Several years ago I was introduced to the idea of choosing a one word focus for the year. In contrast to a list of resolutions that I would never look at again from the journal pages in January, one word seemed a lot more manageable.
In June I reflected on my 2019 #oneword choice. My word for this year was #connect. It is a word that is perfect for what I needed at the time. This word has been the most action-oriented of all the words I have chosen over the past 10 years.
I believe since I have made space for this word in my life the experiences and opportunities have come to me. As the beloved book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho says, “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
This year I have connected to other writers like no other time in my life. I have been mainly part of an in real life group and my Storyaday Superstars. I heavily rely on support from the Superstars and check in with them every day. I also have the support of the Two Writing Teachers community and #Teachwrite. Teacher writers are my tribe! In August I joined a group of creatives who read The Artist’s Way book. This group has caused more action from the last 6 months than any other group. We connect online and through Zoom video calls. It has been impactful to my writing and life in general.
Over the course of 2019, I have been cultivating my intuition with writing practice, visual exercises, and paying attention. When invitations come to me I have been intentionally taking advantage of them. I have connected in a more solid way to what I want. Morning pages has been a huge piece of this process and my tarot card practice.
Connecting with pain in a new way has been part of my journey as well. There has been enough time past from some trauma I have experienced to be able to use the emotion in a new way in my writing. It is part of my coping mechanism now. I am finally able to write about the trauma and betrayal in a new way. It is not easy, but I am making it to the other side.
Connection to myself has also manifested itself in the way I reframe situations. There have been some obstacles this year and it has stretched my knowledge and resilience. I had to rely on some other experts to be able to navigate new situations. Some were helpful and some were lacking.
My writing is being read by more people which makes me happy and makes me want to hone my craft. Twitter has been an important tool for developing these connections as well as Medium.
I have made time to connect with friends and make time for coffee and dinners. I have not made space for this the past few years. The older I get the more I want to hibernate in my dwelling. I have also been reaching out more often to friends that are not near me to try to keep that thread of friendship from fraying.
I have been connecting to nature more which has been good for my soul. Runs and walks outside and spending time in my yard where the birdies and deer come to visit is good for me.
I have been keeping up with my newsletter and building my email list. You can sign up here!
I have participated in several writing challenges this year which has been adding to my word count, connections, and writing skills. There is nothing like a challenge to bring people together!
I have connected with the text I am reading in a new way. I am connecting with other people over readings. I am inputting stories and poems and essays and they are manifesting themselves in my writing because I am savoring them not just ticking them off a to-do list.
In the Fall, I was assigned a new position and had to cultivate relationships with two new building staffs for my coaching. This has gone better than I thought it would!
Moving forward, I will continue to connect with myself and pay attention to how I am feeling. I will continue to connect with new writers. I will continue to cultivate the relationships I have now that are important to me.
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If you Google “one word” many entries will come up. Susannah Conway is a great resource if you would like some more guidance and exercises.
My process is I start journaling about it. Thanksgiving time and November are good times to reflect about the last year and what you have accomplished and not. Here is an example of this type of thinking:
I use my intuition to choose my word. It has to feel right to me otherwise I will forget about it before the end of January. One word is easy to post on a sticky note on your wall. I have written it on the bathroom mirror. I write it at the top of my notebook.
One word is manageable.
After reflection the word that comes to me for 2020 is MORE. I want more and am tired of apologizing for wanting it. As a teacher the idea has been cultivated that I am not supposed to be want to be paid what I am worth. I am supposed to take the ideals of the mission and just take what I can get. I am done with this thinking. There is enough. I am adopting an abundance mentality, not scarcity.
MORE is my word for 2020.
2020 is the year of:
More time spend saying yes to the right things
MORE of the More that makes life good.
More great food
More sun and moons
More sleepy mornings wrapped in flannel sheets
More movies that make you think
More of what matters.
I want More with a capital M!
More hikes near trees
More time to be who I really am
More words that matter
More of the stories that need to be told.
More writing in bed
More reading by the fireplace
More writing in cabins in the woods
More connections with people who make me grow and feel supported
One of my goals centered around this idea of MORE is to write 2000 words consistently in 2020. They will be split between 1000 for my work-in-progress and the other 1000 for articles, morning pages, poetry, and Medium posts.
I will reflect on this word as we make it through 2020. At the very least in June for the 6th month mark. It leaves many possibilities for the new decade.
What will your word be for 2020?
Tammy Breitweiser is a writer and teacher who is a force of nature and woman of honor; seer of nuance; accidental inspirationalist; keeper of the little red doors, and conjurer of everyday magic who is busy writing short stories. A future Minnesotan temporarily hiding in Indiana, her poetry has been published in The Storyteller Magazine and her flash fiction in The Ninja Writers Monthly and Elephant Never. Her essay is published in the I Wrote it Anyway anthology. You can also connect with Tammy through Twitter @TLBREIT.