2018 Word For the Year
I thought, there has to be a better way to do this whole new year/new you thing. That's when I stumbled upon the Word of the Year theme - a word that I ruminate upon and think about and use to put my goals for the year into the action. I thought that was a much more effective way of approaching goal setting, and I liked that it wasn't something that could easily be broken because the word I choose is something that can be reset throughout the year. Just as my goals are reset on a monthly and quarterly basis.
That resetting is key, at least for me. Because I can see where I've been, I can see what has been or hasn't been working, and I can adjust accordingly. Five years later, I'm still doing the word of the year thing, and I'm liking it. In the past, I've chosen words like Focus and Enjoy and Think.
Last year, I chose GROW because I wanted to expand my career, my personal life, and my interests. And in a lot of ways grow was a great choice - thanks to a couple of reading challenges, I broke out of a reading rut, and renewed my interest in reading so many things - non-fiction, biographies, memoirs, romantic suspense...and, yes, contemporary romance. I saw my first big series (more than 3) of books published, I had a total of 5 books published in 2017 (which is a big total for me), I branched out a bit on the indie side of publishing, and in my personal life, I found better ways of juggling my mom and wife duties with my author duties. But, I also saw my last book for the Harlequin Superromance line publish, and learned that the line will be closing in a couple of more months, and that has been an incredibly sad experience. I have loved working with my editors and the art team and my author friends...and that made 2017 a year of ups and downs, albeit with more in the up column than the down column.
In a way, I feel as if the growth I experienced last year isn't finished. I feel like there is still more to be done, as there will always be. There will always be more books to write, more mothering to be done, more date nights with RadioMan, more struggles with the juggling thing. But I want to continue growing and creating and I feel like, in this growth mindset, that the perfect word for 2018 is BLOOM. It feels like the perfect word because I'm still growing in this writing career, I'm still growing as a mother, as a wife, as a friend, but I'm also rooted. I know the stories that I want to tell. I know the daughter I want to raise. I know the woman I want to be, for RadioMan, for me, for my friends...and so, while I'm still growing, I also want to bloom. I want to bloom larger, with more color, with more strength.
There is a quote from William Wordsworth, one of my favorites, that goes, "How does the Meadow flower its bloom unfold? Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root, and in that freedom bold." And there is one more, from Masaru Emoto, "If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong."
2017 was a year of growth and change and several unknowns and parts of it still feel a little muddled, and I'm still figuring out my exact path. But I can see the outline of the path, and I know where I am right now, and I know who I am, and so I'm going to continue the growth mindset of last year, and add a bit of color, and we'll see where it leads in 2018.
What about you? What are your goals (or resolutions, if you prefer) for the new year?