Set Up for Success: What’s Your Word of the Year? Part 1

There are a number of ways to set goals and intentions for the new year. Some people make a list of goals or resolutions, or they just call them loose intentions. Others set a ton of goals. Many people only set only a few.

You might fill out an entire planning workbook for your new year.

Or maybe you make vision boards.

Another popular option is to choose a word of the year.

I do a bit of everything, but setting a word really helps set the tone for my entire year.

It's also easier to remember than a whole list of goals. I’m not usually a woo woo girl, but a word of the year gives me a mantra to guide my thoughts and actions for the whole year.

Something as simple as that can make all the difference.


[bctt tweet="A word of the year can set the tone for your entire year. What's yours?" username="TeresaCleveland"]


How a Word of the Year Made the Difference in My Business


Some years I’ve used single words, and other years it’s been whole phrases.

After my husband died, I felt like I had to reenter the world as a single person, as me instead of us, without Michael.

I was scared. It completely threw off my reality. I felt ungrounded, like walking on land after you get off a boat.
I had to rebuild my life on my own.

My phrase for that year just came to me one day when my son Liam broke his tablet. I wasn’t sure whether to replace it or get a different, nicer one that he could grow into. It wasn’t a big deal, but I just couldn’t choose. I ended up agonizing over this small decision.

I realized that even though I am a tech girl I would have passed it to Michael had he been here. I wouldn’t have given it another thought. Yet here I was, seemingly stuck.

The thought that spoke very loudly to me in that moment was Trust yourself. 

So I trusted myself and just made a choice. (I got him the same one for less money, and it broke again. Kind of funny when you think about it.)

Without even thinking about “finding” a word for the year, it found me.

I embraced Trust yourself and it became my phrase for 2017...and then again in 2018 as well. Trusting myself in this new role as a suddenly single person, mom, and business owner took time.

It’s totally fine to have a dual-year phrase, by the way. You make the rules!

In the bigger sense, I wasn’t sure what to do with my career. Life had just dealt me the ultimate curveball, so my attitude was “Why make plans? Life will happen anyway.” I didn’t have the energy to build something up that could just fall apart again.


Trust yourself

I came to terms with the fact that whatever is going to happen will happen. I thought “Well, this is the year of trusting myself. So I'm going to do just that.”

I started easing back into my business. It began morphing. It was different from what I thought it would be.

I was already building websites and helping entrepreneurs in many different ways, but I didn’t really have a title or name that described all that I did. I had been dealing with that frustrating aspect for several years.

Mid-year 2017, one of my clients desperately needed someone to help manage her all of the parts and pieces of her online business, so I recommended that she look into getting an Online Business Manager or OBM. Later that day, I had a HUGE epiphany. OBM was exactly the perfect title for me! It summed it up well. I was already offering strategy and managing parts of clients’ online activities. This would allow me to support clients long term at a more meaningful level.

I got all tingly and excited and I couldn’t sleep. I researched what it would take to officially make the shift to OBM. I talked to a friend of mine who is in business and asked “Could it really be this simple? Could I actually make the jump to OBM?” and she just shrugged and said “Well, that’s kind of what you do already.”

I heard the now familiar refrain Trust Yourself and I excitedly stepped into this new and challenging role. Throughout the process of working with clients, becoming certified as an OBM, and building my team, I have had no regrets. I get to work with amazing clients who are making an impact in the world as well as my incredible, caring team who are making their own impact.

Trusting myself led me to create the business I have today, and I’m so glad I embraced that as my word/phrase. 

I still miss Michael so much. People come into your life for a reason, and they leave for a reason. I feel like one of the many gifts Michael gave me was pushing me to trust myself in a completely new way.

I kept that phrase for two years because that’s how long it too for me to step into what it fully meant.

And now a new word has found me and I am excited to see where it will lead!!

I’ll see you in Part 2 for my word of 2019, and tips for finding YOUR word of the year!

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