Happy New Year!

Grace - a theme for the new year

Setting a Theme for 2021

How excited were you to celebrate the end to 2020? I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to see one year end and turn my hopes forward for a happy and healthy new year. And who can blame us? What a year 2020 was!

Like most everyone, Mark and I experienced some good times as well as some very low points this year. There were so many changes, so many struggles and losses. But, there was also a lot of joy, unexpected positives and silver linings to the year. I think we have all learned a lot about ourselves and each other this year along with new ways of doing things!

Starting a new year, I always think about what I want to accomplish and set some goals for myself. For the past few years, I’ve also come up with a “theme” word (or two) for the year. It’s a word that when faced with a difficult situation I can take a breath and think about its meaning. It gives me an opportunity to ground myself and hopefully deal with the situation better. It’s also a word that describes a characteristic I want to work on improving.

Last year’s theme word was “Patience”.  I had no idea at the start of the year how appropriate that word would be! Was I always successful at exhibiting patience this past year? Of course not, but being able to take a breath, slow down and think about it, I was usually able to figure out how to practice it and it always seemed to help. That is…when I remembered!

This year, one of my words is “GRACE”.  Why?  In addition to its multiple meanings, each letter in the word embodies something I think will be important for me this year. I know that I have a year that will be full of changes and challenges, not the least is going to be as I open my own consulting business to leave my full-time employment. (More to come on that!)

So what do I think about when I hear the word “GRACE”? When I think about someone who has “grace” I see someone who is thoughtful in their responses to others, who takes time to really listen and then responds, and someone who is a calming force.

You’ve probably heard the term, “grace under fire”. GRACE certainly doesn’t mean that they are a pushover. Some of the strongest people I know are graceful! It just means I want to take more time, respond calmly and thoughtfully, especially in stressful situations.

I also went through each of the letters in the word and think there is a lot of additional meaning behind each. What is this called? If you know, tell me in the comments below – I know there is a word for this!

G- Grateful – or gratitude would work. But I think people who exhibit “GRACE” practice gratitude regularly and that is something to work on.

R – Respect – I think it’s obvious, but when someone with grace has a lot of respect for others and takes the time to listen and responds calmly.

A – Action – They are action-oriented. Rather than sitting back and letting things happen around them, they are involved and get things done. They are just very thoughtful about their approach.

C – Care – They care about other people and are kind. They want their words to have an impact but are careful in how they approach situations.

E – Energy – Having “GRACE” does not mean someone is a pushover or lacks energy – just the opposite in my mind. They have a lot of energy and pull that into their thoughts, words, and actions. People with “Grace” don’t sit back on their laurels. They get things done!

So, working on having more “GRACE” is my theme for this year. How do you start your new year? Are you a resolution person, someone who sets goals or do you choose a theme for your year? Tell me what works best for you!

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