For the past three years, I’ve chosen a word of the year to set my intention for the 12 months ahead. This is a powerful practice. To choose one word, you must strip away qualifiers, excuses, caveats. As my friend Celina pointed out, this word can manifest itself in unexpected ways. In other words, choose wisely.
Last year my word was unstoppable. I chose it because that’s how I wanted to feel, like nothing could hold me back. But sometimes it felt more like circumstances were unstoppable. Which is a very different proposition all together. For me, unstoppable sometimes felt like riding a wild horse. Well, I’ve never actually ridden any kind of horse- never mind a wild one- but it’s what I imagine it might feel like. Out of control, a little scary, rattling.
Tom decided to pick a word of the year in 2012, too, and he chose savor. He wanted to take the time to appreciate what he had. All well and good, but stop and think about it for a second…. because we really didn’t. When you’re a husband and wife who also co-run a business (and spend roughly 23 hours a day together), it can be, well, challenging if your words of the year are very different. Or so we discovered. By nature, savoring is about slowing down, taking your time. When you’re unstoppable… well, you’re not really pausing to smell the roses.
I’d say, and I think Tom would agree, that unstoppable won out as the word that most defined our 2012. But in retrospect, I’m glad Tom chose a word that served as counterpoint. Maybe we didn’t savor quite as much as we hoped, but at least we remembered to do it every so often.
So now we come to our words for 2013. Boo ya! As usual, it took me a while to find mine. I’ve spent the past weeks hording words like a collector; polishing, scrutinizing, assessing their value. Then it came to me:
As soon as I thought of it, my pulse quickened. Trailblazer means groundbreaker, innovator, pioneer. That’s what I’m going to do this year: seek out uncharted territory, explore new paths, be a leader. The word fills me with excitement and energy, and is perfectly aligned with the bold, gutsy personal and business goals Tom and I have set for 2013. Like unstoppable, it possibly has the power to push me a little too hard. But if there’s one thing I learned in the past few years, it’s that an easy life ain’t for me. Let’s go hard.
Tom’s word is:
Deliberate means “to be intentional”. Deliberate actions are not taken hastily, but with full realization of what you’re doing. And that’s what it’s all about for Tom this year. After a somewhat reactive 2012, Tom is looking ahead to a 2013 where we make careful and considered decisions on every level– from the thousands of small but critical choices each time we film a wedding to the big calls about taking our business in new directions.
Again, and maybe unsurprisingly considering our natures, we’ve chosen words that are quite different. And we know these words might sometimes work in opposition. That’s the beauty of it. A splash of trailblazing mixed with a dose of deliberate thinking is a good combination, right? In 2012 we learned that our greatest asset in Long Haul Films is the push and pull of our different ways of approaching work. Our contrasting points of view come together to make something greater. Sometimes it hurts to get there, but that’s ok. The result is the reward.
So we’re setting out on a year of deliberate trailblazing for our lives and for our business. There are going to be lots of changes and new developments ahead and we can’t wait for them.
So what about you? Do you choose a word of the year? What’s yours for 2013 and why did you choose it?