Real Is Better Than Perfect Series

2018 Word Of The Year

January 4, 2018

beautiful back bay golden hour children's photography by brooke tucker photographer


Happy New Year friends!  I’m so excited that we’ve entered into this brand new year together and I’m so excited for all that 2018 has to bring!  I know it’s going to be a great year for everyone, I can feel it in my bones!

I really can!

Many people start of the new year with goals and resolutions.  It’s nice to have the feeling at the beginning of something new with big plans and big adventures to excite us and to challenge ourselves to grow as we move forward!

Each year, I start off with goals like everyone else but I also choose to pick a single word for the year, a word to sort of guide me through in actions, thoughts and heart!  I’ve been doing this for quite some time now and it’s a practice I have come to love.

I’m not perfect at it by any means.  In fact, to be quite honest, I usually wind up forgetting my word half way through the year only to find it again at the end of the year.  I wind up realizing that somehow the year was a great example of whatever word I chose whether I remembered it or stuck with it and that brings me a great sense of peace.  Somehow it just makes me believe in this power of the universe.  When you put something out there, when you believe it it enough or say it out loud enough, it’s almost as if the world hears you and brings it forth.

Every year that I’ve been practicing this word of the year, I find that the universe hears and rises up to greet me with adventures, challenges and opportunities for me to grow in whatever I have chosen (whether I remember to purposely and intentionally live out that word in my daily life or not!)

This year, I’m choosing a word that will require me to actively think and live out this word intimately and very much on purpose!

I am choosing:  LOVE!  Unconditional Love and here are the reasons I am choosing this word:

Love is something that is hard to define but can be given away at no cost to anyone.  It’s also something I feel is desperately needed in our world right now!  There have been so many tragic events happening all around and so many people are hurting in ways both big and small that a little bit of extra love and kindness might just help, even if it’s in one small way from a stranger.

Before I can honestly put this into action, I needed to define this for myself.  I spent a lot of time researching and trying to define love and I kept coming back to the bible and the 1 Corin. passage so many of us have come to know by heart.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I have always loved that and I think it speaks so much truth to what REAL, unconditional love is, however I felt the need to break it down further in a way that I could truly LIVE.  I needed a list of guidelines if you will.  So here it goes:  My own list broken down from that scripture in a way that I feel I can live love and breathe love in a real, tangible way!

Love is patient ( taking deep breaths and giving grace to myself and those around me)

Love is kind, benevolent, understands and sympathizes.  Love gives empathy and places him or herself in the others situation.

Love is happy about what others have and tries to be a light for others around them!

Love is humble, not boastful, disrespectful, proud or arrogant! 

Love is supportive and considerate and seeks to help others!  Love is about serving other’s hearts!

Love is polite and thinks of others.  Share a smile, a kind word, hold open a door…. random acts of kindness!

Love is slow to anger and not easily provoked!  Love remembers to never go to bed without a clean slate. 

Love is forgiving and does not keep a record of wrongs, does not hold tally’s and does not compete!

Love tells the truth in a constructive manner.

Love is a covering (covers another’s faults and does not gossip about them)

Love is trusting and gives a new fresh start to others

Love is Hope for the best for others and offers a beacon.

Love is loyal and endures all things (love never gives up)

I chose the word Love for many reasons this year and some are deeply personally.  But to be completely honest, I feel the need to SHOW UP for those around me and the best way that I can see to do that is by giving them unconditional love and by giving them more of myself in ways of service, words can only get you so far.   I want to make sure those that I love know and understand how much they are loved and I want them to truly feel loved.

I want to make sure that I am also showing up for myself!  Unconditional love also means showing unconditional love for who I am right now in this moment and accepting that I am not a perfect person but loving the imperfect person that I am right now in this moment and understanding that I must keep working on myself to grow!

I want to continually ask myself is what I am doing bringing love and joy and fulfillment to me personally?  Is it benefitting my family?

Am I taking care of myself in a way that will allow me to show those around me the love that they need?

This is a big one because as a mom we often neglect ourselves to care for others and we are no good to anyone if we aren’t well and our cups filled up!

Am I practicing unconditional love with Linc and Tuck?  Are their hearts, minds and bodies filled to the brim?  Am I showing up for them as much as I can and creating a space and more importantly a home where they feel safe and rested and loved?  Am I practicing patience with joy, grace and forgiveness?  Am I a light for them?

With clients I want to make sure that I am showing up for them in a BIG way with heartfelt and undivided attention!  Am I making sure to follow all of those guidelines above and serving them with unconditional love?!

I want to make sure that when I blog or reach out on social media that I’m following those guidelines above:  is it with heartfelt love, is it humble and polite?  Am I posting with love and authenticity so that others can trust the content and it is a light where others can come to find hope or a piece of happiness in their day!

I found that breaking my word, LOVE, into a list of guidelines helped me to truly envision a way to live it out on a daily basis!

I wrote these guidelines out (messy, handwritten, and on a scrap piece of paper… nothing fancy) and posted it where I could remember.  I posted one in my office where I could remember this for my clients and my work!  I posted one in my bedroom where I could see it first thing in the morning and again before I laid my head to rest at night.  And I posted one in my kitchen just for me so I could remember when the moments of family (that witching hour ya’ll) are tough and I needed a refresher, just a moment of grace and love for myself!

I can’t promise I will be perfect everyday, in fact I know I won’t!  That’s the point for me, unconditional love for myself as well.  I can only promise that I will try everyday!

What word will YOU choose this year?

I hope that you choose to participate because it really is amazing what you can find out after a year!  I hope that you invite me into your world and your word and let me know what word you choose for yourself!  There are so many amazing words out there to choose from, some I have never even thought of to put into practice before.  Will you choose one of those?

If you do choose a word, take a tip from my friend Amanda Hedgepeth and try to create guidelines for yourself!   She created a list of questions for herself as a guideline.  The guidelines or even creating action plans will help you to actually put your word into action or help you live your word more successfully throughout the year!

Good Luck friends and if you are inclined, I would love to share your word with you!!

beautiful back bay golden hour children's photography by brooke tucker photographerbeautiful back bay golden hour children's photography by brooke tucker photographer



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