My Word Of The Year Is Bold
How Having A Word of The Year Has Changed My Life
As part of our homeschool, we select a word to focus on every year. I have had joy, peace, gratitude, and adventure before. Each word has had a powerful impact on my life. But this year I have a word that has changed my entire world. This year as T and I sat down to find our word I had several choices written on my paper. I had words such as focus, grow, succeed and begin. All great words.
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T came over and had a look and he said, “I know what your word is and you don’t have it on your paper. But everything on your paper can happen if you choose this word. I’m sure of it, Mom. Your word is BOLD.”
“You’ve got the wrong chica, Love.” I initially responded. But it had already begun to roll around in my mind, I could feel it had a lot of power. It kind of sunk into my heart slowly and then BOOM it hit me! It fit me. Just the sound of it ‘bold’ and the idea of it being mine changed me. I felt myself sitting up a little straighter. Something had clicked. And then suddenly, I was as sure as he was. BOLD is my word for the year. It felt more right than any of my previous choices.
“Oh my goodness, you are right,” I told T. He asked me to follow him downstairs and he pointed to our monthly scripture chalkboard, and there was Joshua 1:9.
BOLD. I wrote it down and then I put it on and let me tell you where it has taken me.
But, before I begin telling you about how my word of the year had changed my world, let me tell you a little about myself. Before I selected BOLD as mine for the year I was no pushover. I will stand firmly for all that I believe in. I will battle for my family and my faith. I won’t turn my back to the things I am afraid of. And I will speak up. So I just want you to know I wasn’t entering this year timid.
I am kind, I am compassionate, and I do love people. I also believe in giving of myself. I believe in being self-sacrificial. I believe we are all family and we should treat each other as such. I am generally the nice girl, but I have fire when I need fire. I recognize that I am a child of God, and I stand with my chin up, heart overflowing with gratitude, and I embrace the strength He gives me. I am His child and so that makes me His warrior too. So there you have me in a nutshell.
OK, that said, let me tell you how choosing BOLD has transformed my life. I want to give a few examples. I have learned so much about myself and it is changing me. I am growing, going, and moving ahead boldly.
I am accepting no excuses.
It’s easy to find genuine excuses. I sincerely don’t have the time for this. I am not qualified for this. I know nothing about this. This isn’t for me. How could I possibly commit when I have so many other commitments? And on and on and on.
Since I have chosen to go boldly, I catch myself saying these things in my mind, and instead of agreeing with the truth in these statements, I instead choose to go boldly forward anyway. Here are a few examples.
Applying My Word of The Year To My Reality
Another beginning of the year project we do in our homeschool is goal setting. Here is a copy of the actual worksheet we fill out. (You can download one for yourself and your family members free here). I had completed mine the day before we chose our word of the year. I’m going to run through a few of my answers and how my word for the year has led me toward achievement.
One of the questions on this worksheet is: In 2018 I want to do something I have never done before such as… I chose to shoot in fully manual mode.
I love photography and I love my camera so much! Still, after having it and using it almost daily for four years I have never taken the time to really learn all it has to offer. I have kind of figured out how to get my camera to do what I need but not always what I want it to do. In order to really flex my creative muscles, I needed to learn the dreaded manual mode.
I have watched a video here and there when I could spare fifteen minutes in a weak attempt to figure it out and I have read some books and lots of articles but always ended up more confused than ever. So… This time I decided to make an attempt and to go boldly.
Guys, I signed up for actual classes. Yup, me with not a spare minute and a calendar with every box filled. I went boldly. I refused to be afraid that I wouldn’t be able to complete it. I decided I wasn’t going to hesitate just because the entire scenario confused me horribly and I had lost my previous attempts at learning. I had failed before. Perhaps I should have learned my lesson.
But nope, I went for it, guys, and I went boldly. I attended every class because I made the time. If I had to be prepping dinner at 9 am in the crockpot, I did it. If I had to set T up with a nighttime assignment to allow me the focus, I did it. If I had to ignore some friends and family for four hours a week, I did it. I showed up. And it was something new for me.
I am comfortable being self-sacrificial for the benefit of others but putting myself first has become a thing of the past for me… Let me rephrase, had become a thing of the past for me. Now, I am owning these opportunities and I am not allowing guilt to steal them. It’s good.
