I love the idea of capturing my hopes and intentions for the New Year in a single word. Although I am a huge fan of using the turning of the calendar for reflection and goal setting, I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I have found that smaller goals work better for me, so I focus on the seasonal, monthly, and weekly goals to get me to the longer term vision. And yet, distilling my hopes into a single word, captures my imagination. So, I’ve spent the past few weeks rolling words over in my mind trying to capture just the right one.
My word for 2019 is COURAGE. I like the heft and weight of it. This word captures my intention as I move into 2019. I want to walk toward the future with strength and dignity. Life seems less benign this year. There are already challenges ahead. But, I don’t want to cower from them, instead, I want to gather my courage and continue to grow and become in the coming year.
There are a couple ways I intend to use my courage to greet the new year.
Courage to risk new things: I am not really a big risk taker. I like a quiet home, a warm fire, good food, and my books (like a hobbit). There are, however, adventures ahead. I also want to impact my world and that means putting myself out there. I am beginning some new projects this year and all of them come with the risk of failure. Courage means doing it afraid. It means acknowledging my fear and taking steps out the door anyway.
Courage means being vulnerable, opening my heart to new people, and risking rejection. Courage means trying without knowing how it will go. Courage means fragile beginnings. Courage means trusting in hope and faith above what I can see.
Courage to set boundaries: As I begin new things, I will need to guard my time and energy. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past couple years practicing new rhythms to support my life. For me, this challenge always comes down to one thing, my desire to not disappoint. I know myself. I will use all of my resources to meet the needs and expectations of others, even at the expense of my own life and family.
Courage means saying no, missing the event, and risking letting people down. Courage means believing my friends will love me anyway. Courage means learning again to lean against grace and trust it to hold me.
I am certain there are a dozen new ways I will need courage as I walk into 2019. For now, these are on the top of my list.
Last year, I walked into 2018 with two words in my heart, Calm & Connected. Through the midst of one of the toughest years of my life, I found these to be lifeline. They reminded me again and again of how I wanted to be and who I wanted to be.
I hope you will take time to consider what it is you want or need this year. Beyond losing 10 pounds or getting back to the gym, identifying a word that captures your hope can bring important clarity and focus.
What is your word?