{goals} my word of the year for 2021 – play

At the risk of stating the extreme obvious, 2020 was not an easy year for many of us.

As I was contemplating a word for 2021, nothing came to mind. Literally nothing.

I got busy tidying, decluttering and sorting papers as I do at the end of every year, and I found a printable from a course I did – one of those word cloud things.

A word jumped out at me – PLAYFUL.

And immediately I knew my word of the year was PLAY.

I’m not a naturally playful person and I feel that this word will help me not only have fun again but also be more playful in spirit. I considered having fun as my word again but I like to choose new words every year, at least for now.

Why play?

  • I love that it’s a verb which means I need to take action to make it happen.
  • I want to do some fun projects – I’ve already identified Superhero Photo, a course I did 9 years ago. I found all the emails the other day and they brought me such joy that I can’t wait to play along again. I’m an upholder so I will happily and successfully complete a project like this all on my own. And bonus – I get to play with my big camera again.
  • I also noticed that when I participate in Instagram challenges purely focussed on creativity and the actual photos instead of what the grid is supposed to look like or not, and your engagement levels, etc. (none of which I pay attention to but that inner critic is always reminding me of the shoulds), I’m so happy. I take pleasure in posting a picture of the day. If it ties in remotely to what’s happening in my life, I might write a sentence or two otherwise, just posting is so freeing.
  • I want to design and write a new workshop on personalities which definitely feels like play to me.
  • I’d also like everything to feel more like play than work – so to infuse a sense of play into things. How can I make this more playful? more fun? E.g. reading never feels like work but I do sometimes think, “hmm, I need to read a few more non-fiction books” and this year, I want everything to feel more playful.

So how am I going to keep this top of mind?

I make a folder on my computer every year called Marcia’s favourites. A few weeks ago I spent a few hours while listening to a book scrolling through about 5 years of my favourite photos. Some are favourites because the landscape or scenery is breathtaking. But many are favourites because of everyday delights, like the way the light reflected off something, or a beautiful flower or item found in an unexpected place, etc.

I then copied the photos that felt playful to me into a new folder called play, and I’ve made a collage which I printed and put in front of me on the wall in front of my desk to remind me daily of my word.

In previous years, I have had jewellery made like a ring or a necklace. Some of these items have been passed on, like the TRUST necklace that I passed onto a friend going through a divorce. I might still do this because I love wearing a reminder and it prompts conversation which is always nice.

I also recommend making an image with your word and saving it as your lock screen on your phone so you see it hundreds of times every day.

What is your word for 2021? How will you remind yourself of your word to keep it top of mind?

Can you believe this is year 13 of choosing a word?! Here is a full list of all my words over the years:

  • 2009 – simplify
  • 2010 – consolidate
  • 2011 – courage
  • 2012 – create
  • 2013 – trust
  • 2014 – shine
  • 2015 – enough
  • 2016 – joy
  • 2017 – give
  • 2018 – fun
  • 2019 – bold
  • 2020 – light
  • 2021 – play

{mindset} A quick recap of my 2019 word, and my word of the year for 2020

My word for 2019 was bold and it was a fantastic word for me. It guided me, stretched me, pushed me out of my comfort zones and , forced me to have courage to do uncomfortable things. Here’s why I chose the word, bold.

I wrote about how I was experiencing the word here and here. It really was a great word for me and contributed to a really good year.

This word, bold, was also the reason that I wanted to feel more ease, flow, freedom this year.

I had not an inkling of my 2020 word by mid-December (this post was scheduled but it had no content inside!) so I prayed in church and I started feeling the word free. I then thought my word was going to be free but I realised that that’s the feeling I want, but the word was actually light.

In 2020, I want to feel light

  • physically – I need to lose 12 kgs
  • mentally – I want to let go of things quicker and not hold tight so long
  • emotionally – I want to lighten up with some things

I also want to look for the light more, in other words, get out my big camera and go make beautiful pictures. Honestly, I’ve gotten lazy and yet, it’s something that brings me such joy and delight.

light

I want to make light, contribute freely and lighten other people’s burdens.

I want to continue to bring light (clarity) through my workshops, coaching, and speaking, and illuminate things that may be hidden. I don’t want to hide my light to try and play a smaller game because I do know my worth.

