The Anti Personal Word of the Year for 2019
November 24, 2018
Prepping for 2019 with an Anti Personal Word of the Year
As we wind down 2018 and head into the new year, you may hear people talking about their “personal word of the year.”
Or maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about, this sounds way too hippy dippy, and you’re thinking I’ve been reading too much about self-improvement lately.
To clear this one up and convince you of the value, a personal word of the year is a word you choose to guide your decisions throughout the year. It’s meant to be a mini mantra that keeps you moving when things get tough, or a gentle reminder about what is important. Like an inner wrist tattoo without the needles. Think words like “fearless,” “family,” “focus,” “fajitas,” “flour tortillas”… Nope, nope got off track there…
I’m taking a different approach to personal word of the year this year and instead I’m focusing on a word that I want to STOP saying in 2019. It’s my anti personal word of the year. The more I thought about it the more I realized this word is unnecessary, it holds me back in my career, it’s not good role modeling for my kids, and it’s inflating my word count.
The word? Just.
Just Following Up
Women have a tendency to over apologize. Taking ownership for your actions is completely virtuous, and “I’m sorry” are two very important words. However, these words can hold you back when they turn into an apology for existing. I’m sorry to bother you. I’m sorry that I’m sick. I’m sorry that I am taking up a regular human amount of space at this table.
“Just” is the same way. You aren’t “just” following up on an email that hasn’t been responded to. You’re following up. You don’t “just” want to discuss an issue for a minute. You want to discuss it. There’s no need to tip toe around what you want to say or do, or try to make it softer.
Same goes for taking credit for your work. If you put together a killer PowerPoint slide deck you didn’t “just do the slides.” If you are a stay at home mother you don’t “just stay at home.” Your side business is not “just a hobby” if you don’t want it to be. You don’t need the just qualifier. I don’t need the just qualifier.
Forget “just do it.” Do it. You’re doing it, I’m doing it. In 2019 let’s take credit for it, and stop apologizing for it.
Just A Second
How many times a day do we tell our kids “just a second,” or “just a minute”, or “just hang on”? For me – it’s a lot.
THEN I turn around and spin into a mom rage when my kids tell me that they are “just doing one more thing first” when I’ve asked them to put on their shoes 13 times. No! I said to do this thing, so do this thing! Don’t “just” do something else!
“Just” in this context feels dismissive of needs. What I’m doing is more important than what you want me to do, so meh, I’m just going to do that instead. Now I don’t think that I should drop everything I’m doing to be at my kids’ beck and call, and I don’t think that my kids need to be mindless yes men and women, but I do want to remove “just” out of our collective vocabulary so that we really acknowledge each other.
So I’ve started catching myself when I immediately go to “just” mode when a request comes my way. If I am in the middle of something, I’ll let the kids know that I will help them out as soon as I am finished. But not in “just a second.” I find that it gives what I am currently occupied with some credit for being meaningful, but also doesn’t feel like an arbitrary blow off. The hope is to use my anti personal word of the year in this context to lead by example for the kids. A monkey see money do situation.
This is going to be a work in progress, for sure, but I think it’s worth it.
Just Go For It
All this thinking about the word “just” is well and good, but I need to really put this anti personal word of the year into practice. So I’m putting it down in ink. Real life handwritten ink.
For 2019 I’m breaking free from the blue light of my computer for a smidgen in favor of a good old pen and paper planner that’s going to help me organize my life and stay on track. The word “just” is getting written in bold Sharpie on page 1 as a reminder that I don’t “just” do anything. As long as I can find the Sharpie… Oh no… I have two small children and I can’t find the Sharpie…
Be right back…
That’ll come off eventually right?
Here’s the planner I’m breaking out in 2019 courtesy of the good people at PurpleTrail. I’m a little in love with it and the message that speaks right to my career coaching heart. Do more of what makes you happy. Love. Love, LOVE. Plus there are all kinds of handy organizational tabs inside to track birthdays, events, goals, and reminders. If you’re a paper planner person, check them out! Let’s do this 2019!
Do you have a personal word of the year planned out? How about an anti personal word of the year? Let’s chat!
With big plans for 2019 and big thanks to Nike for letting me tear up their slogan,
Want more New Year’s Resolution ideas? Check out 1 Minute of Activity, 20 Minutes of Silence, and More Dessert!