January is full of ideas to motivate people. Whether it’s to stop drinking or lose weight, there’s always something that helps start the fire and get things going in January. While I’ve never been a fan of resolutions, (they work for 2 days max), I do like the idea of having a word for the year. But in true AJC Design style, instead of having one word for the entire year, I’m sticking with a word for the quarter. That gives it just enough time to try the word on before committing the whole year. Genius, right?
After wading through rivers of inspiring words, the one that resonated with me the most was “onward.” In dictionary speak, onward is an adverb, and it means “in a continuing forward direction; ahead.” (Oxford Languages) Onward is about action, but is not tied with simply achieving a goal in a set amount of time. What I also like about “onward” is that it’s fluid, flexible, and future-oriented. I consider it more of a state of being than doing.
2023 was a big year of change and loss. I wasn’t prepared for any of it, but I know, no one ever is. As much as I want to go back and change what happened last year, I realize that I have no other option than to keep growing, evolving, and iterating in both my personal and professional life.
Here is what “onward” looks like to me in 2024; it’s about moving into a new office space, one where I can finally separate work and life and not work past dinner time. It’s about leaving behind the logo that started the early years of my business 16 years ago and embracing a fresh logo and branding standards. It’s not being overwhelmed with my to-do list, and instead being laser focused on the few priorities. It’s about feeling free to say what’s really on my mind and doing the things in life that bring me the most joy. It’s realizing and honoring my inner strength to carry me forward, no matter what the circumstance is.
The month of January has already felt different. I’m gradually making new tiny shifts every day. Instead of being weighed down by an audacious goal, I’m at peace knowing that this moment is all we have. Rather than lamenting the past, I need to remember to take a deep breath and repeat to myself, “onward.” Who knows, in a few months, “onward” may still be my word or there may be a new one so stay tuned.