New Years Resolutions haven’t quite worked for me in the past. Their expectations can be overwhelming. I could wait for the right time to feel motivated and aimlessly jump on the bandwagon of the “why wait for January 1st for a fresh start?” argument or “there’s a fresh start every day!” to eliminate this pressure but, I’m a goal oriented, avid to do list maker. I couldn’t skim by 2016 without some sort of general guide to hold me accountable, keep climbing, and moving forward on the path of becoming “a better (type A personality) me.”
Sometime last year, I read about choosing a word for the year rather than making the same list of 3-5 resolutions for the New Year and so I decided to try it. My 2016 word was chosen wisely. I toyed around with other words but finally landed on the perfect word I felt I needed at the time: “Gutsy.”
Let me tell you about the word “Gutsy;” it is tiresome! Here are 3 things I learned from wearing the word for the past 11 months:
1) I’m already gutsy!: Although at times, adventurous, I don’t live life on the edge. I have no interest in sky- diving, or bungee jumping. I don’t want to go deep sea scuba diving because I’m terrified of what I’ll see down there. Don’t make me watch a scary movie after dusk; I just won’t do it! But I’m also no stranger to new things. Thinking back on where I am and how I got here, I realized that I’ve always taken chances. I pick the battles I need to pick. I choose to have uncomfortable conversations with people because they don’t scare me. I’m in personal and professional roles that force me out of typical comfort zones. I just struggle with being gutsy when I have to be gutsy for me, rather than doing something because it’s my job or role to do so. I struggle when the prize is something I really want, something for me.
The intent behind the word gutsy was to challenge myself to “get out there.” I wanted to force myself to network more, write more, post more, share more, befriend more, and grow more. When I was hesitant about joining a committee or group, leading a group, or taking a new step, I chose to simply do it. When I felt exhausted at the end of my day, I pushed myself to do all my tasks because I had made a commitment. I took the chance and it felt good immediately, no, it felt great! It was because something was going to come from it- some growth, some opportunity, some experience. Of course, I had my moments in which I struggled and wanted to crawl back into my comfort, worry-free zone. You know that sweet, warm, comfy, safe space full of pillows and naptime and where all the feel good things exist? But for the most part, I chose to try.
Being gusty for me didn’t mean always saying yes. Been there, done that! Learning to say no was something that took time and I won’t go back to over committing. It was saying “yes, go for it” when the decision wasn’t left up entirely up to me. Being vulnerable is a scary thing. There was risk involved, fear of rejection. I just didn’t realize that my gusty year would also mean the year that I would be on the receiving end of NOs. It’s so obvious, and yet, I wasn’t ready for it.
2) The Year of Gutsy= The Year of Nos: I tend to have this quiet confidence about me. This little egotistical voice in my head that tells me I’m great and I’m the best and any threat to prove me wrong is just unacceptable. It’s a healthy quality that I happen to love about myself but it can be a little unrealistic at times. Hearing No when you most want and need a Yes is humbling, and it sucks, and it’s frustrating. All before giving myself the “things happen for a reason, and be patient pep talk.” I’m only human afterall. But rejection is hard especially when you’re actively seeking something you want and the universe says, “NOPE, not now!” I’m not new to NOs. I haven’t always gotten all I wanted in life, but I let the NOs wear me down from time to time this year when I was most vulnerable.
3) Dust yourself off and try again: I woke up this morning, on a Saturday, at five AM, with a pep in my step. I had a nightmare that two strange men had broken into my home. As I waited in fear, trapped in my bedroom and in my dream, I peeked at the men down the hall. The strange home breakers were fixing my running toilet in the bathroom. When the men started heading towards my bedroom where I hid, I woke up. What a silly dream, right? Who breaks into homes to be a handyman?
This little dream of mine served as a reminder this morning that I have pending tasks, including getting that toilet working again. I bounced right up, got my laptop and got to work on my goals as my pretty Christmas tree illuminated my living room and inspired my thought process. I need to finish off 2016 just right! A couple of NOs can’t get me down! And you, be gutsy enough to begin again if something kocked you down!
I’ve got a handful of words I’m exploring for 2017 and you better believe “Rest” is one of them. Are you thinking of a 2017 word? Did you have a 2016 word of the year? How did it work for you?
P.S. The hubs just finished replacing the toilet valve and he’s proud of it and wants to show me. Gotta go! Until next time!