Friday, January 11, 2019

Guiding Words

Last year I saw an ad online for a piece of jewelry that asked "what's your word" for the year, with the intent that you would have this word embossed into the jewelry as a reminder.   I thought it was a neat idea to come up with a word to guide me through 2018 so I gave it some thought and chose the word "Change."  I wrote a list of what types of changes I wanted to make and I set about doing them for a little while.  Now that I look back at the blog post on this subject, I am sad to see that I wasn't very consistent with my changes and the word didn't guide me as much as I had hoped.  

This year I didn't start with a word, but I did think about new changes I wanted to make.  I always set goals for myself instead of making resolutions, that way I am not disappointed when I fail the first few times.  Instead, I have all year to strive for these new habits (or removal old ones).  One of my goals for this year was to be less timid.  Over time I have found myself retreating back in conversations, not offering much because I feared I would sound stupid or not have anything to offer.  When people ask me about myself, my typical answer revolves around being a mom and crafting, but nothing much outside of that.  I am in my late forties and still feel intimidated by others, therefore I don't want to participate in a conversation for fear I have nothing of value to add.  If I don't understand what is being said, I just smile and nod, hoping the discussion would be over soon and I can move on.  I wasn't always like this, so why did I feel this way now after so many years?  

That's why I decided one of my goals for the year was to be a little more confident and try to speak more, and with substance.  I want to learn more, read more, absorb more, so I gain that confidence in conversations.  If I don't understand what is being said, I will ask for clarification so I can really participate fully and with relevance.  I still want to talk about my son, husband, or crafting business, but do it in an interesting way so others will want to listen.  I want to become more profound, more engaging!

It was shortly after I decided on this goal when a friend who is a Pastor in Washington, posted about a project she does each year at Epiphany (January 6th) called Star Words. "As the Magi followed the star, so we find light that guides us."  She was offering to randomly select a "star word" for people to help guide them through 2019.  This sounded exciting, so I asked for one, and this is what was chosen: 

Depth: Complexity and profundity of thought.  Deepness, wisdom, understanding, intelligence, discernment, insight, acumen.  

How perfect was this?  It just seemed to fit right into my plan! Immediately I started engaging with people more.  I enjoyed socializing again.  I make it a point of starting meaningful, thought-provoking conversations with my husband, more than just recaps of our day.  At work I don't shy away when peers gather around my desk to chat.  It's not an instant change, but I definitely feel my confidence coming back.  So for the next 11.5 months (and beyond), I plan to have more: 

Depth in my conversations
Depth in my relationships
Depth in my business acumen
Depth in my planning

There are so many ways that this word can guide me this year in my personal and professional life, and it has lit a fire under me that I needed!  

I highly recommend everyone do a search on Guiding Words and randomly pick one for yourself.  Even if it doesn't make sense for you at first, really think about it and I am sure you will come up with multiple ways that it will lead your way through 2019.  If you do this, please comment and let me know what your word is.  I'd love to check back as the year progresses to see how it is going for you.

Happy 2019!!


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