Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

If you’ve read my blog before, you probably know that I’m a fan of Gretchen Rubin. I’ve read and enjoyed a few of her books, but I particularly like her podcast, Happier, as well as the spin-off, Happier in Hollywood, which is hosted by her sister, Liz Craft, and Liz’s writing partner, Sarah Fain. One of the things that both podcasts discuss is a word of the year. It’s a way to set the tone and a direction for the things you want to accomplish. (Liz and Sarah also determine a motto for their writing projects each year which keeps them focused.)

Last year, I attempted to make my word whimsy. I was feeling bogged down by the day-to-day slog and wanted to infuse some wonder into my life. I was somewhat successful, but only in bursts, like on weekends and vacations. I didn’t enable it to cut through my day-to-day as I had hoped.

This year, my word is begin.

Inspired by the pep talk I gave to the Counter Tools team when I left my position there to open my own shop, my plan is for my word to help me to stop overthinking, fight analysis paralysis and decision fatigue, get out of my way, and just get started.

A screenshot from

I especially like “to succeed to the slightest extent in” (even though the example given is negative) because of the connection to success, even if it’s small.

A screenshot from

And with the synonyms, I especially like “create” and “go ahead” because to me, they both have a certain level of casualness. Low stakes. With create, you just…make something. It doesn’t have to be amazing, it just has to come into being. And with go ahead, I think about it conversationally. Someone asks if they can do this or may they do that, and you respond with “go ahead!” Hearing someone say, “go ahead” is encouraging and feels easy; inevitable, even.

I can already see begin working for me more than whimsy ever did. Enrichment launched this month with great success, registration is open for February’s class, and we’re on our way to monthly programming for 2020.

And we’ve only just begun.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.