My 2021 Words of the Year: Authenticity, Discipline, Consistency
You’re probably familiar with the idea of a word of the year already. I’ve set intentions in this way the past few years, with words like progress and resilience setting the stage for the months to come. But, for 2021, I decided that one word just wouldn’t cut it. I’m shooting for major changes and full-fledged transformation! So, with that in mind, I’ve set three words of the year for 2021: authenticity, discipline, and consistency.
Curious about my other self-improvement plans for 2021? Check out my goals for the year, how I’m using my 2021 bullet journal differently, and my 101 in 1,001 list!
How to Choose a Word of the Year
Whether you’re choosing a single word of the year or a few, picking the right word of the year can start you off on the right foot. A word or phrase to focus on for the year can help to keep you motivated and on track. It can also help to provide some clarity and guidance when life gets a little too hectic. So what are good words of the year?
Here are a few tips for choosing the best word of the year:
- Choose a word that resonates with you.
- Choose a word that is relevant to your goals.
- Choose a word that is positive and achievable.
- Choose a word that is versatile.
Remember, your word or words of the year are just one element of preparing yourself for the new year—you can always make changes as time goes on. This isn’t like getting a tattoo, where you’ll be looking at this choice for a lifetime!
I’ve never thought of myself as someone who changed to meet others’ approval. But, recently, I’ve realised that it’s sort of been a constant in my life. I’ve only just started to face the strong likelihood that I’m autistic, a possibility at the back of my family’s minds since I was little. With that in mind, I’ve taken time to learn more about autism, late diagnosis, and ADHD (which presents similar symptoms and is often comorbid—offering another potential diagnosis).
Along the way, a term I’ve often come across is “masking.” This phenomenon is particularly prevalent in autistic women and hits all too close to home. I can’t help but wonder what pieces of myself I’ve pushed aside over the years. And I’m afraid that might just be a lot.
I hide my disabilities, and the limitations they bring with them. Interests get pushed aside. I push for perfection and, in the process, pushed myself to the side.
So, I have a goal for 2021: to be authentically me. A lot of my efforts will center on figuring out who that authentic me is. I’m embracing stims and my many, multi-faceted passions. I’ll be working on being more confident. I’ve got journalling exercises, motivational quotes, and other resources on hand. This authentic awakening will hopefully conclude with me being a more genuine, happier person.
This is going to take some courage. I’ll need to confront a lifelong habit of people-pleasing. It will come with some changes along the way. But, I think, it will truly be all for the best.
I wouldn’t consider myself to be a particularly undisciplined person. But I have no doubt that I could improve my efforts to be more self-disciplined.
I want to be more reliable, despite my illnesses being anything but. I’m dreaming of a world where I can feel like I’m truly in control of my life.
Improving my life, instituting better, more long-lasting habits, and bringing more success into my life? Yes, please!
I’ve saved quite a few resources on improving, building, or mastering self-discipline. I’m already working on maintaining constraints in my life (thanks to some inspiration from the incomparable Natalie Bacon), including cutting off eating late at night and cutting back on social media use. I’ll be diving into more tips and tools to become more motivated, more productive, and more disciplined.
Arguably, consistency and self-discipline go hand-in-hand. In every area of my life, I struggle to be consistent. I have habits I try to complete every day but don’t always stick to those tasks each day. Sure, I might make the bed, scoop the litterbox, and brush my teeth each morning. But can I make sure I keep up with all that and more?
Blogging is one of the areas where I especially want to be more consistent in 2021 and beyond. So far, so good, in terms of weekly blog posts and more. I want to do the same here, in my writing and book review efforts, my work at Nightingale & Sparrow, and in my personal and work life, too.
Consistency is scary. It means putting yourself out there and skipping out on the things that don’t align as well with your goals. Consistency means you keep moving forward. You get serious. And, again, it’s terrifying. But, this year, I’m going to try.
Other words could have easily been included in this list. I’m working to take better care of myself this year, avoiding burnout with plenty of rest and balance. I’ve been focusing on bringing more joy into my life. I’m even working to manifest abundance. But, I know I’ll work more effectively with a shorter list to focus on. So, while words like these will be in the background, I’ll be focusing on authenticity, discipline, and consistency.