Word for 2019 (and a look back at 2018)
It's that time of year when I share the guiding word I've chosen to steer me through the next 12 months. I've chosen a word for several years, they've included connect, balance, share, positive and grow. Each time the word has helped remind me of how I want to feel and be, what I want to do during the year. Some have been more supportive or successful (depending on how you look at it) than others and the word I picked for 2018 – visible – may have been the most powerful word I've chosen yet.
I knew I wanted to be more visible in 2018, to share my work and myself more openly with you in my desire to empower you to live the life of less worry and more joy that you really want. It was a challenging word and intention because I'm naturally a quiet person, I don't like to push myself forward or draw attention to myself. But I also knew that if I didn't speak up a little louder, if I didn't raise my hand how could I do the work that I feel so driven to do? How could I help you if I kept quiet and hidden?
And so, pushing myself gently out of my comfort zone rather than shoving myself out there harshly, I took steps to become more visible.
I started my podcast, Pressing Pause, recording ten minute episodes sharing my experiences and learnings on what we can each do to calm our overthinking minds and find more joy in our everyday lives, and releasing them every week. And the response has been better than I hoped for! You've told me how much you enjoy the episodes, how it's helped you and more people have found my work because of listening to the podcast.
I ran a workshop at the Mindful Living Show which I found to be less terrifying than I anticipated and was thrilled that so many more people than expected turned up to it.
I also gave a talk at the Hill View Farm Creativity Festival and the conversations that followed from my session, and the whole weekend, made my trepidation at standing and talking to a teepee full of women totally worth it.
I showed my face on social media more too, talking on Instagram Stories and posting the odd selfie. I started a private Facebook group as a safe place for overthinkers to gather and where I share ideas and actions to empower you to worry less and enjoy life more. It's a lovely space where everyone is free to join in as little or as much as they like and it's been wonderful to see members supporting each other.
I ran month-long community photo projects on Instagram in January and September, created free challenges on mindfulness and preparing for Christmas and switched to writing emails to my newsletter list every week. I continued to write for The Happy News and Breathe magazine and I was a guest on some wonderful podcasts including Yarn Stories and Creatively Human.
During 2018 I created my first ebook – Savour the Season: Step into Spring with Mindful Intention, and a four-week online course on getting comfortable with meditation – Exhale: A beginners' guide to meditation for overthinkers. And I continued to run my courses on mindful living and creating a gratitude practice.
Something that took up a lot of my time, energy and focus during the year, was training to be a life coach. I had wanted to work one-to-one with overthinkers for a long time and I felt that coach training would give me the skills, experience and confidence I needed to be of most service to you. I loved the training (to the point where I wondered why I hadn't done it sooner) and working with women one-to-one on their unique challenges, supporting them to create the life they want, is an absolute honour and delight. I'm so excited to develop this side of my work in the coming year.
I had high hopes and expectations for 2018. There was a lot that I wanted to do but not everything went as well as I hoped. While hundreds of you signed up to my free challenges, listened to the podcast and joined my Facebook group, fewer than I hoped joined my online courses. I am, and always have been, enormously thankful for each one of you who has paid to work with me through one of my courses. As each person joins and I get a notification through my email, I read out their name, thank and welcome them out loud. That some of you return to take a different course with me fills me with so much gratitude.
There are so many women who I believe I can help and I was disappointed in myself that I hadn't been able to reach and communicate with them, in a way that connected with them fully. The feedback I get from those who access my free and paid for content shows me the impact and difference it makes. How I connect with you is something I will be working on throughout 2019 and beyond.
So that brings me on to the word I have chosen for 2019: light.
Originally I'd picked out a different word. But just before the end of last year I had a lightbulb moment where I realised that it was the wrong word and I needed something completely different.
Much of last year was about stretching myself, doing new things, learning, experimenting, laying down foundations and I worked really hard. I tried really hard. This focus on pushing myself (however kindly) got stuff done and I'm glad of it, but it also meant that I gripped pretty tightly to the high expectations I had of myself in 2018. I took things more seriously than perhaps I needed to. I let myself get stuck on results and bogged down in my thinking – the very thing I talk to you about so much! (It's not surprising that so many of those who help others with certain challenges do so because they deal with them themselves.)
So this year I want to loosen the grip, to hold my life and work a little more lightly. Don't get me wrong, I'm still absolutely serious about creating the best content I can and supporting you to the best of my ability. But I don't need to strive so hard and it doesn't have to be a slog. I'm inviting more ease and playfulness into my life and work.
The word light will guide me in a number of ways this year:
- To feel lighter as I go about my daily life and work, bringing a sense of ease, delight and choice to my actions, and to trust in myself.
- To be more lighthearted in my personal life, creating more opportunities for fun, adventure, joy and creativity (hence playing with Lego to make the image for this post).
- To shine a light for those who are looking for inspiration, ideas and actions to free themselves from the weight of worry and overthinking and who want to feel lighter, calmer and happier.
My guiding word for 2019 feels good for me. It's supportive, intentional and I'm just a little bit excited about the potential within it. I'm beginning to flesh out some of the ideas I have for what I want to create and the services I want to offer to support you this year and it's getting the tingles going, in a good way!
I don't normally go for supporting words as well but this year I feel that choose and delight are words I'll keep in mind to back up my intention for a lighter and light-filled year. I choose whether to see darkness and weightiness in my life and work, or light and opportunity. I will look for ways to create more delight, both for myself and for you.
So there we have it, light is my word for 2019. How about you, do you choose a word to keep you on track through the year? If you'd like some help with picking a word take a look at Susannah Conway's free course, Find Your Word, or Ali Edwards' One Little Word. I'd love to know what word you choose.