2019 Word of the Year

For the past few years, I’ve been using the Powersheets from Cultivate What Matters. It’s in intentional goal setting planner that helps you dig into what really matters, and then set goals accordingly for the year.

So each year, I dig into these Powersheets to figure out what I want my upcoming year to look like and how it fits into my longer term goals. You also spend time thinking about what your word (or phrase) of the year will be. Sometimes you know this right away, other times it takes some digging into. Below are a few words from my last two years:

2017: Intentional

2018: Wonder (home) and Build (work)

Picking a word of the year could be simple, but if you want your word to support your growth, it really does have to be something that matters to you. A word or phrase you can go back to and filter your decisions through or encourage yourself in. This year, I had a much harder time than normal picking my word. I could think of some 2019 goals I wanted to accomplish, but wasn’t sure what word tied them together.

I knew I wanted to do even more traveling, expand my solo travels, continue getting good uncomfortable in health and fitness (the kind where you do hard things), and continue to live out my faith and share it with others. I wanted to push myself to do harder things than I’d done before, but I just wasn’t sure what specific word hit that.

I made a list on my phone (because I love lists) and let it sit. I started thinking about my word of the year at the beginning of December, and weeks went by throughout the month and I still wasn’t sure what it would be.

Along comes my Utah trip. It was toward the end of December and I just felt the need for clarity. Not just on my word of the year, but just clarity on a variety of things. So about 10 days before New Year, I booked a trip to Utah. My trip was absolutely incredible and was only four days long. I got clarity on a few things, but it came to be the eve of the New Year and I still didn’t know what word I wanted to weave my year together.

I continued to pray about it and accepted that my word may not come until the end of January or even later. And I was okay with that remembered the quote, “There’s nothing special about January 1st”. And there’s not. I didn’t need to start with my word on the first day of the year but maybe find it through the next weeks or months.

So New Year’s Eve I went back to my hotel and was doing some reading and reflecting. I looked over my list of potential words again- wait, abide, remain, elevate, prepare, dwell, along with a few more. I didn’t connect with any of them. Then it hit me. Bold. It felt like it flew into my head, but that it was there for a reason. Hm, bold. What could that look like? What could bold mean for my year?

After thinking about it, bold could mean a lot of things for 2019. It could mean being bold in my travels like going places I’ve never been and trying new ways of traveling (camping anyone?). It could mean being bold in my personal development and not only learning new things, but writing about them, and sharing them in unique ways with others. It could mean boldness about my faith – not only spending more time in prayer and the Bible, but boldly sharing what my story is with others. It means praying things I’ve been afraid to pray before, but doing so boldly. It could mean making bold and uncomfortable goals in health and fitness like running a half marathon. It means boldly saying no to some opportunities but saying a bold YES to others. I was excited. This wasn’t just a word, but that thread that is woven throughout my decisions, my actions, my conversations, and my intentions for the year. It’s the filter for my “yes’s” and my “no’s”.

Similarly to when you see a car you may be interested in buying, and then you start to see it everywhere, I had chosen “bold” and it was following me around. I began to find it in conversation points others have made, in my devotional, in sermons, in podcasts, and in books. While I thought I had chosen “bold”, I have a feeling it chose me instead. 

A friend shared this quote with me a few years ago and I still have the sticky note.

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Because boldness has genius, power, and magic in it”. 

W.H. Murray

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