Being Brave

I love the idea of a fresh start. Birthdays and autumn always seem like a time for new beginnings…but the New Year, well that feels like the ultimate fresh start to me.


Being Brave
Shameless photo of my grandson because I never tire of his happy face.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?

I used to make them every year. I’d have these lofty goals that quickly became guilty feelings, because I wasn’t carrying them out. They’d drop off my radar One. By. One. Until I wasn’t even trying to do them.

I can’t be alone in those feelings. The health clubs are jammed in January, then gradually thin out as people fall off the wagon. Been there…done that…have the recurring Visa bill to prove it.

This year I’m doing something different. I’m choosing a WORD OF THE YEAR.

I was first introduced to this concept by one of my favorite bloggers, BARBARA, who writes The Empty Nest Mom. I loved the idea immediately.

Your word allows you to live it with intention. It inspires you to learn throughout the year. It’s not a “should” like resolutions, it’s something that “is”. It’s incorporated into your thoughts and actions.
When you choose a word that authentically speaks to you, it has the ability to transform your thinking and actions.

I’ve been thinking about my word for days. It’d actually became obvious while I was reading The Fire Starter Sessions, by Danielle LaPorte, but I didn’t put it into this context until today.

My word for 2015 is brave.

I guess I better put a capital letter on that word,


Maybe CAPITALIZE it and bold it,


Enlarge it,



I want to stretch myself…fly higher…challenge my beliefs…push against my comfort zone…put more of myself out there…and the word brave, says it all for me.


Are you making resolutions this year?
What would your word be?


  1. Hi Jen,
    So many great words and comments. I particularly love the comment by D.A. Wolfe about creating a reminder, a concept on self-care, self-awareness, and having it posted somewhere for those days when life’s distractions can overwhelm our best intentions. I’m going to do this today.

    My concept for 2016 is Reinvention. I have many powerful words that are part of this: Claiming, Courage, Faith, Belief, Drive, Hope. January is always such a positive time to believe in all possibilities of good things that may lie ahead. I am hoping to continue with this feeling that good things are meant to come about, if I have the courage to go after them. I hope that you have a wonderful year ahead Jen, and that we are treated to many more posts from you. xx Nancy

  2. It has to be about 15 years that I have been using a ‘guiding concept’ or ‘reminder for the year’ rather than resolutions (that make us feel pressured and rarely achieve their ends).

    I sometimes write the concept on a big sheet of paper and tape it to a kitchen cabinet. (Last year’s is still there.) The reminder is usually something to do with self-care or self-awareness that impacts everything I do – how I deal with my inner voice, how I juggle work and ‘life,’ my interactions with others.

    It feels saner to do this!

    ‘Brave’ sounds like an important reminder, one that would serve many parts of life.

    And your grandchild is beautiful! 🙂

    Happy New Year!

    1. Taping it up sounds like a great idea. It’s already played a large part in 2015 and this is only week two…but with my memory…
      Happy New Year!

  3. I have chosen WELCOME partly from reading Anne Lamott’s Small Victories. It struck me as my time to Welcome new people and new experiences into my life. I have been working towards this but tend to get dragged back into some of the old drama from a past life that I really don’t enjoy anymore. Time to let that go and welcome what lies ahead. Had lost your blog but now it’s found!!

    1. I just bought that book on Audible! It’s amazing how old drama’s like to cycle back into our lives. Welcoming in new people and experiences sounds like a wonderful idea. I’m up for that one too! Happy 2015!
      I’m glad you found me Mary!

  4. Katie Clooney says:

    Hi! Just found your blog through Heather. I don’t have a “word” for this year, I have a phrase. “Pray more, worry less.” I am a compulsive worry wart. Enjoy your weekend, Jennifer. I will definitely be back!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! The phrase works perfectly. I’m a worry wart too. Hopefully being brave will put the dampers on some of it. Happy New Year!

  5. Hello lovely Jen! I appreciate this post. You hit the nail on the head with a word to focus on for the year. I announced to our family on Christmas Day that my word for the year is ‘clarity’. Clarity in trusting my gut instinct, clarity in direction, knowing when to walk away. My step-daughter, on her own path, applauded my choice which was nice. Excellent, thought provoking post! I’m sorry you weren’t feeling well during the holiday. We will definitely make a date to meet again in the near future.
    Cheers to Brave YOU and your adorable grandson today.
    xx, Heather

    1. I’m so sorry I was/am sick and couldn’t meet you. Clarity in trusting your gut instinct really speaks to me also. Your holiday looked amazing!! Yes we will make plans to meet in the very near future. Much love xox

  6. Hello Jennifer,
    Brave as your word for the year is great. Close to my word of dare. I’ve added your blog to feedly and look forward to reading more of your eloquent writing throughout the year.
    How coincidental that we both used photos of grandchildren to introduce our words for the year.

    1. I’m delighted to have found you too! Our grandchildren are amazing inspirations with their exuberance for life!! I look forward to reading more of you also.

    1. Happiest of New Year to you too Lisa!!

  7. I have done the one word on my Birthday and on the New Year. I really have found it empowering
    This year our family chose the word Prosper:flourish physically grow strong and healthy.
    This was chosen for 2 reasons 1) my Mom passing away the day before Thanksgiving and 2) my Husband being hit by a car on Christmas day. We all needed a common focus.
    So as my kids pointed out its like Star Trek “Live long and Prosper”

    1. I’m so sorry about your Mom. Loosing loved ones during the holidays is extra sad and challenging. I certainly hope your husband wasn’t badly injured and that he’s well on the mend. What stress for you, holding everything together!! Having your kids and you all focus on Prosper sounds like a wonderful idea. Sharing that common goal will help strengthen everyone. Sending healing thoughts your way Shelley.

