"Dear future self: I'm ready to meet you."
“Dear future self: I’m ready to meet you.”

It was in February of last year that I learned about this concept of selecting a word of the year from a special friend who passed away in 2018. Ugh, still so crazy to think about that. We met virtually around February of 2014 and our relationship grew that summer. Becky was her name, and she was open and honest, polite and always provided a helping can where she could despite her daily packed schedule. She made time to call friends from all over the world just to say hello and to remind them she was their friend and there if they needed. She took the time to write beautiful and captivating messages to show you she cared and that you were loved. She was like the friend you never thought you needed. 

In February of last year she opened up her home in Washington D.C. to me for a whole MONTH while I was in a difficult phase of my life. The miracle house people called it. I had recently quit my job and was in this unknown territory (honestly, still am with our recent move to Switzerland). But, she brought so much wisdom and inspiration to my life during that time and a miracle happened to me. I cannot share the details, as it’s not just my story to tell, and I want to respect other parties involved but I left her home, changed.


Freed from this burden I had been caring around for years. It’s so hard to explain how a few interactions could make me feel this way but it happened and I look at this situation in a much different light. It used to be this constant reminder each time joy or excitement came in my life and now I can truly enjoy that moment. The biggest lesson I can share with you all is to talk to a friend when something truly bothers you and impacts your life. That friend could be your saving grace. Thank you Becky.

To honor her, I wanted to share with you all my word of the year and what I plan to focus on this year of 2019. 

She shared what the word of the year meant for her and how each year was different from the next. She told me about this book I should read and how it gives you the meaning behind selecting a word for the year.

What is a word of the year?

Choosing a word to live by usually occurs at the beginning of the year. For some it’s a new year new you/resolution thing but choosing a word and focusing on that throughout the year usually is much easier to stand by. How often have you said, I’m going to create goal  a,b,c all the way to  x,y,z and by the end of the year, you forgot over half of them and only feel accomplished in one or two areas? Setting resolutions and goals is A-OKAY in my book. But, one must continue to revisit them in order to accomplish set out goals. However, the one word concept can help you if you are just getting started in this whole new year goal setting thing. 

The founder of Authentic Leadership, Inc., Dan Webster, shares his praise for the book. He states, “Our lives so often feel cluttered, confused, and complex. One Word shows the way to the simplicity of focus. It guides you to what should currently matter most and clarifies how to live from that place. This is a game-changing concept that will transform how you do your life. Get One Word. Read One Word. Find your One Word…and you will experience the best year of your life!”

He seriously sums it up so well! Since I have established mine for the year, e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. has changed. How you go about your day. Your priorities and goals shift. You want to focus on the words and intentions you’ve set out for yourself. It’s like this mission and it becomes your focus. I love how it can help one align yourself in a way you would like to live your life. It help you get through a time of sorrow or push you to focus on healing or evolving. It’s really whatever you feel like you need to focus on. Something that is constantly on your mind and wish you could fix?… go with that.

The other cool thing about this concept is that you can bring this into the workplace, your community, a continued gathering of friends or group. In the workplace you may choose a word of teamwork or leadership and that becomes your focus for the year. It’s just such a neat way to get everyone on the same page and work towards the same goals.

Not convinced? Well check out the book. It gives a MUCH clearer picture! Title of book and photo below! 😊

One Word that will change your life by: Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page (photo below)

It’s so crazy to see her handwriting when I know she’s gone and I am so sad I can’t talk to her about this. She would love this discussion I just know it.

Okay, Kellie, what’s yours?

I rumbled with what my words for 2019 should be for a little while, and wanted to officially decide in February. A routine I’ll continue as the years come.

I kept my mind open and eyes peeled, listening to the universe and diving deep into my thoughts and desires. Messages came during tough moments and in times of flow. I recognized in those moments that I needed to really pay attention and listen. I chose two words this year. Check them out below. 👇👇👇

Words of the year for 2019

While I felt this energy and push towards these words and everything that stands behind it, once I officially decided on them, like I shared above, everything shifted. I was more in tune with everything around me and how it was impacting me. I began to see the word brave everywhere. Even in places I found myself being anxious. I felt anxious on a tram headed to see my hubs so I distracted myself with my phone. As I scrolled through my notes (journaling or just moments of word vomit) I came across my own words during a time of frustration to which i wrote: “I want to be brave during times of discomfort. To travel more and not let fear hold me back. Kellie, be fucking brave.” It was this whisper telling me, everything is okay.

Its crazy how once you’ve identified something and you really want it, your world shifts to make it happen. Simple reminders show up just when you need them. Things happen around you reminding you that you are on the right path. Have you experienced this too?!

So with brave and impact:

In what situations or encounters can I BE brave or step outside my comfort zone? Maybe push past my set of belief of boundaries? We truly are capable of more than we think. How can I begin to live my life BRAVE(ly) and not lead with fear?

In a way, what I shared above with Becky helping me feel freed, was brave. Something I had kept to myself and never shared because of so much quilt and shame surrounding it. I remember being so scared. Another person was in the room during my disclosure and both provided comfort and care. I felt so vulnerable and exposed yet they still looked at me like I was a person. I remember being in this fragile state. But, my outlook was not the true story. She helped me see the real image. The truth.

I felt free once I knew the truth.

I chose the word impact because it kept coming to me over and over. How I would write material in hopes to share with others one day. To impact others. I’ve also began to notice how others can impact me. Things I am doing that are impacting me for the better. To list a few things I can see happening this year:

  • Travel alone
  • Learn German
  • Attend workshops
  • Get involved in groups
  • Publish more of my writings
  • Take bigger steps towards goals

That all said, I know a true journey is happening with this years focus of brave and impact. I can feel it and it’s already started.

How do I choose a word of the year?

My opinion: START WHERE YOU ARE! I think too often we want to reach for the stars and go for that goal you’ve always wanted but it’s soooo far out of your reach and you’ve not even started and have no idea where to start and you just don’t even know what to do, sigh* I’m out of breath! It’s okay we’ve all been there. Start where you are. What is happening right now in your life that you want to do differently? For the past several years you’ve done the same thing and you know you could do better. What is that?

Reflecting on your past year what challenges did you experience? Are their things you wish you would have done differently? Maybe responded to someone differently? Mistake you made? What lessons did you learn? Something you did and you want to do more of because it ignited your fire?

In the past several months has there been something you’ve wanted to focus on? Change? Look into? Learn? This could help you identify your word!

Ugh, I don’t know….

Can’t decide right now?! That’s okay! Here are a few things you can do right now to begin preparing for this life change.

Listen & Pay Attention. In the next few weeks, month even, listen to what your intuition is tell you. Do you feel like you get these little messages from the universe? Or someone says something and your like, YES! I want that and know I can do it! Tune into those moments. Maybe a family member or friends says, “you should work on that.” or you get fired up each time the same thing happens at work. Maybe you want to change your lifestyle. Get outside your comfort zone? Travel more? Be more involved in your families life then work? Make it a priority. If it’s important to you and you want to change or focus on that, do it. You wont regret it and you’ll be better for it.

I hope you focus on something you want to do this year. So next year you don’t say, “Where did all the time go? I didn’t get to…” Make it happen this year! Share with me your journey! I’ll be sharing some of mine on my blog and instagram: @kellieb.fit Join me!

P.S. what is your word for the year? You may have decided on one back in January, how is it going so far? What have you learned? Let’s chat!

-Kellie Mae ❤

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