Sunday, January 6, 2019

My Word of the Year is "Prioritize"

I first heard the idea of choosing a word to define the year rather than (or in addition to) setting New Year’s resolutions a few years ago. But while I’ve always thought it sounded like a great idea, I’d never committed to doing it. Then I saw Joséphine’s lovely post about her word of the year, and I decided to give it a try. After a bit of reflecting, I chose “prioritize.”

I’ve spent too much of my life fixating on things that aren’t important—I obsess about my grades, I let myself get angry over trivial annoyances, I get sucked into reading Twitter drama when I have better things to do, etc.

When I left to spend last semester studying in London, my goals were 1.) to see as much of London and Europe as I could, and 2.) to become more comfortable exploring on my own. I wasn’t going to let unimportant concerns weigh me down. And I mostly stuck to that resolution. I worked hard in school, but not too hard. I enjoyed each moment instead of worrying about making every day perfect.

And I was happier than I have been in a long time. Okay, a lot of that was because I was living in London and traveling every other weekend, but it was also because, for the first time, I was prioritizing what was actually important to me. I want to keep doing that now that I’m back home.

prioritize my mental/physical health over academics

This means sleeping seven hours per night, taking time to meditate and stretch for a few minutes at night and in the morning, and taking more study breaks to relax or spend time with friends. In 2018, I realized getting straight As at the expense of my happiness (and even my ability to actually learn the information I’m studying) isn’t worth it. 

spend at least one hour per day studying Spanish

I studied Spanish in high school, but I haven’t actively kept up with it for years. My semester abroad, along with some realizations about my career goals, made me realize how dissatisfied I am with speaking only one language. (Also I love Spanish so much?? I can't believe I ever stopped studying it.) I’m closing in on day 100 of my Duolingo streak (add me as a friend if you want!), and I’m always open to recommendations for novelas and other Spanish-language content! 

explore more

When I studied abroad last semester, I spent every free moment exploring London or planning a weekend trip to another city. That made me realize I take my own city and country for granted—when I’m home, I spend a few too many Sundays holed up in my room doing homework. I want to take more walks and visit more places in Indianapolis, and I want to visit a couple of other cities too. (I’m going to Atlanta over spring break, and I can’t wait!)

check Twitter and Instagram only once per day

Social media adds value to my life—it’s a great way to keep up with friends—but it quickly starts to feel draining the more time I spend there. I’d rather prioritize pastimes that make me feel more fulfilled, like reading, language study, and talking to real people around me. 

Do you choose a word of the year? Or have you set any New Year’s resolutions? I’d love to hear about your goals and plans for 2019!


  1. That's a really nifty idea! And I love your word choice. I could probably do with more prioritizing in my life, as well. I've spent so much time on my new blog trying to write content, that I sacrifice reading time or even time to focus on myself. I hope you meet your goals this year, and have a great one!
    A Darker Shade of Rosie

  2. I'm responding super late, but yes to health > academics...definitely feel you on that. As for Spanish, you can always practice with me, as it's good for me to practice too! <3 Wishing you the best in 2019!

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