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Yearly Word

2016 Year In Review/Contributing in 2017

Every year I take some time to reflect on the previous 365 days’ events. The good, the bad, and the weird. 2016 was one for the books! I set personal records, I moved back to my hometown (for the time being), ended my strategically unemployed streak, and more.

It wasn’t all great, I had my dark moments. In fact, I had many depressing days and nights in 2016. I had to go back and revisit the photo album in my phone to remind myself of all that happened this year that was positive (priceless memories with friends/family, traveling to TONS of new cities, playing Pokemon, selling my house, speaking to a graduating class, and more).

Bottom line: it wasn’t all good and it wasn’t all bad. It was another year. Another year I wasn’t promised. Another year I didn’t waste. Another year I grew – though maybe not as much as I would have wished.

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How To Persevere in 2016

Persevere in 2016

A couple years ago I started pre-defining my years with a single word.

In 2014 my word was Transformational: I wanted to become a different, better person than I was. In 2015 I chose the to Compose my year: I was writing my first book and I was building the life I wanted. So far both terms have accurately described my last two years.

Because I stated how I wanted my upcoming years to be lived, I had a compass for decision making. For example, last year I faced the dilemma of continuing to work with the web design company I was freelancing with or focusing on my book full time. I chose the book. And in retrospect it was an easy choice, a non-decision, really.

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Composing 2015

how to compose a fantastic year

Alice: I was just wondering if you could help me find my way.
Cheshire Cat: Well that depends on where you want to get to.
Alice: Oh, it really doesn’t matter, as long as…
Cheshire Cat: Then it really doesn’t matter which way you go.
Alice in Wonderland (1951)

In early 2014 I typed a post titled What One Word Will Define Your Year? in which I pre-labeled the year ahead of me. This exercise, used to help you visualize the road ahead, helped me focus my intentions in 2014.

If you can’t tell by now, I have big plans for 2015 and it’s imperative I stay focused. This drill helps put a theme to everything that needs to get done. It’s a way of thinking through the year and bundling it all together.

Just as a company has core values that help drive decisions, this “theme” will help me stay in line with what I feel is important during this season of life.

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What One Word Will Define Your Year?

As I was reading through my emails during the snowpocalypse I stumbled upon a fellow blogger’s post that I fell in love with. I met this person at a Blogger Meetup a few months back and she gave me some awesome tips to improve my site. Since then I’ve followed her blog and subscribed to her posts (which you can do for mine as well on the side bar) to stay up on her writing.

One Word

Today’s post was about the one word she will make her mantra for 2014. It was cool to see how this practice of defining the year and how she’s applied it in the past. She’s made some neat things happen recently and you all know I’m a sucker for success stories so it brightened up this frozen day.

This is different from a new year’s resolution, which she dislikes as much as me. This is more of a motif or an overarching  theme. If you had a sports team you’d probably print it on shirts or if you have an office you’d hang banners in the lobby as a constant reminder.

The Purpose

I am writing this today for two reasons: 1.) So you’ll go read her post (here) because it’s thought provoking & 2.) To share my word. As soon as I read it I posted the article on Twitter and it was immediately responded to with someone’s one defining word of their own. I hadn’t thought to apply the practice to myself, what was my word?

I am putting myself through lots of changes personally, professionally, and spiritually. 2014 is going to be defined by transformation and I can’t wait to see where it leads me. I have a number of things I want to accomplish this year and I’m going to forge my way by giving as much as I can. I heard a quote from Anne Frank the other day that has stuck in my head: Nobody has become poor from giving. 

My Word

It didn’t take long to come up with mine, I’ve been living it this past week and I am making it happen each day I write. I am reinventing myself, I am working to become a better man, I am doing things I’ve never done before. My word is transformational.

I am going to give my way to transformation this year. I am going to give my time, my experience, and myself to those around me. Check out The Anonymous Blonde and let me know what your word you choose to define your year with. 

define your year

Chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts for 2014!

Stay warm and have a great day!