How to start the new year on a positive note

Welcome to 2022! Thank God, the new year is finally here.

In January I spend time contemplating how to have an awesome year. I am shooting a few videos this month sharing the planning process I use.

Here is one idea for how to start the new year on a positive note.

2021 was another tough year

Quick reality check looking back at the year 2021. It was another tough one.

Hopefully, it was not as bad as 2020 for you. One main reason 2021 was tough, the pandemic continues.

If you had asked me at the beginning of 2021 if I would be wearing a mask more or less at the end of the year, I certainly never would have said more.

Unfortunately, that is the current reality. Many of us are wearing masks more than ever these days.

You have to wear a mask a lot when you travel.

The new year is off to a rough start

We are only one week into 2022 and we are already off to a rough start. Three examples:

  1. The Omicron variant is spreading like wildfire around the world.
  2. Colorado was wrecked by wildfires with many losing their homes.
  3. There have been two snowstorms in the Washington DC area where I live.

The local snowstorms created tons of traffic. From Richmond, VA to Washington DC was pretty much a parking lot, and many people had the to spend the night in their cars due to the gridlock. Burr!

Traffic in the DC area is usually bad, but not this awful.

The new year can be a better one if you make it happen

You need to do some work if you want a great year in 2021.

I am a big fan of setting goals, doing some planning, and getting going. Think about what you want success to look like for you this year.

We will talk about ways to get there.

Pick your one word for the new year

Let’s start thinking about 2022 by picking your one word for the year. Pretty simple idea, here are some rules:

  1. It can only be one word — no cheating.
  2. Pick a quote that reinforces the word — it can be from anyone.
  3. Select a picture that represents the word — the image makes you think of the word
Select one word, quote, and picture.

Several gurus recommend you pick one word

You are probably wondering if this idea is something I made up.

Where did this one-word concept come from? I borrowed it from reliable sources. Jon Gordon and a few of his colleagues wrote a book on this topic.

Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist, author, and lecturer at Stanford University, believes in the word of the year idea and knows the psychology behind it.

I follow the one-word approach because it worked for me the past few years.

These gurus can explain the one-word concept better than I.

It will help frame your mindset for the new year

Why does the one word help? It frames the new year for you.

One word gives you a new mindset for new results in the new year. Yes — you still are going to set goals, and you will still plan for success.

You will have that one word in the back of your mind as a guiding principle throughout the year.

It will help you make good decisions throughout the year. I find it super helpful. Select your one word now and future decisions become easier to make.

Your word will help give you a new mindset.

My example from last year

An example may be helpful. Last year Kim and I pick the word together.

Our one word was rally. Rally = get back in the game.

We selected this word because we anticipated that we would face several hardships in 2021. We would need to rally to move forward successfully.

I picked a quote from Tony Bennett, the University of Virginia Men’s basketball coach, and an image from the loss UVA suffered to UMBC during the NCAA basketball tournament. The worst loss in tournament history.

They rallied and won the national title the next year.

The greatest turnaround in NCAA basketball history.

What is your word for 2022?

It is time to pick your word for the new year. I cannot pick it for you.

You need to do it yourself.

If you need some ideas, there are plenty of helpful resources on the internet. I am including a site below that I found helpful. It includes plenty of ideas.

Pick your word, a quote, and an image. Have fun with it.

This list can help you get started.

I am Doug Keating and this is my letter to sons.




Leader and learner. husband and father. Novice blogger,, Founder of All The Way Leadership!

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Doug Keating

Doug Keating

Leader and learner. husband and father. Novice blogger,, Founder of All The Way Leadership!

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