Word of the year – quarterly review

I find it very useful to review my word of the year at least quarterly to make sure the word is still serving me and that I’m still using it as a guidance point in my life.

If you haven’t read my post where I announced my word and why I chose it, here is that post.

So how am I doing after 3 months?


Well, I picked this word because I needed to be bold in order to start running regular workshops again. Interestingly, it wasn’t the workshop delivery I was concerned about because teaching is my sweet spot, especially when paired with personality frameworks and how we are all created unique and special.

It was the marketing. The whole “will people get tired of me talking about the same old thing?” and unfollow (perhaps and yes). But I got to a point with my very first workshop this year where the workshop was not full, and yet I knew I’d asked and reached out to everyone I could. I’d done my bit and that was enough. And there was a peace about it.

Interestingly, that very same Monday morning, one of the people I’d reached out to said she couldn’t come although she’d love to, but would I please put together a proposal for her team at work. I did, and that led to my second workshop, this time a corporate one.

The boldness was working. And here I am, 10 days before my third workshop, but feeling more and more bold every time I talk about it.

I know and have personally seen 18 people leave changed in their work, in their understanding of themselves, in their relationships, in their level of freedom to be exactly themselves. It’s so great to see. I need to post more of the testimonials I’ve received but here are the first two testimonials that were sent to me.


Bold has also seen me speak up more about difficult things. Sometimes there really is no point to raising something but if I’m honest with myself, that is not really me. So, I’ve had two hard conversations and no, nothing will change, but I do feel better and more authentically me for having spoken up.


In some of my personal relationships too, I have been bolder about what I want, and don’t want, reaching out even though it’s vulnerable to say things honestly….and the world has not fallen apart.

In summary, I’m about 4 out of 10 on the boldness scale of where I want to be, but I am realising that it’s a muscle that has gone unused and I need to awaken and strengthen it through regular exercise.

How are you settling into your word of the year? Is it working for you? Do you need to revive it again? Do you need to change it? Let’s talk in the comments.

{goals} Word of year recap and new word for 2019

Before I start the recap, let’s have a quick walk down memory lane and look at my previous words:

2009 – simplicity
2010 – consolidate
2011 – courage
2012 – create
2013 – trust
2014 – shine
2015 – enough
2016 – joy
2017 – give
2018 – fun

My 2018 word was exactly what I needed coming off a year of giving.

I had a great year just by asking myself, “what sounds like fun?

Your mileage will vary, of course, but reaching a stretch savings goal for me is fun. Fun was also signing up and completing two courses, starting a kids’ book club, and re-reading books I loved. I had never been much of a re-reader of fiction before this but I’m looking forward to now taking that forward in my reading life.

Fun meant saying yes to Zumbathons even though it would inconvenience me and eat into my schedule. Fun also meant saying no to dancing in a Spanish show at an already very stressful time of the year for me at work.
Fun meant scheduling regular friend dates and not depending on connecting on the fly.
Fun also meant constantly evaluating what no longer worked, and letting that go. E.g. when I realised I was always bypassing a particular podcast, I simply unsubscribed as it was no longer fun.

When I thought about my 2019 word, I had the word YES in my mind from October. But suddenly as December approached, I felt like I needed to think about the word some more. I wanted to add something about caring for my body, marriage, relationships, etc. so I thought the word might be TEND.

And then I was 98% certain the word was CULTIVATE.

I did all my goal-setting prep work with the word CULTIVATE in mind until I listened to the Secret Library podcast with Susannah Conway and about 8 minutes in, she asked, “what do you need to be in 2019?”

And right there as I was tidying up my bathroom, I said, “I need to be bold”. Suddenly, I felt an excitement, a deep resonance, a yes-ness about that word.

That excitement was what was lacking about cultivate for me. It’s a great word but it didn’t excite me.

Bold (from Dictionary.com): not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring

I then looked up in my Bible app (YouVersion) some of the scriptures that referenced bold

Proverbs 28:1b …the godly are as bold as lions and
Proverbs 10:10 … a bold reproof promotes peace
2 Cor 3:12 Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold

Yes! This was my word.

So here’s what bold means to me:
1. I need to be bold again at work, take risks and step out. I’m now the longest in tenure in my position in our section and I’ll admit that I sometimes feel a bit stale.
2. I need to be more bold in asking for what I want. I’ve been very much about “holding things loosely” so as not to be vulnerable and get hurt, but actually, I want to be more bold with relationships in saying, “this is also what I need”. E.g. I don’t want shallow, superficial friendships. I want reciprocal friendships where we have fun, yes, but we are also vulnerable and can share our hearts.
3. I want to be bold and take care of my body the way I know I need to – eat better, drink enough water, move more. This is honestly the only area of my life where I’m this undisciplined!
4. I also want to be bold in speaking what is right in situations. That is who I am but in “speaking the truth in love” and “being gentle”, I’ve gotten too soft. Understanding my enneagram number this year has opened my eyes that this is how God made me to be and there is actually nothing wrong with being me.
5. And last but not least, I have totally wigged out on being bold with this part of my life – coaching, speaking, and workshops. I sort of let it be known accidentally that I do this but I don’t boldly market myself even though I know I am good at helping people in this way. An Instagram organising friend said she didn’t even know half the things I do because I never talk about them – it’s true. So even if my marketing efforts fail, this year at least, I’m determined to be persistent and keep being bold about these gifts I’ve been given to serve the world. Please hold me accountable because this is the area I’m most likely to slack on.

