Archive for January 11, 2018

What’s your word for 2018?

What’s your word for 2018?


I know, this is probably something you’ve seen floating around in social media the past couple of weeks.


And maybe you think this whole thing is pretty cheesy.  Or maybe it’s a practice you swear by annually.  Or maybe it looks interesting, but you’ve never done it before.



Here’s the deal:  this practice can be powerful, or it can be superficial and trite; it all depends on what you invest in it—like everything in life, right?



If you just ‘pick a word’ and write it on a post-it somewhere, or paste it on fb, then never revisit the meaning, intent or purpose of that word, it won’t be much use to you, just something cute to do.



BUT, if you take your time, choose a word with meaning, substance, and gut-level impact; it can make all the difference.


The purpose of the ‘choose your word’ exercise is to focus your goals, your dreams, your deepest desires into a powerful word or phrase which empowers you to visualize, and feel at the visceral, gut level that which you want most for and from yourself throughout this year.


Your word (or words, or phrase, or mantra or motto) acts as both a spotlight and an anchor.


It can guide you towards, and keep you focused on the choices and actions that are in line with your deepest desires and most important goals.



Your word can hold you fast to those deepest desires and most important goals when life throws curve balls at you, or you get discouraged, or distracted by some shiny new object along the way.



Your word can be a cutesy meme buried on your fb wall in January, or it can be a hot, glowing ember that fuels your fire and sparks action again and again.


It simply depends on what it means to you and whether you ‘buy in’ to the practice.



The first year I chose a word for my year was 2016, when I was entering my second year of Jill Coleman’s Best of You coaching program.  It was a year that followed two years of deep personal and professional struggle that challenged my beliefs, choices, and confidence.



For 2016, I chose the word ‘FEARLESS,’ because it had two meanings for me:  I wanted to go out into the world and do the things I was passionate about doing, to shed more self-doubt, to ignore any naysayers or critics, and to do this I needed to be fearless.  I’d become a chronic worrier, seeing ALL the ways in which something can go wrong, being too sensitive to the thoughts, feelings and opinions of others, so I honestly needed to fear LESS—fear less often, fear fewer things, take more action instead.



‘Fearless’ was a grounding force for me—it was a word, feeling and concept that I revisited again and again and again when the urge to shrink and hide, personally and professionally, struck.



The end result was that I jump-started my career again, teaching a functional fitness class I loved, working with the most amazing in-person clients, and creating the strongest, most athletic body and determined mind I’d ever had.   By the end of 2016, I made fearless choices, took action, and learned to fear less and do more.




What’s more important is that this change in me had a ripple effect on those around me, too.  I spread ‘fearless’ without even realizing it at the time.



For 2017, I chose the word BLOOM in anticipation of the rock-my-world life changes I anticipated happening throughout the year.  We were scheduled to move somewhere in the US mid-year (after living in Germany for 8 years), and I was determined to ‘bloom where I was planted,’ as the saying goes.



In June, we relocated to Fort Riley, KS, and the move DID rock my world.  And I bloomed anyway.  It was hard, it was at times painful, but I grew where I was planted, earning my CrossFit Level 1 Trainer cert, and starting to work as a coach at Get Mean CrossFit in Manhattan, KS.

crossfitcertOh yeah, I managed to get my kids started in sports and off to a positive beginning in school at the same time…and we adopted a puppy somewhere in that transition, too.




So when I started to consider my word for 2018 way back in the last week of 2017 (it’s so funny that that was just last week), I reflected on where the journey has taken me the past two years in particular (which were really good years, btw), what I can take from the experiences of those two years, and where I want to be headed in 2018.



Before I could choose a word, I needed to get a solid handle on what it is I want to accomplish most, what behaviors, goals and objectives are THE most meaningful for me right now—you know, that whole WHY thing 😉  So I ruminated and reflected for a few days.



My word for 2018 is BUILD.



I want to build on the foundation I’ve laid for myself the past two years. 


I want to build a stronger body, a better business, to become the best coach and trainer I can be. 


I want to build stronger and deeper connections with the people in my life who mean the most. 


I want to guide, encourage and inspire others to build the best life they can for themselves. 



I haven’t fleshed out the specific objectives for all this building I’ll be doing yet; that’s what this coming week is for!


What I do know is that all of my choices will be based on building, that I have both a spotlight and an anchor for my actions and my journey.



So if you’re wanting more focus for your choices, to make more conscious and purposeful decisions this year that make achieving your most meaningful goals possible, you may just want to spend a little time this today, tomorrow or this weekend reflecting on those goals and your deepest desires. 


  • What do you REALLY want to do this year? 
  • What changes are MOST important for you to make?
  • What’s something you’ve dreamed about doing, or becoming, but maybe were too scared to try?


  • When you look back on 2018, what do you want to be able to say about this year? 


  • What do you want to be most proud of? 
  • How do you want to feel about yourself?



If you’ve struggled with follow-through on goals in the past, taking time to choose your word for 2018 might just be the thing you need to do most right now.



Find that word so you can find your spotlight, find your anchor, and find your way to the most purpose-driven, meaningful and satisfying year you’ve had yet.



Building with you in 2018,



AND I would LOVE to hear about your word and the story behind it—don’t hold back!


