Now I am a mother, my years start slowly. No longer forced to drag myself back into an office as soon as Christmas is over, I’ve embraced a long transition period from the holiday season, gently finding our way back to a normal daily rhythm. Over the last couple of weeks I have been making the most of this stillness, and have carved out time between all the book reading, playing, and pancake making, to reflect on the past year and think about what I want from the year ahead.

Self-care continues to feature high on my agenda, so with huge joy I took myself along to an absolutely wonderful and nurturing workshop lead by the inspiring Ray Dodd. I spent the day with a group of women in the beautiful home of stylist and blogger Hannah Bullivant where we looked at our achievements from the past year, visualised what we wanted from the year to come, discussed the importance of mindset in living the sort of life we want, and made banners with our “Word of the Year”.

This is my second year choosing a “Word of the Year”. Coming up with a word feels like a lovely, positive, reflective process – it feels SO much kinder than setting myself up to fail with punitive goals and resolutions, which inevitably tend to focus around what I am currently lacking or failing at. When thinking about what my word should be, I took time to truly consider what I wanted from the year ahead. I thought not just about myself and how I want to feel throughout the year, but about how I want the people around me to feel.

Last year, my word for the year was “EMBRACE”. It ended up being more important than I could have guessed. Reflecting back on what I achieved last year, one of the things I am proudest of was the way I embraced the uncertainty and sadness which went hand in hand with recurrent miscarriages; I searched for and embraced the good bits in a pretty rubbish situation. I believe it’s this mindset which has enabled me to look back on the last year and feel positive rather than horrified. Yes, our family faced some challenges, but we got through them, and despite everything we are so very incredibly lucky for all we do have.

This year, my word is THRIVE. Because that’s exactly what I want to do. At times over the last couple of years I have felt at times like I was surviving, be it from sleep deprivation, sickness, sadness, or health issues. This year I want to thrive, mentally, intellectually, and physically. As a mother, as a woman, as a wife, as a friend. I want my family to thrive and be happy, for my relationship with my husband to thrive, and for Frida to thrive over the course of the year. I want this blog to thrive and continue to grow. I have ideas for how I want to go about thriving, of course, but focusing on a word rather than a list of “must-do’s” feels like a far better way of achieving my overall aim with none of the guilt of failure. Just thinking about the word thrive makes me feel energised and happy (and also a bit like a plant? Which I suppose is a good reminder to get plenty of sunshine and drink lots of water!) At the moment I feel positive and excited about the year to come, and I’m sure that my word has a part to play in that joy.

Hanging my banner in a visible place, our hallway, also feels good. I means I see it and am reminded of it throughout the day. I quite like that it’s right there for anyone who comes into our home to see.

Have you set a word for the year set? If you haven’t I really would recommend thinking about choosing one (Susannah Conway has some great free resources if you feel you need some prompts to get you started). Setting a word is such a simple change to make, but I think it can have a profound impact on the way you approach your year.

If you have set a word for the year, I would love to hear it!

Posted by:Eloise R

6 replies on “My word of the year

  1. I love this so much! I’m glad you got the time to go to the retreat and that you were able to create something to have prominently in your home featuring your word for 2018…this is such a fabulous idea. My word came to me rather speedily this year: trust. I’ve been struggling with trying to control too many things around me and getting sad and frustrated when I can’t control everything. So, I’m working to trust. To trust God, to trust myself, to trust the people I love, to trust that we are where we are supposed to be, and we are working to love the people we are supposed to be. I’ve been keeping notes that come to me in a little notebook gifted by a friend, but I might need to make something so I see my word daily. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh I love that you chose TRUST. Such a powerful reminder. I am also someone who likes to be in control so I can understand the craving to be able to let go a little bit… Thank you so much for sharing with me! Xx

  2. When I read this post, I realized I needed to choose a word for 2018, that it would help me give shape to what I wanted to live with my family this year… I thought about it a few days and finally chose two words: NURTURE and GENTLENESS… which may seem strange since these are English words and I am French, but it’s quite usual to me to find more meaning in English words than in French one, so I’ll go with the flow and embrace them….

    I wanted to thank you for inspiring me to do this… I find in your blog a lot of inspiration, but this time feels a bit more important… as if I needed to to do this to be more grounded in what I want to live with my family this year. So, really, Thank you!

  3. I just found your blog and already love it! I couldn’t agree more, that choosing a word to guide our year is so much more positive than resolutions, which invariably aim at our faults and bellies!

    I had been thinking of my word, but your article made me sit down and choose…two words?! I chose CLARITY and FOCUS, which are probably quite similar, but I feel I need both. Clarity for spending time thinking big picture about my long term goals and not getting caught up by small daily stresses. And focus for choosing one work goal per week that I finish, as well as focusing on who I am with, and being more present, especially my son and husband.

    Love your pennant, i should get on that…great to have a reminder hanging in plain sight!

    Anna xxx

    1. Love that combination – they sound like they will bring you so much over the coming year. I think I could definitely do with more clarity and focus in my life too… The wall hanging was so easy to make, just felt, bondaweb, ribbon, and a wooden rod xx

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