My Word for the Year 2022

Blog Contributed by:
Sara Afzal
Business Consultant & CEO | Highly Keen Management Institute


It is again that time of the year where a talk about new year resolutions gets peak and where some people make their resolutions, some also panic that they don’t know how to make a new year’s resolution. For all those who struggle with setting up resolutions, an alternate way is to define or set a focus word for the year. That is ‘a single word that summarizes what you need, what you want to focus, or what you need to improve on’ during the upcoming year.
In short, a word for the year! It serves as your anchor and also encourages you to consciously (and subconsciously) consider this focus word when making choices and decisions throughout.


Every year I find a quiet place where I sit in isolation, spend time on happenings and actions of my last year, and after reflecting upon everything, I choose a word that shall define my next year. Last year it was ‘Growth’. This last year, what a whirlwind it has been. This year was a mixture of progress and relaxation, calm and concern, days full of activity and energy and then quiet days and days of panic, days of excitement for growth and then days of sorrow for the loss of loved ones and then blessings of meeting new people whom you can connect with. When I look back on this year that has just passed, I also reflect on the life experiences it presented. And after all, I feel myself ready to embark on another year of hope that is filled with purpose. I am ready to take along the learnings of last year and step into the new year with renewed energies and eyes full of dreams.

There were times, seriously testing times, throughout the year when I would find myself lost and would convince myself that growth (as I had defined it) was not happening this year. The Growth as a person and as a humanitarian; the growth in my spirituality, in my relationships, and in my work; but then there were plenty of moments when I had the chance to watch the growth unfold, just as I desired it. Some little instances, some powerful moments, a lot of happenings and a bunch of memories, which made me realize that my growth this year was filled with much more purpose than I initially imagined. Allah has been kind as He always does.


My experience of facing Covid-19 and tending my whole family through the journey, losing my grandmother to this unfortunate ailment, the experience of nursing her throughout a month of her illness and watching death unfold in front of my eyes allowed me to reach into the aspects of my being, I could never have imagined that existed. Those 30 days taught me of my limitations as a human and our dependence on the Almighty, the power of dua (prayer), the incredible helplessness that we feel at the hands of fate. This year I also got to assess my own strengths and capabilities in the face of a unique set of adversities, and it helped me gauge where I have room to improve. This year which was filled with growth and loss, gave me a lot in terms of purpose, strength, emotional stability and hope.


As I am closing the chapter on this year and stepping into the next, I cannot help but feel grateful. I did grow this year as I desired at the start of 2021; I grew as a person, as a believer, as a professional, as a humanitarian, and as a being. I did things; I experienced things and I learnt things; and seriously what could be better than that.


Seeing how the past year had been for me, this year I wanted to pick something that would help me sustain with the redefined the purpose of my life and help me continue with the growth that I had decided for last year. A hope that I could hold onto, something which could give me energy and positivity. I wanted something that would push me through the edge and help me make decisions that would allow me to rise; to learn; and become a new better me.


So this year, I chose the word “Resilience” (by that I mean to Fight back in the face of adversities | Heal| Continue to progress | Embrace Changes no matter how good or bad they are).


I want each day of 2022 to be defined by the word “Resilience”. While I am setting ‘Resilience’ as my word for year, I know that it is not a trampoline, where I am down one moment and up the next. It’s more like mountain climbing without a trail map. I know it will take its due time, strength, and most importantly, help from people around me. I am aware that I will experience setbacks along the way, but eventually I hope to reach the where I want to and look back at how far I’ve come.


I want to experience resilience in every capacity and in every form. So that when I sit down to reflect on 2022, I see a better me, with identifiable changes at which I can look back with happiness and get motivated to embark on another year of life.


I hope my reflections on last year and word of year for 2022 and the objective behind it, gave you some perspective and motivated you to define a word of year for yourself. At least, to me, setting my word of year has become a tradition now and it helps me in staying focused. I would love to hear your thoughts on having a word for the year and what that word is….


Happy New Year! Let’s move on to 2022 with excitement, hope and so much more.