A couple of years back I stopped making traditional new year’s resolutions and started setting new year’s intentions instead.

The way I practice setting intentions is by collecting a few words (usually 3) that are resonating with me at the end or start of the year. I write out their definitions (sometimes they have a couple so I choose the one that feels most aligned) and jot down how I want to implement their meaning into my life more. Essentially, these words set the tone for the year and how I’d like it to feel, while offering gentle guidance along the way whenever I think of them.

In today’s post I’ll be reflecting the three words I set out with in 2021 and the three words I’ll be keeping close to my heart through 2022.

If you’re interested in this type of thing, find a comfy seat with a space for making notes as we take a moment to release the year behind us and welcome the year ahead.

I decided to pair this outfit with this post because I felt so good in it over the holidays. It’s effortless and comfortable and yet still elegant with a rich palette of tones and textures. It mixes some of my all-time favourite pieces to create a look that feels true to not just who I am now but the person I’m evolving into as well, which is a quality that’s becoming increasingly important to my style choices.





This year had so many joyful moments and I can honestly say that I made a cognitive effort to be present for them, much more than I would have in the past (thank you meditation!). Whether it was time by the lake with friends and family, forest walks with Dobby, boat rides with Dave, morning sun beams with Evie, or just a moment alone listening to the water, I really savoured each burst of joy.

I also made an effort to alleviate the joy inhibitors in my life. Things like negative self-talk, stress over things out of my control, the opinions of others, comparing my life to that of strangers, time on social media, and the list goes on.

The incredible thing I learned about joy is that it’s always nearby, you just need to make room for it sometimes.


I grew up a lot this year as I faced some difficult circumstances. I was confronted by both my strengths and weaknesses and stepped into roles I wasn’t always sure I could handle but, ultimately, I found my way through.

I made hard choices that I knew were right for me and Dave and the life we’re building together. Even if they wouldn’t please everyone and weren’t the easiest path forward. I trusted my instincts when it came to work and chose to finally commit to following my creative energy. This led me away from paths that felt unnatural (like social media) and opened new doors for my business (like my newsletter).

I learned that courage often reveals itself after the fact. It’s presence is easily overridden by fear in the moment but it’s within us just the same.


In 2021 I began letting go of a lot of limiting beliefs and identities I’d been holding onto. Old versions of myself that were only getting in my way.

I stopped saying yes to things that didn’t serve an essential purpose in my life or business. My long break from social media offered a renewed sense of the purpose my work holds and showed me that it can evolve and change and still continue to have a positive impact.

Overall, I feel like I’m able to say that my future self would be proud of how I stepped up for the people I love, and myself, this year.



Accept or support a belief, theory, or change willingly and enthusiastically.

In 2022 I am EMBRACING:




The unexpected

My truth, vision & dreams

What I can & cannot change

Hard work


A higher version of myself.


Devote one’s time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.

In 2022 I am “INVESTING” in my:

Best relationships

Partnership with Dave









Accept something as true; feel sure of the truth of.

In 2022 I “BELIEVE” in:

The choices I make

That I deserve to thrive

The validity of my work

My capabilities

What is meant for me will find me

All the hard work will be worth it

& that’s all there is to it really! I try not to have too many expectations about how these words will take shape in my life, however, it can be really comforting to have these intentions at the ready when I’m feeling lost, overwhelmed or unsure about something.

I also highly recommend sharing your words with a couple of close friends who will cheer you on throughout the year. It’s fun to learn what their words are and to look back at the ones you each chose the year prior.

If you need some ideas for words, this reel by Morgan Harper Nichols has lots of good ones!

Thanks for joining my intention setting practice with me. I hope this was insightful for you and maybe even encourages you to consider your own word(s) for the year. Nothing is set in stone but it’s nice to have a bit of gentle self-guidance as we head into the next 12 months.

If you’re comfortable sharing, I’d love to hear what your words are for the year in the comments!


Leave me a comment here!

  1. jen says:

    Hi, Lee!
    I am just struck by the observation that all three of your words for 2021 are nouns, and all three of your words for 2022 are verbs. Perhaps that suggests a certain energy, a forward motion after a time of reflection? Anyway, thank you for sharing this wonderful practice. I have chosen nature, cabin, and simple as my words, to bring the mood and the pace of my dream life into the reality of my current life. Wishing you and everyone here a joyful 2022.

  2. Susan Telfer says:

    Thank you for your reflection. My words are love and resilience.

  3. Andrea h says:

    Wow Lee, I am so inspired by this. You’ve clearly spent a lot of time in a productive and positive headspace, and it’s a benefit to me to read the fruit of it. What you said about ‘believing in the validity of my work’ resonated for me. I need to get better at that. Thank you for sharing! I’m so very thankful to call you my friend!

  4. Christie J Priem says:

    Thanks for sharing your process and your focus for the upcoming year. I have been choosing a word of the year for a number of years now.

    I just moved from Arizona to Minnesota. I am beyond thrilled by the change, but it has definitely been disruptive and it will take some time before our new home feels like Home. Having said all that, my word for 2022 is SETTLE. In my mind, I see a visual of an agitated pond settling so the silt falls to the bottom and the water becomes clear. I am also envisioning settling as nesting, finding contentment and joy in my new life, new friendships, new community, new routines, new environment. When I’m feeling less than peaceful, I can tell myself to settle like that pond in my imagination.

  5. B says:

    This is not something I have really done before but I’ve had a rocky year and I need a handle for when I feel shaky. My word is ONWARD. After ending a 40 year marriage, it’s easy to keep looking back and trying to see what could have been different. I certainly want to learn from my past mistakes, but I can’t change anything that has already happened. My focus needs to be on my future, the person I am becoming and moving my life ONWARD!
    Thanks for the thoughtful work you do and for sharing your life!

    • Jen says:

      Hi, B. I just wanted to send you a virtual hug and some real encouragement. As someone who is 6 years out from a divorce herself, I can relate to your tendency to keep looking back and woulda-coulda-shoulda-ing the situation. If continual, compulsive effort alone could have invented time travel, I would have done it. Please believe me when I say that in the time that makes sense for you, you will turn toward your present and your future, and you will be in awe of what you behold. Strength and joy for your journey as you travel onward. 🙂

  6. Hi Lee, Happy New Year! I’ve been choosing one word for the year for several years now, because I found that I needed to keep my resolutions simple and flexible. My word is change: to let go of what I can’t change, to make changes in habits that don’t serve me, and to make changes now to reach my goals. I love how you revisited your words for last year and reflected on how you put them into practice. xo Nipa

  7. Kelsey says:

    Thanks for sharing! My word for the year is Simplify. I want to focus on keeping things as light and simple as I can during what could be a challenging year. 💛