Historian and Blogger Ijeoma Kola shares her word of the year for 2022

My 2022 Word of the Year

Rather than having a list of goals or resolutions for each year, I prefer to have a guiding word, mantra, or scripture to shape my thinking for each year.

Last year, my word was focus. I wanted to focus on two things: work that directly aligns with God’s purpose for me and creating time to spend with my family, friends, and myself. I’ve got to admit, I lost focus towards the end of the year as I was struggling to balance my post-doc, marriage, motherhood, Cohort Sistas, my business, and maintaining my new home.

By October, I was more stressed than I’ve ever been. I remember one day when I was up until 4am doing work breaking down in tears because I was not at peace. I had everything I wanted in life — I was fulfilling my dream of being a teacher, finally getting some traction with my non-profit, decorating my new home, and making more money from my business than ever before — but I did not have peace.

The next night, after putting my son to sleep, instead of doing the pile of work I had on my to do list, I decided to journal. The first thing that came to my mind was a phrase: peace over profit.

I realized that in an effort to top my previous year earnings and keep up with other influencers who were announcing their revenue milestones, I had stretched myself thin. Yes I was passionate about every campaign I was working on (which was a sign of growth itself), but I did not have the physical capacity to do them all on top of everything else I was doing.

My mind went back to an interview I’d done on the Cohort Sistas Podcast with a licensed therapist who said: “just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should.” After that day I decided to take a step back from the influencer world and focus on the other things on my plate — teaching and research, Cohort Sistas, and my family and personal relationships. I told my management team that I wasn’t booking anymore work for the time being. And immediately after that scary decision and difficult conversation, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. Funny enough, the peace came from finally focusing on what matters for me right now.

So my word for 2022 is PEACE. Peace in all areas of my life. In my work, in my relationships, in my home, in my mind and spirit.

My scripture for the year is the first part of 2nd Thessalonians 3:16:

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.”

I’ve learned that I cannot rely on myself alone to give me peace, but if I rely on God, he will give me peace.

For more on peace, check out this post:

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