You know the tropes: New Year, New You! Begin again in January! With all the catchphrases prodding us to lose weight, get active, and magically become an entirely different person in the new year, one would think that the diet and fitness industry had coopted reinvention itself.
Personally, I think New Year’s resolutions are bunk. In my mind, if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right now and not waiting for some arbitrary date to proclaim its significance. It’s not that I think that resolving to improve oneself is lame: quite the opposite, actually. But why does our society place so much emphasis on self-improvement only during this time of year?
Years ago, I noticed a trend of choosing a word for the upcoming year. A few blogger friends in my network would write an annual post of their goals and pick a word for the year, and I kind of liked the idea: not necessarily a goal, but a theme to live by for the coming months; a word to guide one’s choices and narrow the focus in the year to come.
For the first time ever, I’m choosing a word for the year. At first, I thought my word should be FOCUS, given my propensity for fleeting excitement over the next bright, shiny object in my purview (I call it “popcorn brain”, wherein kernels just fire at random and you can’t control when another thought will come). But as a friend pointed out, it felt a bit forced. Though I do need help with focusing on the task at hand and not allowing myself to get distracted, I needed a word that felt better; something that I could lean on to bring some clarity and guide me through the tough decisions.
And so it is, my word for 2019: TRUTH. I’ve found that when I’m honest with myself, really, truly honest about my thoughts, feelings, and intentions about whatever it is that I’m wrestling with, the rest comes naturally. Last year, I was forced to reckon with the truth about my work, my physical and mental health, and the idea that these things are interconnected. It led me to the work I’m doing now, and for that, I’m forever grateful.
TRUTH is it: it’s my competitive advantage; my guiding force. In 2019 and beyond, I’m bringing radical honesty to the table. Because I no longer fear getting entirely truthful with myself, I can help others articulate their own truth: clear, honest, and powerful.