Discussions & How to

Looking ahead & my word of 2014

I’ve already talked about my goals for 2014, but this post is about dreaming bigger!  I’ve been seeing the idea of ‘One Little Word’ on a lot of blogs recently, and I absolutely love the idea.  BookJourney chose ‘Embrace‘, Girlxoxo chose ‘Do’, Erin Bowman (author of Taken) chose ‘Focus‘.

Before I chose my word, I looked at what I’ve got ahead, and what feeling I wanted to try and hold onto throughout it.  I wanted to pick a word that would keep me feeling inspired and motivated all the way through:

  • My ongoing job hunt
  • My 2nd blogoversary
  • Trying to save towards my Masters
  • Moving house
  • The start of my MSc in October (and hopefully moving back into halls)
  • Matt finishing his MSc in September
  • My 23rd birthday (which makes me feel old!)

It’s taken me a while, but I think I’ve finally picked a word.  Here are a few I really seriously considered but ended up rejecting:

  • Let it Go – I’ll be honest, this largely comes down to the fact I love the song from Frozen, and how much some of the lyrics speak to me in terms of what I want to achieve. The phrase ‘let it go’ itself though, just wasn’t quite right (no matter how much I love it!)
  • Opportunity – As in, making the most of every opportunity, and striving for new ones.  This fits really well with what I want, but it just didn’t speak to me.  It feels almost bland and forgettable.
  • Carefree – This sort of worked, but didn’t sound like it was pushing me to challenge myself enough.

I’ve finally decided on a word that’s somewhere in the middle of these, and incorporates a little of each (in my mind at least). It maybe isn’t quite a perfect fit but it feels inspirational, and it resonates with me.

My word for 2014 is….

fearless

It feels a little bit scary, a large part cheesy and maybe a tiny bit pretentious, but hopefully you’ll understand why I picked it.

In 2013, it became more and more obvious to me how much of my life is wasted worrying.  From worrying about my uni grades to putting off an intimidating phone call, there were times when I felt like all I did was worry!  Now, that’s obviously not the case, but this year I’d like to spend a little less time worrying, and a little more time actually DOING.  Do I expect picking a word of the year will suddenly make it easy? No of course not!  But my word is a reminder to myself of the sort of person I’d like to be.

To me, fearless means:

  • Letting go of the little things

The fact is, not everything is worth worrying about, and this year I’d like to try and remember that the person I’d like to be doesn’t worry about little things like how an email might be received – she just sends it.

  • Feeling the fear and doing it anyway

Some things are scary, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth doing.  In fact, in some cases they’re arguably more important!  I don’t expect picking the word fearless will suddenly make me fearless, (though if it could make me fear less that’d be awesome), but I am hoping it’ll remind me to push through and do things anyway.

  • Dreaming Big (Reaching for those opportunities!)

It’s easy to set moderate goals, because those are within reach and there’s no real likelihood of failure.  I do think it’s important to have attainable goals, and that’s what I aimed for with my Top Ten goals for 2014.  I don’t think that means we should give up on big goals completely.  Fearless reminds me that sometimes it’s worth dreaming big.  Even if I don’t quite hit my giant goals, chances are working towards them will send me in the right direction at least.

  • Doing what I want, and not caring about what others think

If I want to start delving back into the world of fanfiction, or reading (more) erotica, or playing Neopets, my goal for 2014 is to just do those things and not worry about being judged.  So what if I look a bit childish or silly or whatever else? Fearless means doing what I want to do, and not giving a damn about how it looks!

  • Being present, intentional & trying new things

My biggest issue with the word fearless was that although it applies to lots of elements of my life, it didn’t apply to my relationship with Matt.  I tried to think of a word that does, but I really struggled, because (and this is going to sound really smug and cheesy so I apologise) there isn’t really anything I want to change.  We’ve gotten okay at the long distance thing, and although I don’t love it, it’s just the way things have to be at the minute.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d love us to not be long distance anymore, but that comes down to whether he can find a job or PhD in London once his MSc finishes.

So, for me, fearless is about making the most of the time we get together without worrying.  If we want to get take-out, I want us to be able to do that, without stressing.  It means being intentional about my spending the rest of the time, and aiming big in terms of savings so that we can hopefully move in together.  Fearless means trying new things together, whether that’s as simple as a different order from the chinese takeaway, or whether it means visiting a new city.  It means letting go of stress and worry, and intentionally focusing on positives wherever possible when we’re on the phone.

My fearless goals for 2014?

  • Write more personal posts for the blog.

    I’d like to just go for it, and be less worried about how well they go down.  Either people will like them (yay!) or no one will read them – it will not be a big deal or lead to blog-destruction! Either way I’ll have had fun writing them, and ticked off one of my goals.

  • Make the change to self-hosted.

    There’s always been a reason to put this off, but if my budget can possibly allow it, I’d love to make the change to self-hosted wordpress.  I’m hoping to indulge for my birthday or maybe treat myself if I manage to find another job.

  • Seriously consider changing my blog’s name

    StudentSpyglass was picked on impulse, and it just doesn’t feel quite right now.  For one thing, I’m not even a student again until October!  For another, the blog has become more and more book focused, which the name doesn’t reflect.  Finally, it just doesn’t feel very ‘me’.  I’ve even got a few names in mind, the biggest issue is, you guessed it, worry! What if I don’t like it six months from now? What if no one ELSE likes it?  What if my blog drops off the face of the Earth?  This year, I’d like to really sit down and decide how important it is to me to change it.  And if it is important to me, to go for it!

  • Try new things

    I’d love to learn a language, but I’m not sure my budget will stretch that far!  I am hoping though to try new things throughout 2014, from new recipes to new genres to new restaurants.

  • Challenge myself

    This comes back to the idea of dreaming big, and the quote “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”.  In 2014 I’d like to ignore those tiny doubts that say ‘you’ll never do that’ and push myself to reach for the stars, whether that’s in terms of blog stats, taking part in NaNoWriMo, pushing myself when it comes to studying or aiming for dream job opportunities.  When I think ‘I wish I could…’ I’m going to write it down or announce it to the world, and change my thoughts to ‘I’m going to try and….’

This is my first time choosing a word of the year, but so far at least I love it.  I had to sit down and think about what I really wanted out of 2014, and right now I’m feeling motivated, inspired and ready to kick ass!  Fingers crossed I can hold onto those feelings!

Have you picked a word of the year before? Please feel free to share! This is my first time choosing one and I’d love to know what you would pick!

2 thoughts on “Looking ahead & my word of 2014

  1. […] As Januarys go, this one has been pretty good!  I had a pretty average month in terms of reading, but I’ve been feeling much more on track in terms of blogging.  I managed 10 reviews this month, which may sound like an average month for some of you, but I’m pretty sure it’s the most I’ve posted since I started blogging!  I also stuck to my resolution to post more personal posts, including my word of 2014. […]

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