So bold is my word, and I’ve chosen tend and yes as supporting words.

Tell me, how did your 2018 word play out for you, and what is your 2019 word of the year? I can’t wait to hear!

2016 Word of the Year recap (joy) and my word for 2017!

Before I dive into this year’s word and the whys and wherefores thereof, I want to do a recap of my 2016 word, joy.

I’ll admit that it wasn’t one of my favourite words ever but it did what it was meant to do, which was to encourage me to live a little and also to choose joy when circumstances were not very joyful.

1. I know this will come as a surprise but I actually find it hard to relax. I’m much more comfortable on the work side of the scale 🙂 Which is exactly why I put “read book” or “play with photos” on my to-do lists.

2. And then it’s always a good thing to realise that you always have a choice, even in the midst of hard situations, and for me, to choose joy in those circumstances.

3. I had a third leg which was to watch for the things that would steal my joy if not attended to promptly, things like doing my photo organising and backup on a monthly basis, doing my budgets regularly, putting in my expense claims. Basically, things that are not a big deal at all, but when left unattended can become a real schlep.

In that respect, I had a great year.

I did feel, around Sept or so, that I was done with that word and maybe I needed to choose another one.

But then a print from a friend arrived as a housewarming gift (I think?) with the words Choose Joy, and so I took that as a sign and ploughed on.

The word joy really helped me prioritise reading over social media, sleep over blogging (for like 30 people to see – my page views have been shocking this year!) and at work, when I’d get frustrated, I’d set up a meeting because I always prefer meeting in-person instead of exchanging hours of emails.

So thank you to the word joy for serving me well in 2016.

Now onto 2017.

Some years (like the year of enough) I agonise over the word and really have to pray and listen hard for my word.

Other years it just pops into my mind, feels right and there’s not a shadow of doubt.

That’s what it was this year when I received my word give early in December.

I tried it on for size and really liked it so give it is.

1. One day I was at the smoothie place in the gym behind a couple. They were battling to pay for their things because the machine wouldn’t accept their American card. So I paid for them. I’m not usually this kind of person but I loved that I could do that for them and best of all, they were so appreciative. Hope their visit to South Africa was made even brighter 🙂

2. Of course I donated some money to the Aleppo refugee efforts and it felt really good to give instead of feeling powerless.

3. Another day I was at a clothing store. I had a gift card to spend from something I returned without a cash receipt, and it turned out that there was some money left. So I told the cashier to keep the card and to use the balance on my card for the very next person who came to pay for their things. She loved it, I loved it and I’m sure the person would have loved it too. I somehow feel like it wasn’t even about the recipient but about the cashier 🙂

To that end, I think I may host a few one-week GIVE challenges 🙂

How I want to explore the word give this year:

  1. What do I want to or need to give to God this year?
  2. How can I give better to my family in terms of my time and energy?
  3. Where do I want to give to my relationships?
  4. How can I give to myself more in terms of my finances? (by not spending frivolously, saving more, and using my gifts to make some money)
  5. What does my body need and how can I give it the best fuel/ exercise it needs?
  6. And so on…..

Now, over to you!

I’m going to ask you a question I heard from Ali Edwards on EliseJoy’s podcast.

Which direction do you want your life to go in this year? Which word will help guide and keep you focussed in the right direction to do so?

Don’t overthink it. Tell me your word for 2017.

PS Book a half hour session with me to get clear on your word and your purpose/ goals/ intentions for 2017.

PPS Words from previous years

2016 – Joy

2015 – enough

2014 – shine

2013 – trust

2012 – create (my favourite year of choosing words!)

2011 – courage

2010 – consolidate

2009 – simplify

My 2016 word of the year

Friends, I’ve made you an easy-peasy organising roadmap for 2016. You can find it here.

word of the year | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Let’s run through all the words of the year I’ve had in the past:

  1. simplify
  2. consolidate
  3. courage
  4. create
  5. trust
  6. shine
  7. enough

The thing about a word for the year is that it helps you be more intentional about what you want and need, and also who you need to be or what you want to do more of.

word of the year | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Of course, I do goals (and boy, do I do goals) but the word of the year is something that really guides those daily decisions and choices.

The year I had the word courage, I’d say “what would courage look like in this situation?” or the year of trust, I’d say “how can I trust more?”

Unlike last year when I still didn’t have my word til about the first week of January, this year I had my word early in December.

word of the year | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Maybe it was linked to the big decision?

But aside from that, the question, “does this spark joy?” has featured so much in my life in the last 6 months since I read the book, that I’m not ready to let it go yet.

My 2016 word of the year is JOY. There are 214 instances of the word JOY in the Bible. Can you believe it?

  • does this spark joy?
  • how can I bring more joy?
  • will this bring me joy?
  • what can I do to have more joy?

word of the year | www.OrganisingQueen.com

These are all the questions I’m going to be exploring this year and I can’t wait.

I even found this tip on Instagram…

Joy is the best makeup – Anne Lamott

Amen to that!

Over to you.

What is your word for the year?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com