It was December 31st, 2019 and my friend had texted me asking, what’s your word for 2020?
I honestly wasn’t sure what she was referring to and responded back with a ??
“Ya know, like a word you want to pick for the year that will kinda be like your theme for the year. What you want to focus on going into 2020.”
Despite my lack of knowledge around this game, one word immediately popped into my head.
“Commitment, that’s my word for 2020.”
It felt appropriate given what would be happening for me during the upcoming year.
I had recently quit my job to start full time in my career coaching business.
I was four months into my marriage.
I also happened to be about 16 weeks pregnant.
I was experiencing so many new roles in my life and I wanted to commit to each of those roles and the goals I was setting within them with all the power and capacity I had.
2020 started out like many others, but something suddenly changed. COVID- 19 hit and suddenly everyone’s entire world was turned upside down. From massive layoffs, to not being able to see family and friends, to working remotely, to partners not able to attend doctor appointments with their pregnant partners, to heartbreaking loss of life. Our world quickly became a place none of us recognized. A world that if someone had described it to us even six months prior, we would have never believed it.
As events started to get progressively worse, I felt the panic rising up within me. I was going to be building and scaling my business in THIS economy? I was going to be bringing a newborn baby into a world where my own family and friends couldn’t be there to meet him and support me? My husband and I were going to spend our first year of marital bliss stuck inside a small, New York, one bedroom apartment while I was pregnant?
I had a moment where I wondered whether I could truly stay committed to the goals I had set for 2020. It honestly felt easier to let my word fall by the wayside – commitment to literally ANYTHING felt impossible for 2020.
However, at the same time, my word felt more important than ever. In a year with so much uncertainty, so much sadness and so much out of our control, I knew that my commitment to myself, to my goals and to my new roles were more important than ever.
It was a simple act, but picking that word changed the trajectory of my year. It pushed me when I wanted to give up and helped me reach new levels I would have never thought possible in what was the craziest year of my life.
We live in a world where less than 8% of people keep their new year’s resolutions. If you’re part of the 92% who struggles with resolutions and keeping those big goals, I encourage you to take a different approach to your resolutions this year. Pick a word. Just one word.
A word that you can feel connected to.
A word that represents that part of you that you deeply want to unleash.
A word that will push you when you feel tested or when things inevitably don’t go as planned.
Start small. Start with your word. Shift your trajectory in 2021.