I can’t quite believe it’s mid-March and I’m only just writing about my word for the year! That’s how 2019 has been so far… A bit of a whirlwind.
Just in case you haven’t followed along with the concept of word of the year before, it’s a ritual of choosing a guiding word for the year, brought to popularity by Ali Edwards in 2006.
For some, it’s an alternative to resolutions. For others, it’s a summary of intention, a set of values and meanings swirled into a memorable guiding word.
For me, it’s somewhere between the two. And words are a big deal for me, so I enjoy the process of uncovering a word each year that speaks to my energy and intention.
Like many things, I usually aim for a word that is as applicable to my personal life and journey as it is to my business goals and intentions. Which can be a bit of an art! But this year, it really hits the nail on the head.
Last year: light
In 2018, I had just re-structured my business, especially Copper Boom Studio, and I was still finding my feet given all the big changes that had brought. My word for the year – light – reflected the antidote I craved: fewer heavy decisions and responsibilities, more lightness and fun to my days, a lighter to do list.
And it also spoke to the idea of shining my own light into the world. Helping others (always), creating a sense of hope, even in the dark places.
2018 became a year where I got more comfortable with shining a light on my own darkness, seeing things I hadn’t seen before about my beliefs and habits, and learning to look for the light once again.
It was exactly what I needed!
Deciding on 2019 and a little magical intervention…
I find that a word starts whispering to me in around November, and usually I play with it, not fully committing, but secretly knowing what the new year will bring.
When I found out in early November that I’m growing a tiny human, the word grow started talking to me…
Initially, I wasn’t sure. Setting an intention to grow, especially from a business point of view, when I knew I’d be taking time off, felt counter-intuitive. In fact, part of my ever-so-logical business brain told me I was crazy. How could I possibly grow the business, while growing a human and taking significant time off?
But grow felt so right on a deeper level. My body would grow. We’re growing our family. My heart was already expanding to make infinite room for a tiny person.
So I journalled it out, thought about a few other options and ultimately decided to redefine what business growth meant to me.
In fact, this year, my business is growing. Financially, yes, but also growing in strength and clarity. My courage is growing, the courage to talk about the things I really believe in and know to be true. My voice is growing, my reach is growing. It’s small, it’s slow, but it’s true.
And I know many people reading this have already balanced business and maternity leave, so I’ll say this as an homage to them as well as encouragement to myself: for the business to support me in this next phase, the business model has to look a little different.
I won’t be coaching as many people one-on-one this year. In fact, I’ve already limited my coaching calendar, but increased the accessibility to my group coaching course.
I’m also stepping back from copywriting in a huge way, but planning to fill that gap with a copywriting course to launch later in the year.
Growth doesn’t just mean doing more. It means doing what’s important with confidence, commitment, and clarity. I’m growing in tenacity, resilience and determination. I’m also growing in heart, soul, and community.
Feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right in an atmosphere of growth
Ultimately, two things tipped me over the edge to choose grow. I knew grow was right for me when I read the above line by Gretchen Rubin. I was re-reading her Happiness Project for maybe the fifth time, and this wise concept really stood out to me.
The idea of an atmosphere of growth really struck a chord. An environment and phase where we’re all making wonky but positive progress. Acknowledging the good and bad, and working towards what feels right. That speaks to me in all sorts of ways.
Because growth isn’t linear – as we all know. And it’s not all leaps and bounds (though taking a leap seems to be important to me, too). It’s small progress. Micro decisions. Proactive actions.
The second thing was at my January retreat. The lovely Betsy Benn made our retreat stars this year (a tradition that the retreats centre around). While I had asked her to make enough words for everyone to choose, she had sneakily added in an extra star, with no input from me. It was engraved with a word intended just for me.
You know what it is, right?
So I’m growing in 2019
My commitment to this year is to grow, in the right direction for me, and through personal, family and business development. I’m trusting that my heart will continue to grow, that my capacity to help others will increase, and that my sense of success will increase over the year, too.
So far, 2019 has been wonderful and challenging. Which feels a lot like how growth works! My January retreat kicked things off beautifully, and I already have plans for the next retreat weekend in March 2020, plus a whole load of confidence in my unique brand of creative business work.
The challenges have been on my time, especially balancing family life. While pregnancy so far (touch wood) has been pretty lovely, my husband has a pretty significant knee injury, requiring extra care and time from me. Good practice for the months to come!
How’s your year (and word) going?
Do you choose a word for the year? I realise that you may already have shared it, and possibly allowed it to fade a little now that it’s March.
But I’d love to hear how it’s going for you. Maybe you’d like to recommit? Maybe you’re ready to adjust? Maybe you haven’t chosen a word, but fancy picking one now?
Wherever you are, I hope that your intentions and plans are feeling right for you.