Name Your Year (2022): Commit

Last Updated on February 19, 2022 by Alex Birkett

My friend Joe Martin is a smart guy.

I look up to him when it comes to designing a fulfilling life, and also when it comes to acoustic Kanye West covers.

One of the coolest things he does is name his year in advance. It sets the intent for your actions and is a quick heuristic for decision making.

For example, your year’s theme could be “connect,” and that could mean striving to build your professional network or to deepen the existing relationships in your life.

Last year, my theme was “commit.” I’d always been somebody to straddle both sides, so I consciously chose to dive in and follow through on what I was doing and who I was with.

Consciously acting this way caused me both a lot of joy and a lot of pain, and I’m so glad I chose this theme for my 2021.

As I was thinking about this year’s word, I first though I should choose something else. I had considered “recover,” as in recover interests and passions I had enjoyed earlier in life. Another option was “surrender,” as I tend to try to control outcomes and surrendering to the present is something I’ve been trying to do.

However, I’m going to pick “commit” again. I’m going to double down on the double down.

Fear of loss had always spread me thin. Made me wear a mask with certain people. Kept me chasing optionality and some childish definition of “freedom.”

Last year made me realize there’s no true freedom without commitment. You end up a slave to your indecision and options. When everything is a choice, nothing is fully embraced.

I’ve learned a lot about commitment and am no longer afraid of it. Loss either.

In fact, I’ve learned that in many ways, I’ve cut myself short. On my goals, in my relationships, with my passions.

So this year, I’m committing again.

I’m committing to my business. It’s no longer a small side project. We’ve got teammates and clients to care for. I’m bringing it to the finish line.

I’m committing to my passions. I’ve flirted with hobbies I love but end up sporadically engaging in them. I’m diving deeply into music (guitar), fitness (CrossFit and BJJ), and my core hobbies (skiing, scuba diving).

I’m committing to my goals. I let excuses get in the way of my bucket list items. This year, I’m chasing them down early (a few for the year: meditation retreat, Spartan race, hunting trip, 4 scuba trips).

I’m committing to a sense of truth and integrity. Lying to myself and others is no longer an option.

I’m committing to writing. I know this makes me happy and brings success and serendipity.

I’m committing to my relationships and continuing to walk into relationships with an open heart and strong back. I’m building and investing in my tribe. Long term games with long term people.

Most of all, I’m committing to myself. Journaling and meditation for self-care, loving myself like my life depends on it, and never cutting myself short to maintain connection or please others.

It took me years and a ton of therapy and psychedelics to feel the psychological courage to go all in on something. Why stop now?