This Year’s Word

In 2019. Facebook advertised a company that would put a word of your choosing on a silver washer and make a bracelet out of it. I thought about it for a while, but I couldn’t commit to a single word. I decided the advice I needed to wear was “Just Begin.”

I wore the bracelet like a charm whenever I was nervous about something: going to a convention, speaking at an event, reading in public, meeting strangers. It reminded me not to focus on the outcome, not to worry about the final product. All I had to do was begin. The ending would take care of itself.

In January 2020, before I understood what was to come, I chose “Seek Joy” as my directive for the year. I wanted to ease up on myself, to remind myself to enjoy the process, to take pleasure in simple things: lotion for my hands, the color of the sky, hugs. Joy didn’t need to be massive or life-shattering. It was around me, all the time, and I only had to realize it.

Last year, the phrase I chose was “Hold on to Hope.” Vaccines were on the horizon. My elderly parents had survived the pandemic and I hoped to see them over the summer, like in the Before Times. Choosing to be hopeful was easy, right up until January 6. It was really good to have the reminder.

So this year I wasn’t sure I wanted to make a bracelet again. I don’t expect to have anywhere to wear it. It would just sit in the dish on my desk… While I was able to commit to projects for this year, I didn’t want to pick a phrase to encapsulate its energy.

Until this morning.

My Intent had a quiz in their ad on Instagram. It suggested the words: Inspire, Create, Imagine. All beautiful words, but none of which captured what I want out of 2022. I mean, of course I want those things, too. Primarily, though, the energy I want to summon is more about finalizing things, not beginning them.

The word Complete occurred to me. I looked it up on to be sure. I found:

  • having all parts or elements, lacking nothing, whole, entire, full
  • perfect in kind or quality
  • thorough, entire, undivided, uncompromised

Or as a verb:

  • to make whole or entire
  • to make perfect

Exactly what I was looking for. My word for 2022 is Complete.

While I’m at it, my goals for the year are:

  1. Finish the Death’s Garden Revisited project finally. My hope is to have it out in October.
  2. Edit an as-yet untitled book of short stories.
  3. Finish the sequel to This Morbid Life, to be called Jet Lag & Other Blessings.

We’ll see how it goes. I only finished one of the books I planned last year, but I’m really proud of how This Morbid Life turned out. The point is to have a target to aim toward.

If you’d like to make a bracelet (or necklace) with your own word of the year, check out I’m not an affiliate and don’t make any money from the recommendation. I just like them.

If you’d like to have some support for bringing your own projects to life, check out the Spooky Writer’s Planner I created with Emerian Rich. If you like to move pages around and set up your planners how YOU like them, it’s available as a printable download on Etsy. There’s a grab-and-go paperback version on Amazon.

About Loren Rhoads

I'm the author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, as well as a space opera trilogy. I'm also co-author of a series about a succubus and her angel. In addition to blogging at, I blog about my morbid life at
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6 Responses to This Year’s Word

  1. A perfect word for you! I need to find one to guide me. Maybe I’ll just write it down and keep it on my desk as I don’t get out much either!

  2. “Complete” is a wonderful word! My word for last year was “brain” as in eating nutritious foods for brain health and learning new things and getting adequate sleep. The word served me well. This year my word is an oldie but goody: “love.”

  3. Emerian Rich says:

    I love “complete” it was my word a couple years ago and everytime I change it to another word, it doesn’t really click and I come back to it! Good luck this year!

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