How To Choose A Word To Define Your Year
In my second Coffee House Writers article, Five Steps To Creating Vision Boards To See The Big Picture, I briefly wrote about the words I have picked to define the upcoming year. In 2018, I did this for the first time. I chose the word SUCCESS. I created a graphic for it, and used it as the cover photo for my Facebook profile for the whole year. As it was my first time doing this, and I was still uncertain of how it would play out, I also created a blog post for my New Year’s Resolutions for 2018, based upon how I would define success for me in 2018. You can read my original list of resolutions for 2018 in my Treasure Seeker Tuesday #11 blog, and you can also see the progress when I wrote about it halfway through the year in Treasure Seeker Tuesday #28 Success Revisited blog.
I am proud of what I have accomplished in my life over the last three years (I wrote my first blog post in November 2016). I can also say that although I have not crossed everything off the original list of resolutions, I did my best, and this is worth celebrating! I had some big goals in mind when I picked the word SUCCESS. Publishing my first book in October 2018 was the highlight for me. With this mindset, I feel that I picked the right word for 2018.
Moving on to 2019. I was in a different place entirely when I chose FEARLESS. It is a daunting word, and not to be selected without some consideration. To be fearless is to not be free of fear, but to look it in the eyes and push forward even though you are literally shaking in your boots like I was on the day I took that picture.
I took my friends with me to the walkway by the river in December to get the picture I used for my cover photo for 2019. We stood on the walkway, which was covered in snow and ice. I am terrified of falling on ice. For me, just being in that place on that day was the definition of fearless. I avoid walking on ice at all costs because I fell as a child, and I am terrified of falling on the ice as an adult. I am proud of myself for coming up with the concept, and for following through.
2019 was a year full of scary events. In January, I was unexpectedly unemployed. I am still unemployed, and I have spent the last year working on personal development. I helped my husband through the death of his father. By helping him, it made me realize how strong a man he is, and I am proud of how he handled himself. It also terrifies me to realize that it will happen to my parents someday. To be strong for him, I had to swallow my fear and insecurities about death and let him do what he needed to do. It was hard for me to defer to him for every decision, as we are a team, and I am not used to being in the supporting role. I am more comfortable taking control of a situation and making things happen as I need to, while sharing responsibility. In this way, I was fearless in my love and support of him.
I wrote three business plans for my business ideas and submitted two for review. They rejected one, and the other one is in limbo, waiting for me to show tangible proof that I can take this idea and grow it into a business. The written part of the business plan was a piece of cake for me; however, the cash flow sheet was not. I can do math, but I dislike it. I put numbers into the cash flow sheet and showed a profit. It is not realistic, but I was told that it didn’t matter if it was, since it was all an estimate until I had real numbers to input into it. I plugged some numbers in and completed a business plan.
Another reason this was difficult for me to do was that over ten years ago I wrote a business plan for the first time. I wanted to open a craft supply store. It broke my heart when I got the news that my plan was rejected. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and I had more support this past year. The result has not changed for me, but the desire is still inside. The only thing I can do is to keep moving forward and not get lost in the rejection. It is easy to say I tried and to give up. This woman can proudly say she does not use the word apathy, and she refuses to give up.
Before I reveal what my word and picture are for 2020, I will give you some advice about choosing your word for the upcoming year. You really need to take some time to think about it. Will it relate to your goals for the upcoming year? Will it challenge you? Is it going to help you on your own journey of personal growth? These are things I think about when I am picking mine. Last year I chatted with an online friend about it, because I was uncertain about my word for 2019, unlike the certainty I had for 2018 or have for 2020.
If you like to keep a journal, it is helpful to write about the choice, to see what word seems to pop out to you. Chat with a friend over a coffee like I did if you have a friend who also is interested in choosing a word for the year. Spend some time in prayer or meditation. Quiet time is necessary for you to hear the answers you are asking God or the Universe for. Make a list of your choices and then ask for help if it is not yet clear. Take it seriously. Choosing just any word may have surprising results, or it may not reflect the year properly if the word does not have a significant meaning to you.
After you find your word, sit with it in reflection about what it means to you. Project the word out from your heart and mind into the future, and dream about what it will be. Focus on how it will show up in your upcoming year, and prepare yourself for what you think will happen, but also for the unexpected things that will come from this choice. It does matter, and it will surprise you. Next December, you will choose a new word for 2021, and after trying it in 2020, you can think about choosing it. A year from now, you will also be able to understand what the word meant when you picked it, but also how it showed up in your year, and how the meaning of the word grew with you all year long. It will change you, and it will be something you try again. I tried it on a whim in 2018, and I am ready for what is coming with my new word for 2020.
The word I have chosen reflects my journey over the past year. It is a word which I want to live up to, and one which may have some unexpected occurrences. It is a word which reflects my personal journey, and one which I hope leads into the next phase of my life. It includes thoughts of abundance, manifestation through prayer, change, opportunities, giving and receiving gifts. This word includes joy, love, kindness to myself, and being kind to others. My heart, mind and soul are in alignment with this word. It means I stand ready to show the world how much good I can bring into it. The word will reflect the entrepreneurial journey I am on, and what I want it to be in 2020. I have known what this word would be since the middle of November, if not before then. My word for 2020 is:
What is your word of the year? Have you picked a word to define your year before and if so, what words have you chosen in previous years? Share your thoughts here, and if you are having a difficult time choosing your word of the year, share your list and see what insight you can gather from the other readers. I am looking forward to the upcoming year with hope, and I am OPEN to whatever it brings to me.