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Persistence: My 2018 Word of the Year

2017 tried to kill me. I mean, it really did. Job loss, a blood clot, pulmonary emboli, finding an amazing new job, nearly losing that job, co-pays, stress, anxiety, depression. At some point, the motto for 2017 became “just survive somehow.”

persistence word of the year

Toward the end of the year, however, things started looking bright. Super bright. Some amazing opportunities presented themselves which will allow me to grow and stretch and thrive this year, and I eagerly said yes, knowing that it’s time to carpe the eff out of the diem while I can.

I’ve been selecting a word of the year for about five years now, and this year’s word–persistence–is one that sort of whispered itself to me. It wasn’t some big, loud word screaming in my face the way past years’ words have. I didn’t start seeing it everywhere or hear it spoken.

For a while, the word “hustle” just bounced around in my brain. It was loud. It was brash. I thought it was going to be the winner for the year.

But then I started to think about what “hustle” meant to me in the context of how my year was shaping up and how that word made me feel.

It meant moving fast. Acting quickly. Every time I heard the word, I felt my heart beat a little faster, panic creeping in and anxiety ratcheting up. All I could see was an avenue for mistakes to be made because I was trying to do too much. It wasn’t deliberate. It felt like the opposite of deliberate.

True to its nature, persistence just sat there, steady, waiting to be chosen.

Persistence is the act of showing up every day. It’s simply DOING what has to be done, repeatedly and without fail, even when you really, really want to quit.

It’s that nagging feeling that yes, you really do have to brush your teeth or floss or change your underwear or stand up for what you know to be right because it is just what you do. But it’s more than that, too.

Persistence is standing firm so that goals can be met, and man, do I have some big goals for the year.

Now that I’ve nailed washing my face almost every single day, it’s time to start tackling other grown-up things like paying off our debt and finally losing the baby weight or whatever else comes up during the year that gets added to our goals list.

(It’s still baby weight because Emma is still my baby, OKAY?)

I want to spend time asking myself “does this decision help us accomplish what we want to do this year?” and if the thing I’m thinking of doing doesn’t help us get there, I want to get better about saying no.

I don’t have to attend every party to which I’m invited. I can be deliberate in where and how I spend my energy so that I’m saving what I need for my family and friends and myself.

Ultimately, I know that none of the things I want to do this year will get done without persistence and accountability, and I feel like it’s time to be persistent and accountable. It’s time to be a real grown-up and not just play one for my kids.

So, here’s to persistence in 2018.

Do you choose a word of the year? If so, how? And what’s your word?

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