We’re living in tumultuous times. But I don’t have to tell you that. I know you’ll agree.

2019 wasn’t the first year of pure crazy. But for me, 2019 was a year I started coming to terms with it.

On a personal level, it was a great year.

  • I traveled all over the world.
  • My business is steady and strong.
  • I’m writing for me more than ever before.
  • I have healthy relationships, and I value every one of them.
  • I’m healthy and love life.

Know matter what was happening around me, I tried to stay focused only on what was important to me.

And a lot of that came from what I chose to focus on for 2019 – I chose the word “downshift” for a reason.

At the end of 2019, my goal was to move past the feeling of “meh” I’d been carrying for quite a while. I wanted to get more in tune with myself. To feel like I was doing and contributing what I’m truly meant to do. My priorities were:

  • Writing
  • Spending time with my husband, my daughter, and my friends
  • Traveling and seeing new parts of the world
  • My health
  • Breathing deep and thoroughly enjoying what I do each day

As I sat here late December evaluating my 2019, I realize I’ve done what I set out to do.

I wrote for me … a lot. I have not one, not two, but three books coming out at the first of the year. And many more in various stages of the manuscript process.

I spend quality time every day with those I love.

I’ve traveled more in 2019 than in any previous year. I spent several weeks in New Zealand visiting my daughter. I completed my quest for seeing the Pacific Coast Highway from the Canadian to the Mexican borders.

I turned 54 in 2019; the age when I lost my dad. So I met with doctors to ensure I’m healthy, and after several tests and checkups, now I know I am! (I knew it before the tests, but with 54 looming, I had to convince my brain!) 😉

Why I Believe In a Word of the Year

I was first introduced to the Word of the Year concept years ago as a way to set intentions for the year without having to be rigid with resolutions and goal lists.

I’m a goal kind of person anyway, so I always have to-do lists handy.

But the Word of the Year concept resonated with me. It’s a fun way to keep yourself on track rather than focusing in on details. It allows you to move forward and grow rather than be rigid.

And it’s been fun to watch over the years as my words have always been my driving force for what I accomplish.

My Word of the Year for 2014 was reawaken. It was the year our daughter moved to college, the year we started out on our gap year journey, and moved one step closer to our goal of slow traveling the rest of our lives. We reawakened as empty nesters, and discovered we were ready to fly on our own once again.

My Word of the Year for 2012 was refinement. It was the year I broke free of an old business model, and started moving towards building a new business. It was a year I honed in on becoming a better writer, and was finding my voice as an author. I fine-tuned my processes over and over again. I owe a lot of who I am today because of that process.

And my Word of the Year for 2019 – downshift – kept me on track throughout this past year.

So many times, I’d sit down at my computer on a day off, planning on getting a little work done. But then I’d ask myself if that was the best use of my time.

Downshifting wasn’t just about making the best use of my time every moment of the day. It was also about letting go of the guilt that goes along with doing something else. It was about being in the moment, and living my best life every moment of the day.

It’s a work in progress, of course, but after focusing on it for 52 weeks, I have a much easier time of doing what’s important and letting the rest go.

That’s what Word of the Year does for me.

So I carefully planned for what I wanted to choose for 2020 – a new year and a new decade.

My Word of the Year for 2020

2020 has a kind of magical ring to it, doesn’t it?

2020 has always been linked to vision. 2020 vision is a term used to express normal vision acuity, or the clarity and sharpness of your eyesight. If you see with 2020 vision, you can see clearly, without the use of a visual aid.

As I started playing around with words, that concept hit me. 2020 vision. 2020 clarity. That’s exactly what I want. And to make it even better, I’ve been blogging at VisionOfSuccess for years! It felt perfect. They’re perfect! So I’ve made them my words of the year.

2020 vision – the ability to see my life clearly as I move forward into the coming decade. To lay out my midlife – my second act – in a way that will bring me closer to my “perfect” life.

2020 clarity – the state of being clear. No more questioning which direction to go or what I should do in my second act. Seeing exactly what’s in my life and pursuing it with perseverance.

How will I be using them?

2020 vision

It’s all about priorities. The older I get, the more priorities seem to matter. I’m not afraid to say no. I’m not willing to do things that don’t feel right, way deep down inside. I think that’s the gift given to you once you hit midlife.

If I want to travel more extensively, focus on my health every single day, and build time to do what’s most important to me, I have to see that lifestyle always. I can’t allow other things to move in and take the place of things that are more important. Therefore I live a fairly structured day – but in such a way that I do what’s most important to me.

That means I write every day, no matter what.

I spend my Saturdays with my husband, no matter what. Think of it as “date day.” We walk in the mornings. Have breakfast together. Travel or do something new. Eat out at a favorite restaurant. Talk and talk some more.

I eat vegan in most cases, vegetarian if I go out with friends and plant-based isn’t an option. (It’s always the cheese …) I walk every day. I hit the gym several days a week. This isn’t negotiable. I do it because I want to feel as good at 100 as I do right now, here in midlife.

2020 clarity

I’m an idea person. I’ve always been that way.

I can brainstorm around an idea and have an entire business model planned out in a matter of minutes. I can map out an entire book in one afternoon.

The problem with that is I often get sidetracked and start following paths that aren’t closely held to my main goal.

But I’m getting better at it. I need clarity to continue to see my life in the future, and only do the things necessary to bring me there. To ensure I stay on the path as I have it laid out, and focus on the things that really matter to see it through.

So there you have it. That’s my Word of the Year for this year.  #2020Vision #2020Clarity

What’s yours?