A new year.
A new decade.
A common trend often re-emerges at the close of one year and the opening of a new year. This trend is to choose a word for oneself for the upcoming year.
As a non-conformist at heart, I attempted to resist picking a word. But, as a writer, words and sentences and dreams began to fill my head around this topic. This is how my brain engages with reality—my thoughts are always forming into words and sentences and dreams that I can spill onto paper for my reflection or for sharing with others.
Yet, as someone who is still growing into my own self-awareness, I attempted to ignore the words and sentences and dreams bubbling in my mind.
No, don’t just follow the crowd and pick a word. You don’t need a word for the new year.
This is what I said to myself; and yet, I wanted the new year to be different. Don’t we all? In order for the new year to be different for myself, that means I must do things differently, and that can begin with choosing a word for myself for 2020. But instead of picking a word for myself, a word picked me.
This is the word that repeatedly flashed in my head when I saw other people post about their word of the year, and the one that crafted words and sentences and dreams in my mind. It is the word I wanted to run away from, which honestly means it is the one that I should run towards. The word bold chose me to be my mantra, proclamation, and theme for 2020.
The word bold can and will manifest in many different ways:
I will be bold with my academics and career.
This upcoming semester will be my last traditional semester of seminary. Then, I have an internship to complete in the summer. Afterwards, I will have officially completed my Master of Divinity (MDiv) program. Upon complete of my MDiv, I desire exploration of a potential career change.
I will be bold with my writing.
This one will start small, yet realistic. I will write for 5 minutes each day. I will share 2 blogs a month on my site. I will grow my email list. I will explore and share topics that I am passionate about, such as biblical studies and the church’s relationship and approach to mental health.
I will be bold with my reading list.
I will read twenty-five non-school related books in 2020. I will diversify my shelf with authors who have a different worldview of my own. I will read of different faiths and religions. I will read more fiction and fun stories.
I will bold with my health and fitness.
I will meal plan with my spouse on Saturdays and grocery shop on Sundays. I will take the dogs on walks after work each day. I will focus on how activity makes me body feel rather than counting calories or charting the number on the scale. We will continue to grow our vision of our home gym and make steps to turn it into a reality.
I will be bold with my boundaries.
I will say yes less and say no more. I cannot and should not do all good things; I will do do less but do great things with more energy and attention. I will invest more deeply in my relationships. I will not give people energy who do not return the same positive and encouraging energy back to me. I will limit certain hobbies (i.e. video games) to my days off in order to create space for the attention to my writing, my schoolwork, and my fitness.
I will boldly celebrate more.
I will plan a trip somewhere new to celebrate. It could be for my graduation, our anniversary, my birthday, his birthday, or plain old anything! I will host more dinner and parties at our home so that we are truly putting into practice what we preach in building a longer table. I will carry the tradition of Christmas cookie decorating with my friends again in December 2020.
I will be bold with my home projects.
I will take more seriously that we are planting roots in the home we purchased in 2019 and decorate our house (our walls are nearly empty). I will either re-do my walk-in closet or my laundry room with the help of family members.
This list will ebb and flow as the year progresses. I believe that this is truly how goals work–we must be realistic that as life happens, things will change. Goals should act as a vision and not law.
The word bold chose me this year and I am still working on transforming my terror into, well, pure boldness. I am uncertain I can live out the word for my initial reaction is to clench it close to my chest. That’s what we do when we are fearful; we tense up in order to protect ourselves from a metaphorical blow.
But perhaps it would be more bold to freely leap into 2020 with hands and heart both open and expectant. Perhaps this is action is more bold than a fearful wish. Boldness will look different for me than it will for my neighbor. This will be a regular reminder to myself in this new year.
For 2020, I will choose to make bold changes and decisions. These changes will require bold dreams, bold plans, and bold moves.
2020, I am ready for you and all of your
Happy new year, friends.