And let me tell you what I did successfully yesterday for the first time ever. I shot in manual mode and it was incredible! I had this amazing new control over my camera. Imagine if you are a painter and you only have red and blue to paint with and then one day someone shows up with paint in every color of the rainbow. I kind of feel like that painter. I am so excited. Now, don’t get me wrong this is going to take practice but I am doing it. Me! You know why, don’t you? Yup. I went boldly.
I have learned that going boldly means showing up.
Another one of the goal questions on this worksheet is: In 2018 I would like to participate in this sport or club… I chose a Photography Club and a Blogging Group.
Now, once again I don’t actually have time for things like this. There is my marriage, homeschooling, housework, cooking, laundry, all the events T is involved, and my blog! Only 24 hours in a day! Dang! That’s going to have to wait. Well, that’s what I would have agreed with last year but this year I am BOLD, y’all!
I joined a Photography Group and a Blogging Group! I did it. I love them both. I am learning so much! I’m making new friends and great connections! Every hour spent engaging with these groups is time spent growing in my field. It’s time well spent. And let me tell you what door this has opened!
I am actually going to attend my first ever blogging conference. I am super excited but I almost didn’t do it. When the opportunity came up I had thoughts like these. I really don’t want to travel that far alone. I always get lost. Who would take care of the guys while I am gone? The house will probably look like a hurricane struck it when I got home! I can’t just leave for three days!
But guess what I did? Yup, I signed up for the conference. I did it. Because I remembered I am going boldly this year! And I am not going alone, God will go with me. He always does. Let’s see where this takes me… You know I will spill all about it when the time comes. Look for that in late March right here on the blog.
Going Boldly sometimes means pushing a little harder!
I want to share just a few more little things that choosing bold as my word of the year has done for me. Before this transformation, I didn’t realize how easily I accepted the word no. Or, how often I assumed my effort was good enough without digging in a little deeper or pushing a little harder. But since I approach almost everything standing a little straighter these days, I have recognized that I was letting too many opportunities pass me by.
Two quick examples for you. One, I had applied for a class on monetizing your blog. You see, I make no money from my blog but blogs cost money and they take a lot of time so I decided it was time to figure out how to move ahead with that aside from just using Google Adwords. So, I signed up for some free guidance and materials from a successful blogger I had met through my group. But they didn’t come. I had thoughts like these. Well, she must have seen my numbers and decided she didn’t want to invest until I have grown a little bigger. Or, she looked at my blog and decided I don’t have what it takes.
You probably recognize a trend that I am now recognizing myself. The back of the mind thoughts we don’t even know we are thinking half the time showing up to check us out. But this time, not me. I moved forward boldly, I emailed her. I asked why I hadn’t received any of my materials? And guess what? She sent them straight over. My email was misspelled on her list. That was all. So instead of spending the next few days worrying about how bad my blog must be and how tiny my numbers are, I took that class. I applied what I learned. And I still am. Being bold is the way to go!
One final example and then I will let you go to pick your own word of the year. This class led me to contact Merchants that I would never have previously attempted to contact. Geez, Gwen! is a baby blog in the scheme of things and so I had never reached out to the big guys. I was blogging for fun. To share. To inspire. And that was good enough.
But once you chose BOLD as your word of the year, you start seeing things in a bigger picture. You realize that it’s ok to have your efforts rewarded. Most people get paid for their time and some extra money could do some good in this world and hey, there is nothing wrong with that. So I emailed the giants and instead of the expected crickets in my inbox, I got replies. They liked my blog and were interested in being a part of it. BOLD.
Ha! Ha! I am bold! I am moving forward. I am showing up. I am growing. I am seeking opportunities. It is making me stronger and better and happier. And I am only six weeks into the new year. You can expect a follow-up.
Ok, go pick your word for the year. T and I always spend some time in prayer before we actually write anything down. Then we make a list. Then we choose and we embrace it. This year I kind of feel like my word embraced me first, but whatever works! Then write it down. Make a cool printout like I did and find some supportive scripture and quotes to keep you focused. You’ll be glad you did! Also, you gotta tell me! If you are comfortable sharing leave your word in the comments section below.
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