PS–while you’re busy reflecting and ruminating on your word for the year, try out this ‘building’ workout 🙂


In 15 minutes see how many round you can complete of this +1 chain:


1 Turkish Get Up each side, followed by 25 HEAVY kettlebell swings.  Each round, add one more TGU per side, but keep the swing reps the same throughout the workout.  Stay very focused when doing your TGUs as the reps start to add up!  Here’s a TGU demo, in case you need one:



Trainer Tips:

Chances are, if you’re like me, your heavy swing weight is bigger than your TGU weight, so it’s probably best to use 2 different kettlebells.  I used a 12kg for the TGUs and a 24kg for the swings.



BUT if you only have one (lighter) weight available, you can just double the number of kettlebell swings to get the same level of training effect 🙂



OR if you only have one heavier bell, you can use a ball, shoe, dumbbell or any other object for your TGUs.



Get creative and stay focused on building that stronger mind and body!







Your 4-step system for making 2018 epic


If you’re anything like me, you’re probably excited about the prospect of a new year, full of new opportunities to make big things happen.  




And, if you’re anything like me, you might also be feeling a little bit nervous or intimidated by the thought, ‘Now HOW am I going to make this happen??”




2017 was a growth year.  Awesome at times, so brutally painful at others.  I’m always grateful for growth, but rarely do I actually enjoy the pain so often involved in the process.



first muscle up



But, over the past few years, I’ve learned to ’embrace the suck’ and press on–whether it’s in a workout, through a transatlantic move, during recovery from an injury, rocky times in relationships, and especially when nagging self-doubt shakes my convictions and leaves me wanting to turn away from my goals instead of pursuing them.




2017 forced me to embrace the suck in ALL those areas, from start to finish.  As a result, I am a better person, coach/trainer, athlete, and human than I was on this day one year ago.




So as I set forth my new goals and objectives, both personally and professionally, and that nagging, fear-fueled question pops up–Now HOW am I going to make this happen???–I have an answer.




And a plan.



Born out of need and challenge and growing pains, here’s my 4-step system for making this next year epic.  



  1.  Reflect on your 2017 wins, then celebrate them.



When we look at how far we’ve come in the past year, how many new skills, abilities, strengths, and pieces of knowledge we’ve acquired or developed, it’s pretty impressive AND inspiring.  It makes us more conscious of what we are really capable of.



  1.  Find your WHY.


Or, if you already feel you know your WHY, revisit it.  Make it stronger.  Define it even more.  Know how your WHY impacts your life for the better, then make it your anchor.



  1. Let yourself dream.



What is it you want for yourself in 2018?  What gets you fired up when you think about doing it?  What goal(s) would be so amazing to accomplish this year?



  1.  Make THIS your 2018 Resolution:  Resolve to have Resolve.



Resolve to just keep showing up and doing the hard work in the gym or in the kitchen, even when the going gets tough and messy.  Resolve that you will have the resolve to press on even when it’s super hard to stick to your plan, and abandoning your objective seems necessary or logical in the face of resistance.




Resolve to keep your word to yourself.  Like Marie Forleo says, “To be responsible, keep your promises to others.  To be successful, keep your promises to yourself.”




And when quitting gets tempting, which it so often does in the ‘messy middle’ of change and progress, revisit your WHY.




Call on that big WHY that is your anchor to hold you on course.



Dream again about how it will feel when you continue to see your plan through, when you can see and/or feel your progress showing itself, how it will feel to reach that goal.  See it, feel it, live it.




We all start with grand aims, good intentions, and a whole bunch of ‘motivation’ at the beginning of a new year, or a new project, or any of many new starts.  It’s exciting, and fresh, and new and we are sure that our ‘future selves’ will be able to overcome the challenges that plagued our past selves.  That it’ll be different this time.




Then only way it will be different is if we are different–if we make our resolve (aka: our GRIT) greater, ‘stickier’ than our fears or human failings.



Again and again, I find that’s where the magic lies, where the big changes happen–on the inside and the outside.





When we know our why, grow our grit, dream big and live with conviction and passion and persistence, and choose to press on instead of give in or turn away from the path we’ve chosen, that’s when we grow.




That’s when we win.  And that’s how we KEEP winning, all day, all week, all month, and all year long.




To recap, your new system for greater and epic success in 2018 is this:



  1.  Reflect on your 2017 wins.


Be proud of yourself, be proud of the choices, the commitment, the determination that made those wins happen.  Let those wins energize and fuel your 2018 objectives and continue to grow your confidence in your own ability to make things happen in your life.



  1.  Really dial in on that big WHY.



Have it so defined you can boil it down to one word, or a motto, a mantra or a phrase.  Make it so solid and clear that you could spit it out as a ‘grocery store line answer’ to anyone who might ask you about it.  Make it your ‘anchor.’



  1.  Spend time visualizing yourself ‘winning,‘ imagining and seeing yourself hitting those little goals that lead you to the bigger ones.  Let yourself feel the emotions attached to those wins.  Let yourself really, viscerally feel how it will be to win with each of those small success, then those really big ones.



  1.  Resolve to have resolve above all else.


Grow your grit.  Become the most determined, fierce version of yourself in the face of adversity–not angry fierce, but “I will not be moved” fierce.  When faced with doubts or obstacles, go around, go under, go through, climb over, and take a knee when you must but do not quit on yourself, your dreams, your objectives.



Wash-rinse-repeat as much or as often as needed throughout the year.




So what are your biggest hopes, dreams, goals, and/or objectives for 2018?  I’d love to hear all about them.



Remember, life is for the living–both in the noun and verb sense.



Get out there and really live this year.



Chase those dreams with consistent action.



Be the most determined, persistent version of yourself possible.




Make this year epic, so when you sit down to reflect on your 2018 wins, you’re blown away by all you’ve done <3




Here’s to living epic lives, and Happy New Year!