What’s Your Word? (Episode 180)
Do you do a word of the year? Maybe it's a phrase or mantra. Or maybe, you're feeling all the pressure to have that perfect word of the year and you have no clue! Is it even important to have? I"ll say this - your mantra, phrase or word of the year is not the dealbreaker for success in life. Yet having a clear intention for what you want to focus on can be a powerful game-changer for your life.
Is a word of the year necessary? Nope.
Is it potentially life-changing? Definitely.
Share your stories - what are your struggles, questions or stories around “the birds and the bees” in your home?
Picking a word of the year
I didn't always have a word of the year. We sure didn't hang so much stock in a word to focus on when we were living in reaction-mode with littles all around!
Yet, as we shared in the podcast episode, that year of our tenth anniversary was definitely a total game changer for us, and how we got intentional about creating the family life we dreamed of.
Our words have always encompassed the feeling and emotion we want to cultivate. We looked at awe, focus, and, unhurried spaciousness, and engaging the senses.
These words don't need to box us in or make us feel obligated; they simply act as our anchor so we can re-center to what we want to be intentional on.
The year of gratitude
My mother shared this in her weekly newsletter this past week with her chosen word:
I read an article in Reader's Digest about a lady who began writing Thank You notes to people who have impacted her life. She felt it gave her a reconnection to what is important in her life. Friends, family, service people, even to her husband. That article clicked with me. This past year has been very different for our world, but in the midst of the craziness, I discovered how a huge change in my life brought about incredible opportunities to bless others and to be blessed by others. I haven't looked at this year as a time of loss but, instead, as a time of much gain. Afterall, we did move to my dream place in the midst of all the Covid turmoil. So my words for 2021 are THANK YOU.
Writing thank you notes isn't something new for me at all. It is so ingrained in me that I have a huge collection of note cards and stationery at my desk and stamps, address labels nearby. But when I read the article, I felt the urge to up my game.
Every time I go to the mailbox I am appalled at all the junk mail and disappointed when I don't get something personal. I figure most of us feel that way. Texts and emails aren't the same as getting physical mail. And it is rare these days for anyone to send out physical mail. So this year, I will be even more diligent in saying Thank You via physical mail and by phone calls. I feel it is a little different from gratitude.
I can feel gratitude towards someone without actually THANKING them.
And doing it in writing takes intentional time and thought. I want to think more this year on how people impact my life. I can do that by letting them know through pen and paper. I think that my "reticular activator" will bring to mind many ways to express thanks that I might not have noticed before it became high on my radar.
"After handing the first batch of notes to my neighbors, I spent a few days trying to remember times when other neighbors did something nice for me. And funny enough, I started noticing kindnesses that were happening in real time.There was the driver who waited for me as I bolted down the street to catch his shuttle bus. There was the cashier at Trader Joe's who chased me with a bag of groceries I'd left behind" (from My Thank You Year, by Gina Hamadey, Reader's Digest, June 2020)
Need Some Ideas?
- Thankful: After 2020, I'm much more thankful for my health, supportive friends and family, and that my financial situation is as good as it is. And I figure if I can't be thankful during whatever circumstance I'm in, chances are I still won't be thankful when it improves. I think gratitude and thankfulness are the keys to always winning spiritually and mentally, and maintaining a positive outlook. (Adam)
- Reset: because after 9 months of living without the old normal, I’ve discovered some things I can’t go back to, and some things I don’t want to go back to. (Aaron)
- Vision: Because if you don't know where you are going, you won't know how to get there. Also, be careful of who you ask directions from 😊 (Roxanne)
- Curiosity: In all things, I want to be curious--curious about new opportunities, curious about others and their challenges, curious about my own potential. (Melissa)
- Expand. I've realized how I've been living small and staying well within my comfort zone, especially in the past few years. I want to expand myself, try new things (or rediscover things I used to love), and live more fully! (Elizabeth)
I think one of the biggest lessons I learned this past year was just how many limiting beliefs I had and that I am capable of more than I thought. I believed that it would be nearly impossible for me to start a business while working full-time (and maintain my sanity - which I do appreciate!). I saw others do this and knew it was possible, but for some reason, I doubted that I could do this myself. I finally started challenging my excuses and limiting beliefs, and launched my business (largely thanks to the Eagles community!).
I've reached the point of consistent income that I needed to transition out of my job, and will be turning in my notice next week. I wondered if I would ever get here, and it's amazing to be standing at this point.
