Every year around this time, I come up with a word or a phrase to inspire my new year, one that I’ll keep with me as a reminder as the year passes on.
This isn’t anything novel. I first heard about this from a friend who I reconnected with after college. He told me he actually tattooed the new word every year on himself, to which my response was:
“Is the word of the year this year, CRAZY?”
I wouldn’t take it that far (plus, wouldn’t he eventually run out of room?) but the idea of a word of the year has been with me for five years since, and it’s a neat little mechanism for keeping myself in check.
My word last year was “celebrate” because my toxic trait is to accomplish something and then immediately start the next thing before I even have a chance to enjoy the moment.
Having the word written in my mind (and tattooed on a Post-it Note by my desk) became a gentle reminder to help me slow down and become more grateful for the things that happened this year.
I’ll share my 2023 word with a story. Perhaps this will inspire you to select a word to help you get unstuck next year. 😊
One of the hardest challenges…
I ever had to overcome as an entrepreneur was writing my book, Will It Fly? Although it was self-published, which meant I could move it much faster than traditional publishing methods, the book still took me over 2 years to complete.
Why did it take so long?
Because I wasn’t being me.
You see, right before starting to write this book in 2013, I read a ton of books from one of my favorite authors, Malcolm Gladwell. As I was absorbing his books, I was also absorbing his writing style.
His books are so well-written, I thought that in order for my book to be just as good, I had to write just like him.
From fascinating scientific studies to the informative connections he creates between them, I set out to do just the same, and unfortunately, it stopped me in my tracks.
After 3 months of absolute frustration, I quit writing.
“I guess I just wasn’t meant to write this book,” I told myself.
Fast forward to 6 months later. A friend asked me how my book was coming along, and I told him the story. Then he said the following:
“You’re not Malcolm Gladwell. You’re you. Why are you trying to write like him? Write like you.”
It seems so obvious years later, but as you know, it’s easy to fall into these traps.
Soon after that discussion, and also with the help of a writing coach I hired, Azul Terronez, I was writing like me, and the words started to flow.
This coming year, 2023, I’m writing a new book. This time, it’s with a traditional publisher, and instead of putting the “it must be like all the other great traditionally published books out there” spin on it, I NEED to continue to be my authentic self across all of my work, especially here with this new book.
I’ll share more about the book later. For now, this is my word of the year to guide me throughout 2023:
Your Call to Action
Now your turn. What’s a word to gently nudge you throughout next year, to keep you on track and remind you about where you’re going?
Write it down and place it somewhere you know you’ll see it. Here’s to you and an amazing 2023!