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When I was drafting my post about setting an intention for the New Year, I guided my readers (and myself) to develop a word that encapsulated their goals for the year.
It took me a little while to choose my word for the year because I ignored it.
It’s amazing how subtly these words come to us…I’ll journal, write out a bunch of different words, reflect on them, and sit with a few for a while, thinking I’ll find the perfect word through the process of elimination.
Instead, my word often comes to me quickly, quietly, without a lot of mental planning. Sometimes it is totally different from the words I’m considering!
For example, I heard a word arise as I wrote that post, but I discounted it. Instead, I spent a few days thinking of all the different kinds of words I might like to focus on. I’d try them on and tell myself THAT was the one.
Yet they never felt right to me.
I’d sense a looseness somewhere inside of me that didn’t connect with the word.
So I went back to the word that arose first. I stopped questioning WHY that word and decided to embrace it!
My 2022 Intention for the Year
Can you see why I questioned this word? Invest? Like, spend a ton of money? Would this just be a ruse for me to buy lots of stuff and justify it as an “investment?” I don’t want my goal to be connected to spending money when I’m trying to get out of debt!
I kept thinking this same line of thought over and over again, but when I’d ask myself what my word was, I’d get the same answer.
So instead of fighting it, I decided to sit with this idea.
What would it mean to invest?
The first thing that came to mind was to invest in myself. As I started living in this idea, I saw so many other components that tied together!
Invest in Quality Care
I decided I am no longer interested in working with specialists, doctors, or professionals who are not excited to work with me. I don’t want to have to advocate for my care; I want to find connection and excitement in the process of working on my goals.
Also, I’ll often find a practitioner that I feel called to work with and then balk at the price. So I’ll spend hours for looking something “more affordable,” and then lose steam with the process entirely. What if I actually worked with the people who inspired me? What if I prioritized that care and truly invested in it with money and time?
This is the line I keep hearing:
“I want to work with people who are excited about the opportunity to work with me.”
Invest in my values
Part of living an intentional life is really clarifying what matters to you. The more I work on this blog, I can see what I care and think about. I really want to look outside of the box and find new ways to reduce my waste even more and recommit to supporting my local food system.
Invest in Quality Food
We already cook from scratch and try to buy a lot of organic produce, but I want to do this with more purpose. I used to work at a farmers market for 4 years and was great about eating local food and supporting small farms. After moving away from that market area, starting a stressful job, and living in the pandemic, we stopped shopping at markets and spent more time at the grocery store.
We compromised our food values for convenience and we understand why, but we are ready to make commitments to eat more local food and support small businesses.
I haven’t decided exactly how I want to do this and am letting that path unfold as it comes up. Our local markets are closed for the winter, but we’ve already started getting pastured eggs delivered to our home each week. It feels like such an easy-win; we are working on our goals while doing almost nothing extra! That makes me feel excited to make more changes without it feeling like a burden.
Plus, working within local food systems is a guaranteed way to build community! I want to be around like-minded people who are also living according to their values.
We are at a really fortunate place financially. We are so thankful to have no consumer debt and only to have our mortgage and student loans. We pay a little extra every month on our mortgage, which we refinanced in 2021 to make more affordable.
However, student loans are a BEAR. There are no quick wins or short fixes. It’s just one really big debt. It is really hard to pay extra (a LOT extra) every month and still see minimal movement in the balance. I find myself straying from this focus often as it’s just not rewarding. No matter how I change my mindset, I often come back to feeling like my student loans are just this huge punishment I endure every month. Being at 0% interest right now does help a little bit and we’re trying to pay down as much as possible before interest returns.
We also keep wanting to invest in IRAs and other opportunities but have been holding back because of the desire to pay off this dang student loan. Why can’t I invest $100 in a mutual fund? Will that really hold back my debt repayment efforts?
I’ve decided to make some smaller investments to help me see the positive effects of our efforts while still paying significant sums on our debt. My gut keeps telling me to invest, even small amounts, so I’m going to.
I would also like to invest in working with a financial professional who can help us look at our situation open-mindedly and help us see options for ourselves we never considered before. We don’t want to be sold on a service and we are currently looking for a fiduciary who can really help us understand our options.
Invest in my relationship with myself
I see the word “invest” as being about prioritizing my own desires and needs instead of ignoring them. My goal is to really listen to my inner voice and trust it. I want to invest in the process of developing my inner voice. It may be challenging at times and it may be really uncomfortable living authentically according to my inner voice, but I think I need to honor this desire.
My natural response to my inner voice is to ignore and doubt it, especially when it pushes me outside of my comfort zone. This means that sometimes it takes me years to make big decisions for myself or to really initiate change. I accept that I did what I could with the means I had in the past, and I am stronger and more capable now.
I keep hearing this…
“I already know what is true for me. I can trust my inner voice will lead me the right way.”
Invest in the present
I am typically not fully present. My mind is so scattered and anxious constantly! My therapist and acupuncturist call it the “monkey brain.” It takes so much effort to switch out of this way of thinking and it’s been especially bad this school year with the added stress I’ve experienced.
I’m really trying to slow down to be present in the moment and with myself. I’m learning about polyvagal theory and using breathwork and grounding strategies to get back into my body!
My hope is that when I can be fully present with myself, I’ll hear my inner voice more and be able to connect more authentically with my husband. He won’t get the scattered, anxious, thousand-miles-a-minute me. Hopefully, he’ll get more of the lighthearted, silly, playing around me!
Invest in my dreams
I have so many dreams for what I hope Mik Glass Home can become. It is already in transition to match more deeply with my values and I’ve invested financially in programs to help me manage it even during the busiest times of the year. I have low expectations for blog post writing during the school year but have decided to send a weekly newsletter no matter what. I’ve created emails for new readers to help ensure everyone who signs up gets a great experience and can learn who we are!
Part of me also wants to take a long road trip this summer, so we’re going to start planning how to make that happen! As much as I love slowing down, I sometimes feel like I put my own desires on the back burner for “later.” Since “later” is never guaranteed, I want to embrace the fullness of life right now. This very moment.
Who knows what that will mean for me, but doesn’t it feel exciting to start anew?
What is your word of the year?
Have you done some reflecting? Which word did you pick?: How does “invest” resonate with you?
Find your word of the year using the strategies from my intention-setting post!
What is your word for 2022? How can we help you work towards your goals? Tell us in the comments!