One Word 2016: Laugh

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* Photo by Miranda North Photography

Every year since 2012 I’ve picked a word for myself. Something that I hope will be a strong reminder of who I want to be or want to remember when life throws it’s craziness my way. I don’t take these words lightly and they often breath life into me as I reflect on the year that has passed. Was I able to achieve all I had hoped to achieve? Was I able to really take that word to heart and allow it to walk with me? Last year my word was STRETCH. Not only did I give myself that word, but I made some stretch goals for myself. Here’s how I did…

15 Goals for 2015

1. Learn to cook something exotic – well, if béarnaise sauce counts then I nailed this one!
Take a stranger out to lunch and pay – YES! This actual led to the launch of Belong Magazine. Love helping other people’s dreams come to life.
2. Write more blog posts on business tips and strategies
3. Speak at a conference about Finding and Maintaining balance – YES! Thanks Go Blog Social!
4. Continue to grow our business – 2015 was an incredible year
5. Cook through the cookbooks my Nana + Grandma have written – oopps
6. Be more romantic – take the lead and plan some fun date nights – YES! and lot’s more sex!
7. Write letters (yes with pen and paper) – yes, but i want to do this more
8. Put down my phone more – Yes! to the point where my phone had photo withdrawals haha
9. Let go of my insecurities and be proud of my successes – YES! always a work in progress
10. Work out 3 or more times a week – YES!
11. Take a trip someplace new – I stood on 3 states at one time, does that count?
12. Read more books – YES! – read soooo many books
13. Kiss my husband and kids more – YES! YES! YES!
14. Check in with people I love by phone not just text messages – YES! I felt I created so many more intentional relationships

This year my word means so much more to me. See, I tend to be a major type-a planner and I like my ducks in a row, sort to speak. In fact, I’m going to share a secret with you, my day can be completely thrown when I have it all planned out and something happens that makes it hard for me to complete my “to do” list for the day. I know, I’m sure none of you have this problem at all.

I’m realizing how quickly our joy is stolen by allowing things that happen in our day to determine the course of actions. It has this domino effect that quickly escalates from stealing our joy to rearing it’s ugly head and stealing it from others around us as well. Countless times I’m guilty of allowing this to come between my relationship with my husband and children.

Taylor Swift knew what she was talking about when she sang, “Shake it off.”
What if we all were to really just let it go, shake it off
Better yet…
LAUGH it off.
Sometimes things are out of our control and we just need to chill out.
I’m sure I could’ve easily picked FLEXIBLE as my word for this year,
but what would be the fun in that?

So this year, I’m going to Laugh more.
Find the Joy in every situation
Not take myself so seriously.

I’m going to live my life this year in Laughter
and maybe, just maybe
it’ll stick
and continue to guide me in the years to come.

Here’s a look back at years past and words that have come to mean so much to me.

2015: Stretch

I want to challenge myself this year to spread my wings and allow God to use the gifts and talents He’s given me. I want to be a better leader in my business, a better wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, chef, more health conscious, better problem solver. I want to be stretched to learn new things, do things I wouldn’t do, even if I’m not good at it, take more risks, listen more, find ways to be the best version of myself I can be.

Will I be perfect? Gosh I hope not! But I hope that I give myself the opportunity for success within each new thing I try. I’m learning a positive outlook can go a long way. Often times I enjoy being in my “box.” Doing things in my everyday routine and I don’t like that routine to get ruffled. But part of being stretched is being willing to approach each new day and each new thing as it comes. And instead of allowing myself to get frustrated, accept life as it comes.

2014: Roar

So as I go back and take another look at these words we’ve picked for 2014, I truly believe that they weren’t picked out of a need to break through some insecurities, although that could be the case and that’s ok too, but we picked them because we’re picking up where we left off in 2013.

We realized that we could do more
accomplish more
love more
laugh more
sing at the top of our lungs more
eat better
workout more
give more
share more

and we want that to happen again in 2014.
We’re not going to take a back seat.
I’m not going to take a back seat.

2013: Purposeful

I want everything I do or say to have purpose.

Whether it is to teach, learn, travel, do, work, blog…. I want it to all be with purpose.

I want to be more purposeful in my friendships. To not all allow being busy to be an excuse.

I want to be more purposeful with my children. To anticipate their needs and meet them.

I want to be more purposeful with my husband. To find things that are completely non-work related to do and talk about.

Most of all I want to be more purposeful with my relationship with my Abba Father. To spend time and meditate on His word and hide it in my heart.

2012: Simplify

I’m working on de-cluttering my heart and my life.

It’s funny I was watching a preview for the show Hoarders.

And all I could think about was how our lives and our hearts get so full of meaningless junk like that.

It make not be materialistic things that grow into piles around our rooms, but there are plenty of other life struggles and distractions that can being to hoard our lives.

And I’m sure if I’m not careful to allow Him to clean me up,

I could end up getting drawn back into a lot of those “distractions” of 2011 that I’m clearing out to make room for 2012.
What word did you pick this year? Will you share it with me in the comments? I’d love to hear from you.

xo, Alissa