Picking a word of the year involves a lot of reflection as well as goal setting and dreaming about the upcoming year. It's an intentional time for me that really helps me see where I've been and know where I'm going.
I really like thinking about a single word or phrase that can summarize my upcoming year!
In previous years, I've been right on the money when selecting a word for my blog and business. I usually write my word out on a post-it note and stick it in plain site. Sometimes I'll stick it to the bottom of my computer screen or I'll transfer it to my planner if I'm traveling.
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Why I pick a word of the year
Selecting a word of the year really helps me stay focused.
In this day and age, there are so many distractions. With social media, newsletter subscriptions popping in my inbox daily and all the things, it's easy to feel pushed in new directions and lose focus.
I don't just pick a word of the year and stop there.
This is the start of an entire process of planning my year out. I get out my notebook and my planner, and hand write out my goals, feelings and what I hope to achieve.
My notebook gets filled with sketches, drawings and list after list of what I want to achieve in different areas. I dive in and review every aspect of my business.
This includes an array of things like what I want to write about, marketing plans, my budget for projects, etc.
I'm a visual person, so having a notebook that I can always refer back to is huge for me. I have always kept all my work notebooks and love going thru them and crossing off all my goals on my lists.
Not surprisingly, I always have a lot of goals!
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Previous words of the year
As a brand new blogger, there was only one word on my mind and it was determination. I was determined to learn as much as I could about blogging and get to work! I was a sponge and soaked up everything.
I managed to make $13,000 my first year as a part time blogger while I was at my day job and knew I was on the right path.
My phrase of the year was travel more. This was totally outside the box but still very intentional.
After working a 9-5 job for most of my post-college life, being able to travel more while being a full time blogger and business owner was a real goal! I had the freedom and flexibility that I didn't have at my day job. It was a great feeling being able to pack up and go at any time!
With a solid blog and growing confidence, I was ready to say yes to more opportunities and be more bold with my actions.
This lead to speaking engagements about how to use Pinterest for blogs and businesses, a TV appearance to speak about side hustles, attending conferences and hosting in-person meetups.
Finally, in 2018 my word of the year was expand.
Without a doubt, this was right on the money. I knew I would be launching my secret side hustle business.
I spent a lot of time growing Become a Pinterest VA TODAY! with my business partner, as well as making new decisions for this blog that would impact my year.
Since launching my secret side hustle business, I've really noticed a shift with how I spend my time when I'm working.
I spent a good part of 2018 working on achieving my version of a work-life balance and I'm feeling really good with where I'm at with things.
If I had to give myself a grade for 2018, I would say I came in at a solid A- when achieving a healthy work-life balance.
When it comes to work balance, I've had to get even more intentional with my time so I can juggle my three businesses:
As I time block tasks for each business, I've noticed that there is an overall trend happening. When one business excels, the other two businesses get less attention.
If I'm in launch mode for Become a Pinterest VA TODAY!, then that gets more attention as it's more critical than doing something like publishing a blog post.
This is natural and makes total sense, and simply a priority issue.
Now with that being said, I worked really hard to set up systems for each business, which I'll talk more about in my next blog about my 2018 annual income report and review.
All of this lead to a pretty big realization for how I want to spend my business and personal time in 2019 and to my word of the year.
My 2019 word of the year is nurture
Here are a few definitions of nurture:
- Care for and encourage the growth or development of
- The process of caring for and encouraging the growth or development of someone or something
- To provide the necessary conditions for something to grow and develop
- Encouragement, promotion, fostering, development, cultivation
- Neglect, deprivation, ignorance
How I plan to implement my word of the year for my businesses
Subconsciously, I realized in the last few months that I had started placing more focus on nurturing each business when I felt one was getting neglected over the others.
This year, I have already figured out how to work smarter with all three businesses.
It's really important to make sure no business gets left behind, ha!
I planned out my schedule for each business, such as launch dates for courses and products. I already know when one business will need more attention, and have a plan to make sure my other two businesses continue to thrive.
Each one needs to be nurtured throughout the year so it can continue to grow.
Because every single business has a completely different business model and is at different phases, each business I own requires a specific level of care and attention.
How I plan to implement my word of the year for my personal life
Simultaneously, as I began to nurture each of my businesses a few months ago, I also started to become more aware that I needed to do this for myself.
While I have the work-life balance down pretty well, I needed to be more intentional with how I treat myself during the work week and during time off.
I have always struggled with self care and in 2018, I really started to focus more on small ways I could live a better life.
I realized I wasn't living a healthy lifestyle. I wasn't exercising and I was basically sitting all day long at the computer.
So it was time for a change.
I purchased a FitBit and started counting steps.
I even asked for different FitBit bands for Christmas so I could change up my look.
I also shopped for good deals and purchased a few new workout clothes that were all on sale!
I heard good things about Calia, Carrie Underwood's line of workout clothes, so I grabbed a couple pairs of workout pants and a top all at a discounted price, yippee!
(I used Rakuten first, so I could earn cash back on my purchase.)
It was really depressing to know how sedentary my work days were and how little movement I was getting in.
So I started slow, with my daily goal to hit 5,000 steps. After about a month of hitting 5,000 daily steps, I upped my goal to 8,000 steps for the second month.
As we start the new year, my new goal is 10,000 daily steps. I even joined a StepBet challenge that will help me stay on goal for the next six weeks!
I also recently made the decision to hire a personal trainer.
Because of the cost, right now she comes over once a week and we get a solid hour in together working on resistance training and weights.
We get together during my work week and because she comes to me with all the equipment, so I don't have to leave my house and commute to a gym.
I can literally walk out of my office, shift into work-out mode in my living room or in the driveway, and be back to work in an hour.
I'm hoping to increase this to twice a week in the future, but it all depends on my budget.
In addition to exercise, I'm also focusing more on self care for my body.
My doctor has been begging me to get regular massages because of the amount of stress in my back and neck. I've long resisted this because it seemed like a splurge and something I didn't have time for in my life.
But my doctor has been persistent with this. Apparently women store a lot of stress and anxiety across their upper back, shoulders and neck and I need to take care of this!
My doctor and trainer both told me to look at a massage as a medical prescription and not a self indulgent splurge. So if you struggle with this as well, this is a great way to look at from a different perspective.
Thanks to a couple of awesome gift cards I received during the holidays, I have a couple massages lined up this month. I'm hoping to be able to get a monthly massage as part of my self-care routine in 2019.
Wrapping it up
I think nurture is such an interesting word for my business and myself.
I don't always select a word of the year that crosses over into my personal life, but this word seems like exactly what I need at the time.
I think it will improve my work-life balance even more and help me be more intentional with my time. I'm really excited to see how this word impacts everything in my life over the next twelve months.