Choosing my Word of the Year - ACTION
Have you heard of the concept of choosing a word of the year?
It’s something that I’ve really enjoyed over the last 2 years, and I have really benefited from. I don’t like harsh and restrictive lists of resolutions, or giving up things in January, so a word appeals to me as a gentle guide. A way to let more good stuff into my life.
How did I choose ‘action’?
In 2017 (when I had glandular fever) my word was REST and in 2018, as I recovered, my word was NOURISH. As 2019 approached, I knew I was looking for a more dynamic word, especially for my business. It’s in the early stages and I feel passionate about building up my coaching practice, but I also felt sure that I needed something else as my word, in my personal life, given that I have a chronic health condition and a baby on the way. This surely needed to be a year of two halves. Both challenging and restful.
I mulled, I journaled, I worked by way through Susannah Conway’s materials on finding my word, I chatted it through with my husband and I just couldn't get my head around the way I felt. Nothing felt like it was clicking like in previous years and I felt stuck in between ACTION and this gentle side of things that would surely need to come my way. I knew ACTION fitted right now but it was uncomfortable not knowing what was to come later in the year.
I felt stuck, until I saw an Instagram post from my coach Gemma. She explained that she was going to choose seasonal words this year, starting with Ritual, and something clicked in me right away. It was exactly what I needed. The freedom to allow this year to unfold in its own way and let my focus adapt in time.
Immediately I knew that I wanted to start 2019 by taking ACTION in both business and personal matters. I have a baby to prepare for and a to do list as long as my arm. ACTION is essential and really, it just revealed itself to me in an instant. You see, that’s the beauty of this process (please check out Susannah’s materials to see for yourself how wonderful it is!) When you begin to mull over what you need and where you’d like to year to go, ideas come to you. I very quickly knew I wanted to at least begin to year on a dynamic footing, as opposed to needing something passive in 2018.
I believe that word sort of chooses me, because when I quiet my mind for just a short while, I already know what it is that I want and need. Life is just usually so loud and busy that we don’t give ourselves chance to hear it.
A seasonal word
Choosing a word for the first few months of the year really lifted a weight off my shoulders. I realised that although I’d started to allow myself some freedom with the idea (in that I recognised I would need different things at different times this year) I was still stuck on making a decision and then sticking with it. I can be really rigid with my thinking and hard on myself and this was another example coming to challenge me.
Luckily I saw Gemma’s post just at the right time and it opened something in me. Maybe I’ll have the same word in business and personal life after our baby arrives, or maybe the two paths will look different. Perhaps the rest of the year will reveal many words, or I could end up back to ACTION once I begin work again. The beauty of working for myself is that I get to decide exactly when I return and how much I do, so why not take this beautiful freedom into my approach too? There is no need for me to decide ahead of time what my guiding word should be in the spring or the summer.
Why does ‘action’ feel so right? What does it look like?
Well, it’s has already fired me up to prepare for our new arrival, deal with niggly admin tasks I've been putting off and make brave decisions in my business.
Every time I ask myself “what should I do about x?”, “ACTION” comes to mind immediately, so I don’t put things off for as long. With a month to go until my due date, I feel like I really need that attitude in place. There may not be time to put things off!
I’ve put a new structure in place so that I work with my natural rhythms AND get lots of work done before baby arrives. I knew what I could/should be doing before Christmas, but I’d never actually acted upon it. Instead I gave my good working ours away by sleeping/meeting friends/pottering and then regretted it.
And, probably the most important way that ACTION has shown up for now, is that I keep putting myself out there. Even when it’s a bit uncomfortable, even when I’m tired, even when I’d rather magic up a client from thin air. Again, I knew I need to keep showing up, but it can be hard!
Why do I think this works?
Is it only a word? No, it's so much more. It's a guide, an ally, a teacher, a challenger. ACTION asks me "What more can you do today? How can you tackle this and get more from it? What will stretch you and your business? Do the thing that scares you." When I set ACTION to one side later in the year, maybe that will be it, or maybe I'll return to it in the autumn, or beyond.
Maybe I'll need a quieter, more passive word as I welcome motherhood and prioritise another person over myself, my wants and my business.
Of course, it only works when I keep it in mind and act on it. Pushing it to one side when I can’t be bothered wouldn’t yield good results. I naturally find that I can keep my word in the forefront of my mind quite easily but I know people like to have a vision board or some other way of being reminded of their word and what they’re working towards. I also think it’ll help that I’ll be switching my words up in 2019 as they will stay more memorable.
That said, if a word of the year is a good fit for you then it shouldn’t be hard to remember, because the answer to “what do I need right now?” (a question that I ask myself multiple times a day) will often be your word of the year/season. If it’s not, then get re-thinking.
Have you got a word of the year/season for 2019? Please share it in the comments if you do, and how it’s working or you. Alternatively, if you’d like to do some work on finding yours in 2019 then it’s not too late! Get in touch with me and let’s set up a session to delve into what you need.