At the end of 2016, I did one of those things on Facebook where you take a screenshot to get the word you would carry into 2017. The last few months of 2016 had not been pleasant and 2017 was not looking promising, so I was thrilled that the word I got was strength. Although it was a silly little game and I knew that anyone could keep taking screenshots until they got the word they wanted, I took it as a sign.

2017 was a very difficult year for me. I was going through a lot personally and I held onto that word, strength, like a lifeline. I spent the year doing a deep dive into what I was feeling and why. I dissected my fears and analyzed potential outcomes for a variety of “what if’s.” Whenever it seemed like too much to take, I just remembered my word and that I had strength for that year. I was never so happy to see a year end as I was on December 31, 2017.

To start 2018, I decided to choose my own word, and that word was thrive. I’d done the hard work of breaking down my thoughts, feelings, and past decisions and I was ready to take what I’d learned about myself and move forward. Onward and upward. I started a Master’s program in Business Psychology that I LOVE, suddenly discovered that my gift is teaching (I’ve been a teacher in some capacity most of my life but thought when I decided not to be a school teacher anymore that I was not really a teacher…and I’d never considered teaching a gift), and started laying the foundation to start my own business. In my free time, I read books with the word thrive in the title and listened to podcasts about thriving. I then added in books and podcasts about happiness, and I was fascinated learning about positive psychology in one of my classes. I was thriving. So much so that I kept on thriving in 2019 and never thought about my word.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a meeting and the topic of planning for 2020 came up. One of the exercises was to choose a word for the new year. Without hesitation the word bold popped into my head. I’d spent a year using and building strength which ultimately prepared me to thrive, and then I’d spent two years thriving and getting comfortable again. But here’s the thing; you can’t grow in your comfort zone. I have enjoyed 2019 and my second year of thriving, but it’s getting too comfortable. It’s time to go beyond what’s working and start putting myself out there, well beyond my comfort zone. So…bold. And ready for 2020.

What are you planning for 2020? What’s your word?

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