In the past few years, it’s become trendy to choose a word of the year. Maybe it’s always been a thing and I just became aware of it in the last 5 years or so, but–especially in the world of blogging–come January, you can expect to see people declaring their word of the year.
I wasn’t sure I was going to choose one for 2020. Not because I don’t have goals and things I am working towards, but because no word really felt right.
Those of you who saw my Instagram and Facebook post last Saturday might be expecting my word of the year to be MORE–and that is a great word–but I want to help encourage people to live their lives by the MORE rule, not just a single year.
P.S. I am totally planning to make tank tops or t-shirts for that movement. It needs to happen!
Last week a couple of things happened that made me decide that I would choose a word of the year and they led me to choose a word that I would never, ever have thought I would choose. I know. The suspense I’m building here is palpable! Ha ha!
Thing #1: Each Sunday on Instagram Stories, Rebecca (@luckysprout) offers free oracle card readings to her followers. She posts a question box and then she chooses a card for you and interprets it based on the question you asked. I met Rebecca this year at BlogJam and have started partaking in Oracle Sunday on weeks when I am around the Interwebs on a Sunday. Anyway, that particular Sunday I asked, “What is my greatest strength right now?” and the card I got sort of floored me. (Don’t worry. I will share what it was eventually.)
Thing #2: I had my podcast interview with Crystal booked for that afternoon. Initially, we were only going to talk about goal setting, but we really got on a roll and naturally transitioned from that (which you can listen to on last week’s post by clicking here) into her word of the year. Which led me to talk about how I hadn’t chosen a word, the card Rebecca had pulled for me that morning, and how I wondered if it might be the word for me.
What happened next was an amazing conversation. We talked about how a word I said sounded far too negative to be my word of the year and how I needed to change my mindset about it, is not a negative word, at all, in this context. Don’t take my word for it, hit play and listen for yourself!
The Word of the Year with Crystal Richard
For those of you who are unable to listen to a podcast right now (or prefer to read) I’m sharing the bare-bones version below. I do strongly encourage you to find time to listen to both this and last week’s episodes though, as I think they hold lots of great nuggets of useful info!
OK, let’s get to it! First of all, I’m going to share the card I got in my oracle reading–and Rebecca’s interpretation.
That morning (last Monday), prior to picking up my phone and seeing this message, I had been sitting there fighting with myself about taking a few hours off. Finally, I had said to myself, “No. Suzanne, you are going to be working all afternoon and this evening. Take the morning off.” Then I picked up my phone and saw this message.
I think people who have a “normal” job might not understand this, but it can be hard to take time off during the day, even when you know you are working that evening. There is still this internal expectation (at least with me) that I *should* be working from 9-5 because those are working hours. Never mind the fact that I also teach fitness classes 4 (sometimes 5) evenings a week, Saturday mornings every other month, and also do nutrition reviews on Saturdays.
Back in the day when all I did was teach fitness classes, it was easy to take time off during the day because if I wasn’t teaching or preparing for a fitness class, I didn’t really have anything else I needed to do. That is no longer the case. Between the blog and podcast, my online programs, working for Eat to Perform, and being a part-owner of ECM Media, there are always lots of things to do. Lots of reasons NOT to take time off.
Truly, that is all the more reason for me to take time off. It’s all the more reason for me to be more choosy about the things to which I say yes.
In talking to Crystal, we really were able to talk this out. How “no” is truly an empowering and positive thing because it means you are making room for what’s most important in your life.
Being able to say no is a privilege.
It’s a privilege that many people in the world do not have, and are fighting and dying to get. It’s a privilege that 2007/2008 Suzi definitely did not have as she was struggling to make this idea of being a self-employed fitness instructor as a full-time job viable.
That girl had to take every single class and job she was offered. This girl doesn’t.
This girl needs to be wildly protective of taking care of herself, protecting her time to ensure she has more than enough to spend with people she loves, doing things she loves while not working. Let’s be honest, I love what I do, which can really feed into the problem because it makes it easy to say yes to things!
When no means YES
Just because I’ve chosen NO as my word of the year, doesn’t mean I’m going to be turning down everything new that is offered to or asked of me. It means quite the opposite, actually. It means that when I say yes, you can be sure it is a 100000% hell-to-the-yeah, and not an automatic reply of yes that I will immediately regret.
In some ways, NO has been my word for the past few years. In recent years, anytime I’ve been asked to take up a new class I’ve automatically said no because I have been really trying to limit my classes. Having done that means that last year when I decided I wanted to try to offer short 4-week sessions of Saturday morning Zumba Toning every other month, I was really excited about it. Instead of signing my Saturdays away indefinitely, I know that I will be teaching for four, but then I’ll have the next four off which has created a really nice balance for me. That, in turn, has helped me build a really great class because participants also get to come for 4 weeks, then take a break, so it never gets old or boring.
In December I signed on to teach a 30-minute class on Fridays in Kentville after my Zumba Gold class. In previous years I would have never agreed because what was I going to do for an hour between classes? Now I just take my laptop and work on nutrition reviews in the between times and am still able to be home by 1:30 or so.
More recently, I have partnered with local winery Planters Ridge to teach a Friday evening yoga class once a month for the next few months (assuming anyone registers for it!). That sounded super fun to me and I was excited about the idea so I said YES! (The first class is a week from today, so if you are reading this prior to January 24, 2020, and are local, there is still time to join me! Get your tickets or learn more by clicking here.)
When no means NO
This past year, you’ve likely noticed I’ve taken a step back from doing sponsored work, especially on the blog. The sponsorships I have taken on have been more experience related (Nova Scotia Tattoo, The Ten Spot, reFresh Retreat in Cape Breton, Cirque du Soleil, etc.) and very few products (the only one I can think of off the top of my head is my Gucci sunglasses). Last year I decided that my efforts were better spent on creating programs that I can sell to help my wonderful readers (like you!) which lead me to create welluniversity.ca which means I’ve declined probably 95% of the offers and partnerships I’ve been sent.
So anytime you see me posting sponsored content, you should know it’s something that I would naturally want to tell you about–with or without being compensated. Going forward, you will continue to see very few sponsored posts from me, but when you do, rest assured that it’s something I am really excited about.
Saying “no” means that I get to choose my content, my offerings, and my commitments from a place of abundance, rather than a lack thereof. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not flushed with cash, but I also know that operating from a place of lacking only reinforces it, and operating from a place of abundance helps that abundance grow–and that is exactly what I want for us all.
So, in the same way I want us to be MORE not LESS, let’s also make saying NO a privilege that we exercise more readily.
Speaking to Crystal played a huge part in my ultimately choosing this as my word of the year so if you aren’t already following her, please do!
Want more word of the year posts?
If you’ve enjoyed reading about my word of the year, here are “Word of the Year” posts from some of the other ECM Media bloggers:
- East Coast Mermaid: My 2020 Word of the Year
- Farm Fresh Style: Word of the Year 2020
- Love Letter Lifestyle: Dear 2020, A Guiding Theme
- Eat, Drink & Be You: 2020’s Guiding Word(s) of The Year
- Settling for Great: How to Choose a Word of the Year in 5 Simple Steps
- Curtains are Open: My 2020 Guiding Word
- Little Sarah Birch: The Year of the “S” Words (guiding words for 2020)
Did you choose a word of the year? I’d love to hear what it is! I polled my audience on Facebook and Instagram and some of the awesome words you’ve chosen include:
- Choose Joy
All great choices and if you are still looking for your word, maybe they can inspire you!