Each year, I use three words to shape my outlook for the year. These words guide my goal setting and decision making. They set the tone and express my hopes for the year ahead. Sometimes the words come to me quickly and with great clarity, other times I have to wait and search my heart and mind for them to reveal themselves. This year, they came quickly, and I am excited by the possibilities they present.

My first word is a repeat word, one that created something really wonderful in 2018. That word is JOY. In 2022, I am going to seek out, focus on and notice all the moments – big and little – that give me, and others, joy. I am going to keep a Joy Journal, documenting moments where I experience the sudden burst of happiness, gratitude, and peace that JOY is to me. So far this year, I’ve had many joyous moments including when I saw joy in my father’s face when he woke from his TAVR heart surgery on January 4 and was able to call my mother to tell her he made it through, joy at barre class with my daughter Grace and running with my friends, and joy in the sun and at the beach with my partner Tamera Loerzel and our husbands in Florida last week. Will you join me on my Joy Journey?

My second word is unusual, but it kept coming up, so it stuck. That word is OFF-ROAD. In 2022, I’m going to have more off-road experiences, taking paths I don’t normally take. I’m going to run more trails this year when I’ve been a mostly street runner. My husband, niece, friends, and I are going to hike more than we did – I’m shooting for 365 miles of hiking, which will be interesting to fit in with my ~1K of running. I’d love to do more of that at National Parks this year. At work, we’re going to innovate and modify, being careful not to accept SALY (same as last year) from ourselves or clients. Things are changing too quickly to stay on the path of least resistance because it feels safer or easiest. This year, we’ll blaze some new trails. Where are you going off-road in 2022?

My third word is one that is so much a part of me, I wondered if it really should be my word. It is LEARN. When I took the Gallup Strengthsfinder so many years ago, one of my five “talents” is that I’m a learner. But most of my learning has been reading and attending sessions related to leadership, management, the CPA profession, talent and more. Work stuff. In 2022, I want to learn “off-road” things that don’t necessarily pertain to work. Like how to make biscuits and gravy and chicken and dumplings, things that I don’t typically eat, but would give my mother and at least one of my daughters great joy. I want to dig in and learn about trail running and hiking, so I can approach both with more safety and strategy than I have up until now. I’m toying with the idea of learning how to use a level and drill so I can build shelves and hang pictures without having to ask a man in my life to do it. I’ve thought about learning to refinish wood so I can refinish a few treasured end tables whose tops have seen better days. I’m sure there are many other things but in 2022, I want to look back and feel like I grew in different and unusual ways because I learned things outside my norm. Where are you learning new and different things?

I have always been a “wordie” (yes, I’m playing once-a-day Wordle – LOVE IT!) and my three words set my intention for the year ahead. I feel so fortunate to have this “three words” practice and to have friends and colleagues like you to support me in my annual pilgrimage to see where these ideas will lead.

What are your guiding words or hopes for 2022? Consider setting your own personal intention for this still-new-year and see where it takes you. Share your words with us, too. We’re interested and will support you along the way.