At the end of the year, I love to take time to reflect on my word of the year, which for 2020 was Courage. Who knew how appropriate this word would be given the challenges 2020 has brought. And that I had to dig as deep as I have this year in every aspect of my life, not just my writing.
Finding Courage to stay upbeat. Strength & Courage to keep working when headlines were distracting. Courage to live life completely differently. And Courage to figure out new ways of doing things. Courage to be strong and encouraging for others. And Courage to search for and celebrate the little things, daily.
When I selected this word, I had thought of my writing. To push myself past my comfort zone so I could finish my book. And the courage to say no to things that would interfere with that.
Here’s the prayer I wrote on January 2, 2020:
Lord, help me to have the courage in 2020 to move out of my static comfort zones so I may create with you and have an impact for you with my work and my words. Lead me, guide me, and nudge me to follow you. Comfort me in the uncomfortableness.Prayer by Denise M. Colby
And for the most part, I did. But there were many other things I did this year, and it’s important to write them down so I may see all the ways I showed courage both in my writing and my life. By keeping track, it also shows I was purposeful (my word in 2019) in utilizing my word to help motivate and encourage myself throughout the year.
Reflection for 2020 Word of the Year, Courage
- Shared my book and writing goals with my husband on many of the nightly walks we took. He challenged me back in to stay focused.
- Set an editing goal and stuck to it for most of the year.
- Shared my entire manuscript with a writing friend and read through the feedback and made edits.
- Grew in my writing and editing through practice and consistency.
- Created new blog posts for A Slice of Orange and my own website, including the topic of courage to be thankful and journaling through tough times.
- Entered another contest to gain feedback for my new opening.
- Started a newsletter for Marketing for Authors and kept it up every month.
- Taught several classes on brand or SEO to other authors via email and virtual conferences.
- Pushed past my comfort zone with Instagram in learning how to create better content and post things I’ve had foundering around on my heart for a while. Moments of Encouragement
There were many ways I found courage personally as well.
- Courage to read my Bible every morning before I climbed out of bed.
- Finding creative ways to encourage my family and keep us sane and healthy, while still disciplining as necessary.
- Courage to focus on my marriage and my family.
- Taking the lead to set up zoom calls with extended family.
- Reaching out to others (via technology), when it would’ve been easy to stay in my own space.
- Courage to reach out and ask for help.
- Participating in tough conversations.
- Making phone calls that I’ve been putting off.
- Courage to do what God asks of me.
- Sharing my heart and beliefs.
- And so on.
Something I wrote in my early notes: Courage is a choice we make many times in one day. 1000’s of choices daily where we live in courage or comfort.
As the year unfolded, I found courage to be a good word to focus on. I have really enjoyed this word. The quotes I’ve found. The Bible Verses to encourage me. Even the definition of the word.
Sometimes the daily reminder just writing my word, “courage”, kept me on track
It reminded me to be strong and have courage during days that were hard. It enabled me to share my courage with others. And I found that I really liked what the word courage meant and represented.
I’m always sad to say goodbye to my word and feel like I want to spend more time with it. Find more quotes, post more about it, etc…
Just like every year, I will be sad to say goodbye to #my2020word, courage, but I have found, just like other words, that it will always be a part of me and something I will refer back to at times. In fact, I created a page of courage highlights from all I collected this year on the word, courage. It was fun to put everything into one place.
I’m now researching next years word and figuring out how it fits in stretching and teaching me in 2021. I can’t wait to share it with you!