Set Focus Words for an Intentional Year

In our New Year Ritual, we invited you to choose some words to represent the year you would like to have in 2022.

Using words to guide your year is a powerful and flexible framework for living more intentionally. These words could describe a mindset or habit you would like to adopt, or an aspect of your life or a project you would like work on in 2022. You can also think of them as themes or mantras that you would like to live by in the year ahead.

To give you a better idea of how they can support your wellbeing, we put together this resource sharing some focus words ideas and how to use them.

Why set a focus word?

Have you ever had days where you struggle to meet your goals or resolutions, and end up feeling discouraged? On days like these, we may be better served with more freedom to rest and play.

As our minds and bodies move through different cycles and rhythms, themes:

✔️ Offer us focus without the pressure of regularly meeting specific goals or benchmarks

✔️ Allow us to adopt or let go of goals and habits as and when they are needed, gently guiding us toward the person we would like to be

✔️ Can either replace or supplement your own goal-setting — experiment to find the best fit for you

How to use focus words to live intentionally

  1. Take a moment to reflect on the previous year. You can refer to our New Year Ritual for a few guiding prompts.

  2. Thinking about what you would like let go of and what you would like to bring into the year ahead, pick 1-5 words that resonate with your current path.

  3. Stay inspired by making the words you’ve chosen part of your daily life. You could use them to journal, include them in your phone or desktop wallpaper, create a vision board around them, or compile a playlist of songs based on your focus words!

  4. We also recommend setting aside time regularly, such as every month or quarter, to reflect on whether you're living in alignment with your themes.

We have included some suggestions on how each of the themes below might apply to your life. 

Please feel free to dig deeper into any word you connect with, even if none of the suggestions feel right for you. To help you explore what each word or theme might mean for you, we’re sharing journal prompts around each focus word on our Instagram

Focus word ideas


  • Spending quality time with loved ones
  • Making new meaningful connections
  • Engaging with your communities
  • Reconnecting with an old friend


  • Spending time on leisurely activities
  • Finding joy in small or mundane things
  • Learning to play a new game


  • Staying mindful in each moment
  • Being fully engaged in whatever you’re doing
  • Limiting distractions


  • Spending more time outdoors
  • Balancing work, play and rest
  • Finding moments for both solitude and connection
  • Finding balance in your diet or exercise routine
  • Balancing different groups of people who are important to you


  • Practicing kindness toward yourself
  • Forgiving your mistakes
  • Allowing yourself time to rest and play
  • Challenging negative thoughts
  • Complimenting yourself


  • Exploring new parts of your city
  • Travelling the world
  • Learning a new skill or hobby
  • Joining a new membership group
  • Staying curious


  • Feeding your body with healthy and fresh foods
  • Getting enough rest
  • Nourishing your mind and spirit with new books or movies
  • Treating yourself to indulgent meals


  • Trying a new creative project or hobby
  • Being creative with what you have
  • Looking at things from different perspectives
  • Expanding the kinds of creative media you consume


  • Doing a deep dive into one project instead of juggling a few
  • Maintaining clarity on your goals and objectives
  • Focusing on one particular area of your work or personal life


    There are endless words you can focus on to help guide your journey, and each word will hold a different meaning for everyone. We hope some of these themes will help you gain clarity and purpose as you move through your year.