Last year, around this time, I wrote to you about choosing a word of the year, a focus for personal growth instead of the typical New Year’s Resolution type stuff. I choose the word Authenticity and I found it harder than I expected. It turns out that tuning out all the bullshit is, well, hard.


2015’s focus on curiosity came about because of my natural (or learned) tendency to become easily annoyed at… everything. I decided that if I could be curious about things instead of angry, I might come to a place where I was more understanding of other people and I would save myself the cost of that constant niggling frustration.

This lesson has stayed with my through the years. I still am frustrated often, but I can easily remind myself to get curious. It’s worth it if you haven’t chosen a word for this year yet 😉


2016’s word of focus was gifted to me by my niece, Julia. We were together for NYE and I had just been dumped by my guru. I was in a state, to say the least. We were chatting on what we could each focus on for 2016, outside in the cold with some mulled wine by a bonfire. She looked at me and said “Opportunity – that’s your word for this year”. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had just been basically eliminated from the plans I had created for the next 5 – 10 years of my life so the idea of focusing on what else might pop up opened up a whole new world for me.

It lead me to trips with friends, books I loved and eventually into 2017, where I focused on personal growth.


I learned a ton in 2017. That’s saying a lot for a self proclaimed lifelong student. I love reading and learning but this year pushed my boundaries. It also pushed the boundaries of what I thought was possible and the boundaries of my relationship. When someone grows by leaps and bounds, a new sense of balance must be found within a relationship and we see-sawed a minute before we found it. The year of growth led me to B-School, Marie Forleo’s business school online. It was one of those instances where I fell in love and felt totally overwhelmed at the same time. I had no idea how many things I didn’t know. I had no idea how capable I’d turn out to be.

I built a blog, a website and an online course – in 7 months. (If you have or want an online business, just do B-School. You need it. You don’t know it yet, but you need it… I’m not an associate, I don’t get money for recommending it but I do it anyway because it’s that good.)


If I had to give myself a grade for the year, I’d give myself a 65. Authenticity was much harder than I thought. There are so many clouds that obscure self awareness and I didn’t find that I was able to clear them all.

When I took a minute to think about it before writing this post, I realized that there’s a connection between authenticity and pride. I am proud of the work that I do and the work that I produce but I don’t feel like my life mirrors it enough to be authentic.

I had a lot of great feedback about blogs, exercises, and sessions that I did this year and when I reflect upon it, I realize that I need these exercises as much as anyone else and I’m not using them as frequently as I should. Using them frequently would, in my own eyes, increase my authenticity. It’s like I need to go through my own programs, do the exercises I created again and this time allow myself to go deeper.

The missing piece, in my mind is the movement of all the information I’ve gathered over the years from my brain to my body. I need it to transform from intelligence to wisdom. This is super easy for me when it comes to you. It’s harder when it comes to me.

I’m still glad I chose this as a focus word because it brought to light a lot of things that I’d like to clarify in my own life. A lot of mini actions during my day that I’d like to be prouder of – my basic diet (which resembles a roller coaster ride more than anything else…), my sleep and exercise patterns, whether or not I fold and put away the laundry or make my bed – all these small things that tidy up our lives that often go ignored by me, I’d like to feel like I was the type of person to do those things. I’d like to go to bed every day feeling clean, clear, and proud of myself and my surroundings.

Over the course of the next week, I’ll clarify my word for 2019. Here are the questions I use to help myself figure out where I should be focusing… let’s do this one together and announce our words of the year next Monday, the 17th of December. It’ll give us some time to get used to them before the year starts!

What were my favorite books that I read in the last year?
Is there a theme that has been popping up in my life naturally lately?
What focus can help me (and my business) grow in a way that is enjoyable for me?
Who do I admire most right now? What do they have that I want to emulate?

Happy Answering! I’m in this one with you – authenticity is still important and it’s a lesson that I’ll keep working on in 2019!



wiseher Cait Donovan on DaoCloud