It’s time again. Another year, another word. Hello 2020.
Last year I shared my philosophy on resolutions. They don’t work for me. I stopped making them because it didn’t make sense-why set myself up to fail? I decided to try something different and embrace a simple phrase or chose one word to lead me into the new year. It wasn’t about unrealistic goals or making drastic changes, more about embracing a direction in my life I wanted to be more mindful of. I no longer focused on the scale, the bank account or the gym time but rather on a daily reminder of who I want to be.
The one-word challenge is about picking one word or phrase you can focus on every day, all year long. One word or phrase that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. It will become the compass that directs your decisions and guides your steps. My “one-word” is my lantern, my theme and my lighthouse for the new year. I use it to keep me focused, centered and grounded.
Last year I chose the word “change”. Or maybe the word chose me? 2019 was about so much change, the word was inevitable. As someone who finds comfort in familiarity and consistency, change can be a struggle. I never realized how much I resisted change until last year. In the beginning, I was fearful and afraid but somewhere along the way though I started to embrace the unknown, enjoy all the changes, lean into all that was different… and boy did I have fun.
I was mindful all year of my word and it helped me adapt to all that was different and new. I learned that without change, there is no adventure in life. Without change, we won’t grow. Without change, we don’t have chance. And without change, life would be boring. Change helped me re-evaluate my belief system and look at what is important besides my family, friends and health: comfy leggings, fresh sheets, yummy sushi, seat warmers in my car, a good workout and of course, my dog.
5…4…3…2…1… Happy New Year.
My word of the year for 2020 is LIGHT.
I chose the word Light because it applies to so many of the things I want to bring to my life in the new year. I wrestled with other words but this word kept coming back to me and instead of fighting it, I let it be my word. Sometimes you just have to trust and follow the Light.
I want to travel lighter. My purse is always too heavy. I’m an over-packer on trips and in life. I tend to over-think and over-stress about things. My heavy load puts me off balance, causes me to stumble, feel burdened and weighed down. Last year my feelings got hurt many times, but I’m realizing that’s part of life. People disappointed me, part of life. I said something stupid, part of life. Friendships changed, part of life. I messed up, part of life. Left out of things, part of life. Lost people I loved, part of life. Yes, those things happened to me, but they also happened to everybody else. Part of life. If I choose to carry those hurts around, lug them through my days, attach myself to the negative feelings, I am choosing to emotionally exhaust myself. It is empty weight and doesn’t serve me.
Traveling lighter is about working from the outside in. It’s about letting go and trusting myself more. It’s about embracing what’s ahead instead of regretting or remorsing over what has been. Getting lighter has nothing to do with a diet or losing weight and everything to do with saying “Fuck it, it happened, it’s over with and I can’t do anything about it now”. Exhale.
I want to be a light in this world. Not a mushy gushy I-want-to-be-a-bright-light-in-the-world-and-save-humanity kind of mission. More like, I may not be a massive light that shines over an entire city, changing the lives of thousands of people, but my light can shine on those around me and that’s good enough. It doesn’t mean I’m going to be a positive Polly-Anna who never makes mistakes or does stupid things–rather I want to show more compassion to myself and to others when we do make mistakes (remember, part of life) and chose things that make me feel peaceful, happy and lighter.
As I let my own light shine, hopefully this will give other people around me permission to do the same… And who doesn’t love letting their light shine? We all have gifts, talents and good things in our lives and yet we focus on the negative things or all the things about ourselves we don’t like. Shining from within is about being authentic–unapologetically authentic–and using my voice to encourage others to do the same. If you want to brag about your amazing kids, your fine looking self, your incredible job, your sexy spouse, your clean house… come brag to me. I’m ready to pop the champagne (good champagne only please!) and congratulate you on what you are proud of. I promise to be happy with and for you and to celebrate all that’s good in your life. Shine on my friends!
I want to be lighter with those I love. My kids are funny but sometimes I’m too serious. My husband is funny and sometimes I’m too serious. Life is too damn short to not find humor every single day. I want to laugh more, get silly, and dance more. I’m a terrible dancer but I love dancing, because it makes me feel light and happy. I’m all in for 2020 to dance away. If you play the music, I’ll bust a move. It might not be pretty, but it’s guaranteed to make us both smile.
I’m sure as the year goes on, the word LIGHT will take on new contexts and new directions with my life. Perhaps I will need LIGHT to get me through dim periods or perhaps I will help shed LIGHT for others when they are in a tunnel or dark place. When things happen that are part of life, I will remind myself to travel LIGHTER, and move forward. Maybe I will need to LIGHT a fire within myself to push past fear and pursue a dream. The word LIGHT is going to take me into 2020 and open my eyes to things I want to embrace and things I want to let go. I’m excited to see where my 2020 word leads and what it winds up meaning to me.
If there is one thing I’ve learned from last year it is that time does not stop and pause for our needs or at our convenience, it marches on. The mode in which you live your life is a choice. Don’t live your life passively. Figure our your word, claim it and flex who you are.
How about you? What’s your word or phrase? What word will you take into the new decade ahead? What word will sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. Don’t take this too serious, LIGHTEN up and the word may come to you easier than you imagined.