I’m definitely always trying to live lighter and since I want to travel a lot this year, this is also a good reminder to travel light (physically) and emotionally (without baggage) through this world.

Hopefully this is a year of more fun and lightheartedness 🙂

What was your 2019 word, and how did it work for you? What is your word for 2020? If you’re unclear about the word you want, I recorded some stories that will help you.

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?

workshops

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.

work

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.

personal

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!

Word of the year and 18 in 2018 update, 3/4 in

Here’s where I talked about my word of the year, fun.

Here’s my quarterly recap at the end of March.

At the end of June, I didn’t recap here on the blog but I did a little recap as part of my half-year review in my bullet journal.

This may speak to some of you but a key mindshift change for me was that I really don’t have to do what I don’t want to do. I’m in charge of my own life.

So I’ve declined invites, changed how I do things here on the blog (have you noticed?), changed other things about how I do my full-time work, and so on.

Here’s a quick list of fun things I’ve done this year:

  1. Enneagram coaching course
  2. Four Tendencies deep dive course
  3. read good, discussable books in book club
  4. started a kids’ book club
  5. tending my friendships
  6. giving lots of gifts, many for no reason at all
  7. I gave a talk to a moms and daughters group
  8. reading only fun books during my birthday month
  9. listening to books on audio that I’ve already read, but knew I would enjoy again (The Happiness Project, Truly Madly Guilty, The Four Hour Workweek)
  10. changing the way I did Santa Shoebox this year (click to Instagram and then click on the red circle under my bio where I talked about this)
  11. danced in Zumbathons
  12. did seasonal photodrives
  13. used fun notebooks and stationery at work
  14. went to watch Crazy Rick Asians with some friends (I never go out at night and definitely not to the movies, so this was enormous fun)
  15. I did a Handyman Course – this was the MOST fun thing ever, possibly because I’ve always wanted to go on a course like this

And now for a brief 18 in 2018 update…

I’ve done 16 of my 18 in 2018 items, and I’ve just scheduled number 17. For some reason I’m getting stuck on number 18…. but there are still 3 months left 🙂

Over to you!

How are you doing with your word of the year?

You can always change your word if it’s not working for you. To be honest, I briefly entertained the idea of changing my word because I feel like my world’s getting smaller….. but then I realised that is precisely the right reason to have FUN as a word. Hopefully there’ll be a few more fun things to say YES to in the next 3 months.

And if you’re doing 18 in 2018 (there’s a free form you can get here), let me know how it’s going. I do hope Gretchen Rubin does this challenge again next year – it’s been such a fun way of doing goals.

 

Quarterly recap of my word of the year – FUN

these flowers look so fun to me

Since we’ve now finished three months of the year, I thought it would be fun (no pun intended!) to do a little recap of my word of the year.

Here’s where I wrote about why I chose the word “fun”.

Some fun things that have happened so far this year:

  • I participated in Gentle January on Instagram. This was such a great ease into the year after all the rah rah rah on the internet in December.
  • We went on a family holiday to the Drakensberg.
  • We had three book club meets that were SUPER fun. Interestingly, two of the books were not favourites read but the discussion around them and hearing from intelligent, funny women was what made it so much fun.
  • I loved listening to the audible version of The Happiness Project. So much fun!
  • I’m listening to more of the That Sounds Fun podcast. I particularly enjoyed her January rhythms series.

  • I participated in a Zumbathon a few weekends ago and I tried a new dance class which was great, but doesn’t work for my schedule. I would only be able to go to 20 minutes before I’d have to leave. Maybe I should just go for the 20 mins?
  • We’ve been watching The Amazing Race as a family every Wednesday for the last 4 weeks. This is huge, mainly for me, because I don’t watch any TV. None. As my husband jokes, I watch one movie a year and if I really break loose, two!
  • I’ve read 27 books thus far and should finish on about 29/ 30 as there’s a week of March left.
  • I got the painting done! That has been a lot of fun for me. I love taking risks in the house. Thank you, Nester.
  • And last but not least, I’ve had 19 socials and seen 34 friends in the 3 months (book club is the reason for the large second number).

What was your word for the year? How has that worked out for you this quarter?

these nests also look whimsical and fun to me

Word of the year recap and new word for 2018

Happy New Year, readers.