This year feels like it is full of so much possibility. I'm excited to really focus on creating a business and life I love. I'll be working to get the business to full-time and will have extra time/energy to focus on being more intentional in my life and other dreams.
- Declutter! Being home all the time made me realize I saved things I could/should have tossed. I want space. I don’t want to compromise that space with things I “might” need/use later. Teacher/writer in me has tons of classroom supplies and books of all kinds. My work has changed and so has the world. So goodby clutter...👋😊 (Deena)
- Prune: One of my main goals for 2021 is to simplify my life so I can focus on the most important people and activities. To accomplish that, I need to Prune out negative people (so I can attract new, positive relationships), Prune out activities that I don't enjoy and don't provide value, and Prune out lots of the physical things that clutter my home, office, and life. (Steve)
- Courage: It takes courage to keep walking up when you can’t see the full staircase and can no longer see the ground clearly, either. 💪🏻🙏🏻 (Nance)
- Action: The valuable lesson that I learned in 2020 was that taking action involves dropping old habits, thoughts, attitudes and actions as much as it is being intentional about the forward actions you take on a day-to-day basis. There were so many old habits, thoughts, attitudes and actions (though they were not productive actions) that I had to drop in order to make forward momentum on my dreams and goals. Learning this lesson has been wonderful and I have definitely changed and continue to change! My biggest accomplishment and decision was joining EAGLES! My life has changed dramatically since I joined in March 2020! Growth was my word for 2020. I grew in all major seven areas of my life! I tentatively have set the new word for 2021 as Action but that is actually a word for the rest of my life! I need to think of a word that specifically will apply to 2021. (Colleen)
Our Word of the Year
So our word this year? Nurture. As we talked last week about the different seasons in our lives, we are shifting from the springtime season of new growth to the summertime season to nurture it. Over the past four years we've seen our girls grow and blossom in so many ways as we've traveled the states, and we've traveled down many paths of interest as they discovered more about themselves and what they liked.
Nathan and I have gone from exploring a whole new lifestyle of full-time RV-ing to being established full-timers who know the ropes in a whole other way after over four years of living it. I started my business on June of 2016, and launched the Mama Says Namaste Podcast in June the following year. I've built and created this business while also growing my father's business, 48 Days, and his amazing membership community.
And now, we're at the point where we're ready to nurture. This is what that looks like for me:
- Nurturing Clara's interest in herpetology by staying closer to Florida this year and working with the State Parks and other orgs to curb the invasive iguanas in the Keys as well as other snake/reptile rehabilitation programs, like the indigo snakes here in Venice.
- Nurturing all the girl's love of animals by having a home that is able to foster animals as we help them find their forever homes.
- Going deeper with our own knowledge about the area where we bought our house - getting to know the stores, restaurants, beaches and more that are around here as we aim for this house being more of our home-base than our Nashville home.
- Nurturing relationships with our neighbors, friends and family - getting more intentional with snail mail and writing letters.
- Nurturing the slower pace that 2020 gave us, and recognizing we have welcomed that into our home and are better for it.
Some additional resources for you
- Focus, Awe, and Not Waiting for One Day - What Is Your Word?
- Serendipity, Unhurried Spaciousness, and Lots of Hot Air (Episode 115)
- 3 Essential Secrets To Make Your “One Day” A Reality (Episode 49)
- 5 Senses to Break The Cycle of A Negative Mindset (Episode 125)
- Can your soul breathe? Engage the senses (Episode 20)
- Clutter Is Simply A Postponed Decision (Episode 19
- Does Your Life Have Seasons?
- Toxic Relationships...And What To Do About Them (Episode 57)
- What Is Your Goal?
- Understanding Emotional Labor Is Key To A Happy Marriage
- Tasks: They Are Taking Over My Life!
- 5 Tips To Focus For Frazzled Families (Episode 160)
- My Marriage Sucks (Episode 66)
- Self-Love, or Self-Sabotage? (Episode 152)
Your Weekly Challenge:
So what is your word of the year? Your phrase, mantra, and/or intention to set the stage for the person you want to be? Who do you want to be in 2021, and what words will bring you back to center?
If you haven't yet, think about what words may stand out as a theme - remember, it may not stay a word for the year as much as a new perspective in your life.
If you already have your word, does your family know what it is? Have you shared it with them, or discussed a word as a family? For us, we choose one together so we use this as another common theme for us to work together, much like our family vision. As we connect with who we are and who we want to be, we are that much closer to identifying how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us. Namaste.