My Word of The Year for 2018

I have chosen a word of the year to guide me since 2013 and I’ve found it to be one of the most useful tools in my self-help arsenal. Every December I decide what I want to focus on in the coming year and choose a word to help keep that intention in the forefront of my mind. I write it at the top of my planner every week and try to align my actions with it as much as I can.

My word for 2017 was COMMITMENT.

Here’s what I was hoping it would bring me in 2017:

“Commitment is something I’ve always had a bit of a problem with. I’m very easily distracted by shiny objects and I often struggle to follow things through to the end. Even when I do, it’s a struggle and I drag my heels and procrastinate and make everything much harder and more unpleasant than it needs to be.

"This year, I want to commit to myself. To my business and making art, especially, but also to my new life here in Copenhagen. I’m ready to… ‘settle down’ isn’t the right phrase – I don’t ever want to ‘settle’, but I would definitely like to slow down. To build a life piece by piece on solid foundations. To stay in one place and make it perfect, instead of continually starting from scratch.

"I’m in the best place I’ve ever been, in every way – physically, mentally, emotionally, geographically, everythingly – and I want to grow some roots and see things through, instead of burning it all to the ground and going right back to the beginning which is my usual M.O.”

So, how did it actually turn out?

Well, I definitely followed through with things, even when I probably shouldn’t have (see my MYM Launch Review post here). And I certainly committed to my new life in Copenhagen – I’ve definitely settled in and have those solid foundations I was craving in place. I’ve finally been able to put down some roots, and everything IS now coming together piece by piece.

As for ‘slowing down’, I did and I didn’t. I went full throttle for the first six months of the year, crashed and burned, and then did practically nothing for the last half of the year! So there’s definitely more work to be done there.

I didn’t commit to making any art, unfortunately, my creative output was practically nothing in 2017, but I have learned that I need safety and security in order to create. If life isn’t peaceful (and it certainly hasn’t been peaceful for the last couple of years) then I just can’t do it – I don’t have the energy. Luckily, peace has been restored so hopefully 2018 will be a year of creative expression.

Something that did come out of my COMMITMENT year, which I wasn’t expecting, happened in my relationship with Lars. We both went through some extreme, make-or-break type challenges last year. Health problems, homelessness, money worries – the whole nine yards – and as our relationship was not even a year old as 2017 began, any one of those things could have been the end of us. Our commitment to each other, and to building our fledgling relationship, was tested on numerous occasions throughout the year by circumstances beyond our control, and I’m very happy to report that we came through all of it in one piece. All those challenges have brought us closer together than ever and really cemented our bond. So, thanks for that, 2017!

After all the drama and upheaval of 2017, I really wanted a peaceful word for 2018, and around September time, one word kept popping into my head. You could say the word chose me.

My word for 2018 is…

ALLOW.

Just writing this word makes me smile. It feels peaceful and calm and completely stress-free. It doesn’t mean that I’m not going to DO anything this year, it just means that I’m not going to be struggling and striving and hustling. I’m going to take things slowly, let everything happen in its own time, and most importantly, I’m going to follow the joy. I’m going to focus on the things that feel fun and exciting and expansive. I’m not going to do anything just because I feel I ‘should’ – I’m going to put myself first and leave lots of space for magic and miracles to happen.

For the first time in years (decades?) I haven’t set any goals for myself this year. There are a handful of things that I’d like to do, but I’m not going to stress out or beat myself up if I change my mind or if they don’t get done. I’m just going to let the stream of life carry me along, directed only by my curiosity and creativity.
I think it’s going to be a wonderful year.

Previous Words of The Year

2013 – GRATITUDE

The year I wrote/drew The Gratitude Project. This became my first book and transformed my life, my sanity and my career trajectory.

2014 – EASE

The year I decided I had had ENOUGH of struggling and being unhappy and wanted to focus on bringing more ease into my life. I moved out of a house I hated and began the slow process of unhooking myself from a destructive relationship.

2015 – DOMINION

The year I took control of my life. I left the aforementioned relationship for good, moved to Copenhagen, did some major inner work on my body image and my unhealthy relationship patterns, healed my relationship with my Dad, and ultimately decided I would please nobody but myself.

2016 – INTUITION

The year I paid attention to that small still inner voice and trusted it to steer me right. And it really has! The year I found out what I really wanted and finally went for it.

Do you choose a word of the year?

If you don’t already do this exercise I really recommend you try it – the results are really quite miraculous! And often very unexpected and exactly what you didn’t know you needed! Do shoot me an email and let me know what yours is, and if you’ve not done this before and you’d like to try, I recommend Susannah Conway’s guide here.

Please tip generously


If you've enjoyed any of my work please consider leaving a tip - donations help me to continue to create the art and writing you love. Thank you!



Like this? You'll love my Studio Notes


Get the full skinny on what it takes to live a creative life...
* indicates required