My wish for you is to live intentional lives that matter, and to be at peace with the path you choose this year.

My word of the year for last year was give. It was a good word that served me well. Here’s my first quarter recap and here’s my half year recap.

  • I gave to myself by going to one more class each week at gym, I went on walks and I slept really well. My sleep average went up to 7 hrs 38 min from 7 hrs 32 min in 2016.
  • I gave at work through helping colleagues, giving my best to clients and even being patient.
  • I gave to my family energy (even when I didn’t feel like it) and time.
  • I also gave to friends and family by making more calls and sending more texts/ whatsapps than I felt comfortable with, and I was purposeful in giving gifts and paying for more things than is my standard.

And it felt really good.

Before I dive into my word for this year, I want to tell you a quick story.

In October, I asked on social media if anyone wanted prayer. Some people commented on my feed but one friend messaged me privately. She then asked if there was anything I wanted prayer for. Such a novel concept as she was the only one who asked how she could pray for me. I told her about some feeling things.

The very next day a work colleague sent me a link to an enneagram test. I’d taken two of these before and both left me doubtful about the whole thing as I didn’t feel like it quite got me.

This time I took the test because this colleague takes all the tests I send him (!) and lo and behold, it said I was an enneagram 1. I read the write-up and it finally rang true. I downloaded this podcast on type 1 and listened on my way home. It was perfectly me. (I recommend going to look for your type on this podcast – it’s amazing) It was also an answer to some of the feeling things I’d been discomfited by for the last couple of months.

Since then, I’ve been fascinated with the enneagram but I still feel weird about it because I’m not a perfectionist (or am I protesting too much) anymore. I even say on my instagram profile that I’m a recovering perfectionist.

However, I’ve bought a course from Your Enneagram Coach and she calls it The Moral Perfectionist, which rings more true for me.

Back to the word of the year…

This year my word is fun.

Enneagram 1s move toward Type 7 when they’re in a healthy state, and the 7 is all about fun. On another of those podcasts, they specifically mentioned that 1s need to be very conscious about planning for fun. Yep, that’s me.

I’m not unfun but I do have to remind myself to do fun things before work. This is why I have a relax portion on each of my weekend to-do lists. Otherwise I’d just go and go, and never relax.

and I believe God answered my prayer because those feeling things were answered by the enneagram.

I’ll be asking myself these questions a lot this year: what sounds like fun? does this sound like fun? would it be more fun to do x or y?

It sounds frivolous when I write that down but I’m so serious and intentional (and intense!) about my goals already that I think I could do with a year of lightness.

I’ve already mapped out for each area of my life sub-sections of the questions above over two (!) pages in my bullet journal.

I’m going to include, as a part of my monthly review process (sign up for my list – I made a new, very cute monthly review form which I’ll send out at the end of January) a section where I ask myself questions like…

  • what was fun this month?
  • what was not fun?
  • how can I create more fun?

If you like (tell me) I’ll share some of that here with you.

So that’s it – my very long and drawn-out story of how I chose my word of the year, fun, for 2018.

What was your word for 2017, and how did it work out for you?

What is your word of the year for 2017 ?

What is your enneagram number?

My half-year word of the year review – “give”

My word for 2017 is give and I wrote all about why I chose it and what it means for me this year here.

I took stock at the end of March and that post is here.

Spoiler – it was going very well. But I set a few challenges/ focus areas and not all of those went this well the next 3 months.

And so, how have the last 3 months gone?

To be honest, as a big picture theme, “give” is working well for me, but on the day-to-day, I think I need more of a daily, in my face, reminder. In years past, I’d order a piece of jewellery and by wearing it, I’d see my word all the time so it reminded me daily.

I haven’t done that this year but about 3 weeks ago, I saw this notebook and a keyring, and I bought them. I’m going to be using the notebook for my computer book and, of course, I see the keyring every time I drive my car somewhere, around 5 days a week.

(I keep a notebook on my desk at home so that I can keep all notes in one place. I think I’ll use this one for podcast notes too ;))

That’s a change that I think will be a good reminder to ask myself daily, “how can I give to God, family, friends, myself, my body today?”

