Every year for the past few years I’ve been choosing one word in January that I live by throughout the entire year. I find myself constantly referring back to that word as I have to make decisions and come up with plans. In 2015, my word was “Embrace“. I chose it because it was my first full year in Alaska and I wanted to try all the things and totally throw myself into become an outdoorsy person (and specifically a winter outdoorsy person). Looking back on that first year, I’d have to say that I did a really good job at this! Being an Alaskan newbie was tough but this word helped motivate me to try new things and embrace the cold, dark craziness of Alaska.
In 2016, my word was “Confidence” because I thought I would need some confidence to run the Philadelphia Marathon in the fall. It turned out that I would need to use that confidence to cope with my running injury, learn how to swim, participate in my first triathlon, and get through some really tough times at work. At the end of the year when I looked back on how I’d used this word throughout the year I just had to laugh at how perfect this choice was!
In 2017, my word was “Courage“. Just typing that out makes me a bit emotional. If you read my 2017 recap you’ll see why. This past year has been filled completely with all sorts of scary and incredible adventures that I had to use a lot of courage to survive and succeed at. And the biggest one of all was choosing to sign up for a Kilimanjaro hike in 2018. When I was in the middle of deciding if I should do it or not, I remembered what my word of the year was. And I decided to book the trip.
So for 2018, I feel like I’ve got to pick a good one. Which is why I spent the last month or so really thinking about what I was out of this year and how I want to guide the next 365 or so days of my life. My husband, friends, and coworkers all weighed in. And this word came up over and over again:
My one word for 2017 is “Adventure”. According to the dictionary, Adventure means:
Now, I know what you’re thinking. That’s such a predictable word for someone who thrives on and really enjoys adventures. And that’s actually why I chose it. See, in my day-to-day life I actually deal with a lot of anxiety, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and boredom when I can’t get outside to do something epic and fun. I struggle through the boring and blah times and can get grumpy and upset when I don’t have some big fun thing planned all the time. And most of the aspects of my adventures are closely controlled by me so that I’m getting a lot of fun out of it. So when my coworker/super close friend suggested that I try to use this word to find the adventure in boring everyday moments or stressful, uncomfortable, or unusual situations I thought it was a really good idea. I feel like not everything can be an adventure – but maybe it can if I just take the time to appreciate the magic in the slower days, the stressful times, and the new but scary opportunities.
Also, let’s get real: my solo multi-flight trip to Tanzania where I’ll be summiting the tallest freestanding mountain on earth with a group of strangers who are as crazy as I am (and where I don’t know the language, food, or how my body will react at 19,341 feet above sea level) will be the biggest adventure I’ve ever taken. And training for it will be full of crazy adventures too. So bring on the adventures, 2018!
Are you picking one word to live by in 2018? Let me know what word you’re picking this year!