Before diving straight into my new and exciting word of the year for 2020 I thought it would be fun to quickly review 2019's word of the year, BRAVE. I took the excerpt below straight from my Instagram post of January 2019 announcing BRAVE as my word.

~ BRAVE ~

This is my “word of the year” for 2019.

I, like a lot of us, like to do what’s comfortable, what feels natural, taking the path of least resistance with the least amount of risk. In 2018, I spent a little time outside of that comfort zone and I realized something. There is more reward, more accomplishment, more feeling of progress when you live a little bit outside of your comfort zone.

This year I’m going to vow to step inside my “discomfort zone” and stay awhile. I’m going to stretch myself and try new things. If an opportunity arises that sounds interesting, makes sense but is a little scary, I want to try it. I want to visit new places (CHECK!). I hope to meet new people (CHECK!), make new friendships (CHECK!), hit more of my goals (CHECK!) and live a little bit uncomfortable (CHECK, CHECK, CHECK!).

Uncomfortable in the best way possible because in that discomfort I will make the most difference. I will improve myself the most. I will be a better mother, a better wife, a better friend and in the end be living my best life.

Wow, you guys, I am going to pat my own back here just for a second. I crushed this word in 2019! I feel like I truly, like truly lived BRAVE last year.

While not an all encompassing list, here are a few things that I did over the last twelve months that put me in my discomfort zone, forced me to be BRAVE, that challenged and changed me all for the better.

  • I traveled to new-to-me cities including Austin, TX and Celebration, FL.
  • I checked out new-to-me gyms in support of my 'Gym of the Month' blog series.
  • I tried CrossFit (and liked it)!
  • I liked it so much that I completed the Murph Challenge.
  • I ran two half marathons (one of which was completely in the pouring rain).
  • I took my first ever hot yoga class.
  • I studied and took my exam to be a certified personal trainer in February and PASSED!
  • Then, after a lot of thought, I decided to create my own small business specifically for in-home personal training.
  • I launched my company, Blended Balance Fitness, in May.
  • I launched online training as a secondary service option just a couple months later.
  • I then started leading group bootcamp classes over the summer which has turned into a new weekly offering in 2020.
  • I completed one full round of Whole30.
  • I tried group cycling at my gym, fell in love so much that I went out and bought cycling shoes the very next day.
  • I tried boxing and equally fell in love so much that I joined to be a monthly member at the local women's boxing gym.
  • I collaborated with local business entrepreneurs.
  • I represented my business at local community tabletop events.
  • I went on live TV not once, but three times!
  • I attended events with people I had never met.
  • I met several new friendships that will last a lifetime!
  • I was vulnerable enough to share this journey with all of you!

It's so true, that if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you. I feel like I truly experienced and lived that truth in 2019. So, now, I'm excited to move into 2020 with a new word which based on the title of this blog, you likely already know....but....

My 2020 word of the year is JOY!

I want to empower my clients to find JOY in their fitness journey, learning to love working out because it is truly good for their mind, body and soul. I hope to educate others on how to use exercise not as a punishment but as a reward for your body. We need to celebrate movement because it is good for our bodies not because we're trying to make up for something we did, ate, etc.

I want to experience more JOY with my kids and husband being more present through even the smallest of moments in their day. Life gets crazy busy. I feel like I am always hurrying off to do the next thing. I'm making dinner while unloading the dishes while overseeing homework, the list goes on. This year I want to make more effort to be present and have more, just, plain old fun with my family. Time is fleeting and my babes will only be little once. I know I need to sink more of this in and if the email gets sent tomorrow or the dishes are dirty an extra day, it's all good if it means I can laugh and play more with my kids.

And, while completely different words, I’m vowing to seek out JOY in the situations that scare me, that make me uncomfortable, that force me to put on my BRAVE face and have fun at the same time. I learned last year how gratifying it could feel to do something that made me uncomfortable, that challenged me.

In the end, being BRAVE brought me JOY. So many things that I did scared me, but I tried them anyway in the spirit of being BRAVE. These are now some of my favorite things to do ever! I'm glad to find the correlation between these two words because BRAVE is definitely not going anywhere. It's going to be a constant reminder as I live my life JOYfully day in and day out.

Do you have a word of the year? I'd love to hear yours! It's such a valuable and empowering tool for me as I embark on a new year.

Here's to continously being BRAVE while living out loud, living JOYfully and finding JOY in even the tiniest, mundane of things!