On the big picture things, some highlights:

  1. I’m giving myself grace when I’m tired and just need to sleep.
  2. I’m giving myself the gift of relaxation even when some things are not done on my to-do list.
  3. I’m giving my body a good workout every Saturday morning, no matter how much I don’t want to go.
  4. I gave myself the gift of bravery by doing the podcast. I need to still listen further than 3 minutes in but I will do it 🙂
  5. My Spanish dancing partner and I gave ourselves the gift of fun and no pressure by deciding not to do exams in June. It was the best decision because we are loving class again.

If you haven’t yet thought about your word as it relates to the first 6 months of the year, now would be a really good time to do so.

How’s your word been working for you?

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

How’s your word of the year working for you, Cassey?

As you saw in my post earlier this week, I look at my word of the year at the half year to see how it’s been working for me.

I decided to also ask a few readers if they were interested in sharing their experiences. (If you’re interested in sharing your thoughts, it’s not too late – please email them to me on marcia AT organisingqueen DOT com)

So today, let’s welcome Cassey to the blog.

What is your word for 2017? 
Achieve
Why did you choose this word?
A combination of putting my goals out in the world for accountability, and I realized that my year is being driven by a desire to achieve things that have been hanging over me for ages. I wanted to get my thesis done in time for December graduation (Cassey is doing her Masters full-time), get the yoga habit to stick – by doing it everyday for a month – and to not drive my family or myself batty in making it happen.

Do you do anything on a regular basis to consciously live out this word?
Daily – or near daily – I work on my thesis. The yoga plan has been sidelined till my thesis has been submitted. And my thesis goal has been changed to getting it submitted this year – getting it done for December graduation was just not going to happen.
I love that she adjusted her goal to make it realistic to fit in with her lifestyle as she’s also a wife to J and a mom to a pre-schooler.

How are you feeling about your word half way through the year?
A bit stressed, but it’s still do-able. But I have to work so hard to avoid my self-sabotage tricks. I’m avoiding thinking about just what this will all mean for my self narrative when I get this right. It is ridiculously scary that the way I see myself will have to change as it won’t be true anymore.
These insights are fantastic in that she recognises what might pull her off track. Awareness is half the battle so good for you, Cassey.
Any other comments?
It turns out that planning and just doing it works out…odd right? :p
Cassey, I have every confidence in you and you are already achieving a lot.

How is your word of the year working out for you?

PS Cassey has been on the blog before when we spoke about Konmari and Myers Briggs. Go have a read – it was very popular at the time.

My word of the year quarterly review

My word for 2017 is give. You can read all about why I chose it here.

Here are a few questions I asked myself to see how my word’s been working for me:

what have I learned?

Interestingly, but probably not a surprise to God (Gal 6:7), I’ve been receiving more than I’ve been giving

I’ve paid for some lunches for friends which has been really nice. I hadn’t set out to do it like this but there has been one every month.

It’s not only money – I’ve been spending out in time with people, consciously taking time out of a busy schedule to phone/ whatsapp/ leave voicemails/ go see friends to engage with and encourage them.

what’s working really well?

I gave to myself by being brave and making all my health appointments early this year – gynae, mammogram and dental procedures. The worst of the dental is past and the last bit will be fixed in June this year.

I’m also giving myself relaxation in the form of enough sleep and the freedom to read (a lot of) books.

And grace. I’m recognising when things are hectic and that I might need to go a little bit easier on myself. In years past, I would still be up at all ours trying to get everything done, but now – sleep is more important.

The 5 love languages

You may know that I teach workshops on the 5 love languages.

I’ve been consciously asking myself how I can give love in the particular person’s love language – for Dion and the kids, and for my friends.

I said to a friend a few weeks ago, “I would LOVE it if all my friends would just take the love languages quiz and the MBTI, so I could know how to be an amazing friend to them all”.

A cool thing is that a good number of my friends came to a workshop I held last year so I wrote down all their love languages and now, I can show them love in the way they prefer.

What do I want to do for the next quarter?

  1. I want to arrange a 7-day #givechallenge on Instagram for me and whoever else wants to join me.
  2. I want to get my Bible reading going again.
  3. I want to start the day off and ask, “who can I give to today?”

How about you? How’s your word of the year working for you?

What’s working/ not working/ what have you learned/ what do you want to change?



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