous life, we had a family business which also employed our children as they became older. Over time all the talk at home was about work so I had to put my foot down in the end. I’m a goal setter like you. I don’t get stressed if there are goals that I don’t meet. I agree with you that if you set them, there is more chance that you will achieve. Great post Jo. I’m looking forward to more of you Me posts over the year.

  15. Hi Joanne,
    Yep, scope creep is a thing and can get out of control.
    I accept the idea of emergencies on both sides of the personal : work ratio,
    but it somehow took me a long time to accept emergencies (except the really big ones) on the personal side as well as the work side.
    Time for a tweak!
    Hope you have a great year queued up.

  16. I love that you picked a word for 2022. I pick a word for the year instead of doing new years resolutions. My word for this year is success. Your word, “me”, is a great word choice! Taking care of ourselves is so important. Thanks for the virtual coffee and all the best in 2022.

    If you are interested in being Goodreads friend please look me up https://www.goodreads.com/shari-marshall

  17. Hi Jo. Thanks for your post, perfect timing for me to read it. This January more than ever I need some enthusiasm, energy, motivation for the new year. So I have just drawn a mind map and am thinking about a “52 things in 52 weeks challenge” rather than resolutions or specific goals. This worked for me a few years back. I look forward to following your blog and seeing how the year plays out for you 🙂

  18. I love your word of the year and your plan to implement it. My hubby always uses the term SMART goals, they implement it at work. Here’s to a great 2022 of “YOU”

  19. Great WOTY. I contemplated choosing it but right now in my life, it isn’t very realistic and would set me up for another failure, I am afraid. But I think you can pull it off. This is a good time to focus on yourself as you work toward completely bolstering your writing career to replace your corporate career. Can’t wait for your trip to England in the fall. Still drooling over your Christmas in England photos from several years ago. Had never wanted to necessarily travel there but your adventures persuaded me otherwise.

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