This year I’ll turn 47, and I’ve learned 1 or 2 things about growth mindset. That doesn’t mean I’m always on top of the world and teeming with joyful motivation, and this list reflects that. I hope you find some encouragement in this little two minute read (I know I did!):
Top Five Tips for Your Best Year Ever
1. Be loud about the things that are important to you. You can start doing this when you visualize your highest self, and then show up as that person. Your voice counts, so use it in 2020.
2. When “I” is replaced by “We” even illness becomes wellness. I’ve lived long enough to know that going solo, at anything, is hard. Solo entrepreneurship, solo parenting, solo living – I’ve done all of that at one point in my life. I’d rather take on these giant tasks with someone. So take a team approach. I’m not saying you have to get married or find a partner, but human beings are created for partnership. Find your team, your tribe, and if you can’t find one, build it. We are all in this together, and when we help one another carry the load, the burden lifts.
3. You will never always be motivated so you must learn to be disciplined. Enough said. The rest of the tips are here to help you find the discipline you need to claim your power.
4. Make a list of the things that give your life fullness and meaning. Make a list of the things you do every day. Compare the lists. Adjust accordingly. Whatever your New Year’s resolution is, doing this little task will help you stick to it. Align your actions with your values this year, and you’ll be much more successful at reaching your goals.
Choose a Word of the Year. The Word of the Year (WOTY) became a thing for me in 2016. It may seem like a small, trite thing; but for me, it has changed the trajectory of my life. And this is how – My WOTY doesn’t just direct my path, it gives me strength when I’m in a low spot because it reminds me of this: When I chose the word – I was feeling strong, motivated, and disciplined. And I still can be. My WOTY in 2020 is Listen. Read on to learn why…
You can stop reading here, unless you want to share in my journey a bit and learn how I have overcome big obstacles in order to remain true to my core values – which are to eat healthy, stay fit, get enough sleep, volunteer in the community, and value my family, my time, my work, all while doing my best to honor my spiritual beliefs of inclusion, tolerance, patience and love.
2016 – Courageous
In 2016 my WOTY was Courageous. I am a survivor and thriver. I know this because I can (finally) say out loud that I have overcome both poverty and sexual assault. I have had the strength to leave an abusive partner. I have given birth three times with no pain meds, by my choice. I have worked full-time since my children were born. I have run for public office. I’ve published a book. I worked hard to start a niche small business in a male dominated field. I’ve maintained a physical therapy private practice for 20 years. But I haven’t always felt courageous.
So, in 2016 I chose the word to remind myself of how far I had come; and that God didn’t create me or give me a voice and tenacity just so I could sit by and be silent. In 2016 I spoke up, and it was HARD. People didn’t like the new me. But having this little word in my back pocket made all the difference (I printed and laminated the card and put it on my fridge, in my nightstand, in whatever book I was reading, etc.) When I got pushback from standing my ground, this little word was my secret confidence builder. It had my back. When the going got tough, I’d whisper that word to myself in a prayer. And I kept pushing forward.
2017 – Bold
Once you find the strength to be courageous, you must be bold to keep going. 2017 just about killed me, literally. My body crashed, even though I was doing everything possible to stay healthy and take care of myself. I would later learn, through genetic testing, that I had been dangerously pushing through when I felt weak or fatigued (and thought I was just being low energy or lazy), because I had some troublemaking genes that were causing serious vitamin deficiencies. The most shocking news was that even though I ate a super-healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free existence (I’m extremely sensitive to both), plant-based diet full of antioxidants, I wasn’t absorbing nearly enough of their goodness. I also became severely anemic, suddenly and rapidly, and I worked diligently with my functional medicine doctor to find out where the fire was (and not just the smoke) and resolve it. That would take me 2 years. I also had strange neurological symptoms. I stopped short of seeking a final test for a neurodegenerative diagnosis, because I knew that ultimately I would live my life to the fullest and continue my daily regimen of a plant-based diet, healthy fish, moderate exercise, meditation, and medical therapeutic yoga – whether or not a diagnosis forced me to. I was doing all I could to help myself, so I made peace with my health status and my new required regimen of vitamins, and I moved forward.
2018 – Rise
After overcoming serious health issues in 2017, I filed to run for State Senate in NC in February. I needed some serious inspiration, and Maya Angelou’s poetry brought it. So I chose the word Rise. All year long I had to invoke this WOTY. I maintained my fulltime job, caring for my 3 sons and family, my travel schedule, and ran a campaign whose district spanned a 1500 square mile area. I burned up the miles in my little Prius, and I never felt more alive or plugged in to my mission to do all the good I can. I knew I was on target.
2019 – This year, I will Listen.
This year’s WOTY is going to be different. The last 3 years I needed to cultivate personal strength, confidence, and courage to pushback against things that did not align with my core values and beliefs, and to embrace and act upon those things that did. Now that I have a firm foundation for speaking truth to power and not backing down, I will learn to sit with doing less, and listen. I want to learn about my new hometown, Greensboro, NC, and its needs. I want to learn about the dreams of my family, and of my own heart. What will my next steps be? They were carved out for me in the last 3 years, but the next 3 years are wide open with possibility. And I am over-the-moon excited. I plan to listen carefully in 2020 to the Universe, to my Maker, to everyone that I love and care for, so I can continue to do all the good I can for as long as I can.
I hope you choose a Word of the Year that inspires, uplifts, and motivates you. And I hope my story has helped in some small way, to help you believe that YOU CAN.
About the Author
New Year, New Bio!
Ginger is a passionate, unapologetic mom of 3 boys & a 20+ year veteran in women’s health physical therapy, medical therapeutic yoga, lifestyle medicine, & athletic training. She is the author of Medical Therapeutic Yoga, founder of ProYogaTherapy Institute and just uprooted to Greensboro, NC with her family after 21 years of beach living, where they are wildly joyous about their new hometown.