It’s becoming a popular thing to have a word of the year. If you don’t know what this is, it’s choosing a word to embody and use throughout the year to describe yourself, your goals, and the things you do.

I’m not hating on that, and if that’s something you’re into, then go for it. But for me, I twist this idea a little bit. I pick a word to shape the goals I set for myself and the things I want to accomplish.

Last year, it was all about maintenance. I wanted to kind of find my footing and really just figure out what worked and what didn’t for me in a lot of aspects. I had just moved out two months before 2022 started and was in a brand new relationship in September of 2021. So 2022 was a year of figuring out how I made all the things work, what I was capable of, and how I could shape myself going forward.

This year is different. I’m still at my house, I’ve been dating the same person for over a year now, and things are different than what they were last year. And that’s good. That shows I am making progress in my life. So this is the year I let nothing stand in my way from reaching the goals that I set for myself.

Yes, if you haven’t already figured out, this year’s theme for me is determination. I’m determined to reach my goals. I have the tools, the support system, and the resources I need. It’s no longer time for excuses. They don’t fly anymore. I’m hitting my goals because they’re all reasonable and I have the capability to achieve them.

Now it’s not that I’m some fiery macho person who’s at 100 all the time (I am pretty fiery though). I also accept that I will have bad days. I accept that I can give myself grace. I’m not perfect. I don’t pretend to be.

But if I let excuses get in the way, I’ll never get anything done. I’m already farther along than I thought I’d ever be. I’m here, and I’m doing what I can to make sure I start and end the year where I want.

Determination is a powerful thing. It’s what you use to pick yourself up, wipe the dirt off your face, and continue. It’s the refusal to give up, but it’s more than that. It’s the refusal to give up no matter what. Even if you limp to the finish line, you know you still made it. That’s determination.

Life happens and things get in the way. I know this. I’ve witnessed it. What you do in those circumstances and after are what matters. Do you try again? Or do you let it get the best of you?

Determination, in my opinion, is a fire that is pretty difficult to put out. It’s what pushes you to say “One more rep!” when you feel your arms are about to give out. It’s what tells you “One more step!” when you feel you can’t go any further. It’s what encourages yourself to hang on, to keep going, to push through, to continue.

I refuse to let excuses block my way this year. I am determined to reach my goal, and I doubt there will be anything that can actively stop me. I hope you’re determined this year too.

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