2023 One Word Resolution: Intentional

by | Dec 29, 2022 | Mindset

Oof. There is something very meta about setting an intention for the year to… be more intentional. But, after a whole lot of reflection and pondering, this is the word that feels right for 2023. I had a few other ideas in mind: First, it was going to be ‘slow.’ Then, ‘strong.’ Then, ‘growth.’ But slow, while it is something I want to try to do more of, felt like it was at odds with who I am as a very impatient get-shit-done human, but also from an athletic standpoint. Strong resonated, but felt sort of harsh and pushy in a way I didn’t really want every facet of my life to be. Growth made me feel a little stressy, like I needed to sign up for classes Right Now—which would equate to procrastinating on a lot of life and work and play. Enter (or rather, re-enter) Flow, which was my word for 2020 (that didn’t exactly work out). It was close—I want to feel more aligned in everything I’m doing, and really find my groove. Flow lets you slow down or speed up, depending on the situation.

But to be honest, it still didn’t feel *quite* right. There’s something too… flowy about flow that didn’t quite feel right. I actually spent a bit of time playing with a draft of this post where FLOW was my word for the year, but it just didn’t feel right. Re-reading my meandering attempts at a draft explaining my word choice, I can pretty easily see that Flow wasn’t quite fitting for me this year. I actually wrote that the word, like slow, felt uncomfortable—but then argued that I should lean into the discomfort. The discomfort wasn’t there for me to lean into, it was there because that word just wasn’t right. Words of the year can make you a little nervous, maybe a bit discomfited, but they shouldn’t feel like you’re wearing an itchy sweater.

I tried to explain what I wanted in my word to Peter yesterday, and it clarified a lot for me (turns out, talking to someone is as helpful as journalling sometimes!). I told him I like slow and flow because my goal was to be more thoughtful about how I was choosing to do and doing things in my life. Making a coffee? I want that to feel more like a moment rather than a chore. Doing a workout? I want to be fully present, really putting myself into those intervals rather than doing them while half listening to a podcast. Spending time with Peter and DW? I want to be spending that time, not checking my phone.

“I want to be intentional about the things I’m doing,” I said. And then, it clicked: Intentional was my intention. Deliberate, thoughtful action in my daily life and in the broader sense when it comes to my training, my work projects, and all the ‘life’ stuff that we take on. It makes sense for me:

In racing, I felt like 2022 was a mostly great year—but the best result came when I was fully committed and focused. The less great results came when I had other things coming at me that distracted me from my goal, things that made a full focus harder. Looking back, I let myself stop being so intentional, so deliberate, when it came to race day. I let other stuff claw its way to the forefront in my mind. So this year, I want to be laser-focused on one or two big races/events.

In training, this is more of a micro daily reminder to do every workout as intentionally as possible—putting effort in rather than phoning it in. (This doesn’t mean going 100% in every workout, obviously. But it does mean being present for each workout.)

In work, it means saying Yes to things that feel aligned with our values, and saying no to side projects that are distracting (even if they are shiny and fun). In life, it means not just racing through the day trying to tick off my to-do list for the sake of getting things done.


So, that’s me for 2023. Let us know in the comments or over on Instagram what your one word for 2023 is—and feel free to compartmentalize this to just your training and racing if that feels right for you! It doesn’t have to be all-encompassing—sometimes, you’re in a place where it feels easier and better to focus on a feeling you want for your athletic life. Maybe eventually it’ll slide into other aspects of your life, but it’s more than OK to start with one spot.



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