Reflections and my word for 2019

Having a word for the year has been something I have wanted to put into practice for the longest time. I remember many a January mulling over what my word might be but never actually putting pen to paper and writing it down. Therein lay the problem. I think accountability has a big part to play in setting any kind of goal, resolution or intention. So, I hope that this post will act as a positive reminder and provide a sense of direction in the coming months.

Looking back on 2018, it wasn’t shy of challenges, milestones and big changes. My husband and I left the town that I had spent the best part of my adult life in. I also left the company that I had spent the best part of my adult life with. Oh yes, and I turned 30. But of course, all closing doors lead to new ones opening and all of these changes have led to moving much closer to family, starting my own business venture and beginning a new chapter in life. But now, I am looking forward to taking things a little more slowly. Not rushing through life and jumping from one thing to the next. Learning to take a breath will be a focus for me with more thought and consideration in my approach to all aspects in life.

When thinking about a word for the year, at first, I was jumping to conclusions. Where did I want to be in a years’ time? How would this word represent what I am going to be doing this year? But then I realised that this particular word should simply resound through my actions. It should be a sentiment that I can carry with me daily that does not internalise expectations or lead me to feel as though I might never measure up. So, for this year I have decided that my word will be nurture.

Now, I don’t know if this is because I have recently adopted an allotment, but the themes that seemed to be spinning around my mind lately was that of sowing seeds, planting and growing. In many ways, last year was very much about planting seeds and laying down a few of the foundations. This year I feel is about cultivating and nurturing the little shoots that are springing up, thoughtfully and gently. I know I don’t want a life or business that is forced and undergoes unnatural growth spurts only to die back abruptly. I know that this journey is about accepting the slow pace that will allow my business to eventually (and hopefully) bloom. 

Nurturingfor me is not just about nourishing and cultivating a business but also a personal sense of self-care and development. I want to feel calm and resolute. I also want to nurture my skillset, learning and growing for the benefit of myself as well as the people around me. I want to extend this into nurturing and encouraging others so that I can not only develop myself but also aid others on their journey too. And this is the power of defining a word for the year. It gives you clarity in one little word your intentions for the year to come. 

If you are struggling to define what your word is for the coming year (or words, no need to limit to just the one if you have two or three calling for you) then are plenty of resources I have come across which I have listed at the bottom of this post. For me, it was a case of asking myself a handful of key questions to ignite some pondering, I have shared them below in case they help you too.

  • What is a guiding principle of the year ahead for you? 
  • How do you want to feel as you go through each day this year?

You can then check in with the word that you think you might be happy with and ask yourself the following:

  • Does this word encompass your life holistically? Have you considered your personal lifestyle as well as your work life?
  • Does this word make you feel good? Be careful that you haven’t chosen an intention that strives too hard and will put undue pressure on yourself.

Don’t fret too much though, if it hasn’t come to you yet then don’t let your mind think on it too much. It may simply be a case of evolving some of your current thoughts on the coming year and sitting with it for a while. Sometimes these things come to you when your mind is relaxed and elsewhere. A perfect excuse to have a long, hot bath with a delicious mug of tea!

Some helpful resources that might get you thinking:

Find Your Word for 2019! by Susannah Conway – I haven’t gone through this course personally but I am working through Susannah’s Unravel Your Year workbook and finding it very insightful.

My word for 2019: Acceptance by Jessica Rose Williams– Jess shares how she decided upon ‘acceptance’ as her word as well as some helpful tips for finding your own.

Your Wholehearted Year by Jen Carrington– A beautiful workbook that audits the previous year with some helpful prompts on setting intentions and how to uncover your word for the year ahead.

I would love to know if you have settled on a word for 2019 just yet? If so, how did you find it or have you decided not to choose a word for the year?

Author: Johanna Charlton

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