  8. Hello, my new friend. First of all, how wonderful to be greeted by that face. I think you’ve probably already figured out that I rather adore that little man. OK, to your point: Brave is good. Brave is very good. I think my word is going to be “Yes.” Sometimes, as an introvert, I can tend to say “no’ too easily to life’s opportunities. I’m going to work on nudging that introvert aside a bit and say “yes” to a bit more this year.

    1. Happy New Year!! Yes, to life’s opportunity takes bravery too! When I look into my little mans face, I see a brave, can do, exuberance for life that inspires me to be braver. Thanks for sharing and of course adoring my little fella. He’s the magic in our lives. xo

  9. Jennifer, I love the idea of a New Year’s word instead of a resolution. I think the right word would inspire action and motivate one to change- much more so than empty promises we make to ourselves. Great post! Now I’m off to find my word for 2015! Donna~Faded Velvet

    1. Happy Mew Year Donna! Let me know what you choose. I’m inspired by everyone’s choices.

  10. Honey Bee says:

    My word for this year is Emancipation.

    Freedom from cancer, from my career, from caregiving, from the uncertainty of multiple transitions, from toxic friendships, from unrealistic expectations.

    Freedom to pursue health and wellness, to make independent choices, to revel in the endless possibilities, to read and study and grow, to develop nourishing friendships, to travel, to luxuriate in the leisure of time, to adventure, to delight in each petit plaisir that comes my way, to enjoy life in my own way, at my own pace, with my own priorities in view.

    I feel like the bird, freed from its cage, now free to soar and to sing without restraint.

    The beauty of “no” is the open door of “Yes!” And my glass is three quarters full!

    I appreciate your blog so much and wish you and your readers a 2015 of bliss and health and sweet content.

    Honey Bee

    1. Wow…that’s awesome!! Emancipation and freedom sound like words you’ve already grabbed by the horns!! Wishing you all the very best in 2015…I feel you taking flight right now. Thanks for sharing Honey Bee.

  11. I love this. Much more powerful and oddly much more doable. Now I have to think of a word…thanks for that boost. Wishing you and your family including that bundle of joy a great and brave 2015!

    1. I think it is much more doable!! I’m finding it motivating and inspirational, rather than a burden, which so many resolutions felt like. Happy New Year! xo

  12. I’m apparently having comment issues again but I’ll give it another go. That adorable grandson would give the cowardly lion the balls of a cat burglar as having a little loved one’s future to help nurture is great motivation to be at our best.
    You hit all the right chords here and I don’t do NY ‘resolutions’ formally per se but subconsciously gives good impetus to break free of what needlessly burdens.
    A very happy New Year to you and those most dear Jennifer!!!
    xo ~G

    1. I’m glad you gave it anther go!! Comment issues are rampant these days. Sadly, the spammers seem to have no problem.
      Letting go of needless things is a great way to start the New Year!! Now what can I dump, besides the rest of the Christmas cookies?
      Wishing you the happiest of New Year’s GSL! xoxo

  13. I need to be BRAVE this year, lots going on and my daughter is having health issues, I must stay strong and be Brave, after all she is and she’s only 12.
    Have a wonderful New Year and those pictures of your gorgeous grandson do the trick every time: that face! that smile! xo

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your daughter!! So sorry. Your daughter is a reflection of YOU, and the wonderful mother you are!! Drawing strength from each other is one of the finest parts of being a family. Sending healing thoughts your way and wishing you a very Happy New Year! xoxo

  14. Dear Jennifer I love your thoughts on New Years and our resolutions or as I now agree intentions! Brave, be BRAVE, yes I love it and will embrace this as one of my intentions for 2015!

    All the Best in this New Year!

    The Arts by Karena

    1. I think you’ve been incredibly brave this year Karen! Wishing you a wonderful, Happy New Year. xo

  15. Mine would have to be Trust. Not sure I’ll ever quite get there but here’s hoping! Happy New Year!

    1. I’m hoping trust works for you too Jen! Happiest of a New Years to you. So happy I found you this year…or did you find me?

  16. GOOD ONE!
    I must think about my WORD today and get back to YOU!

    1. Happiest New year to you! xoxo

  17. I go out of my way NOT to make resolutions. First of I figure I wanted to do something I wouldn’t need to wait till the New Year to start. Secondly I don’t like to set myself up for failure. Life is a series of steps of simply putting one foot in front of the next and managing to enjoy it. I don’t need to add extra stress to that equation.

    I did read a good resolution on another blog this year though…to be happier. I think that is a great goal to aspire to.

    As for a word, focus might be mine.

    Have a wonderful New Year!


    1. I’m totally done with making resolutions for the same reason Suzanne. I’m lucky to get a week out of them. I think a word, lived with intention is much better. I’ll find out. I’m guessing my blogging will change quite a bit:)
      Happy Focused New Year!!

  18. I love the idea of a word to focus on for the year. This year my word is nourish. I want to nourish myself…I tend to put myself last on my priority list…the word will bring me back to my intention. Happy New Brave Year!

    1. That’s the whole idea!! To live the word with focus and intention. Nourish is such a rich and luscious word, I love it. Happy Nourishing New Year!!

    1. I like that one very much!!

  19. I do make resolutions…I’m still getting through my 101 things in 1001 days. I began contemplating what I wanted 2015 to be and am chewing on a few things. CAREFREE – really I just want to stop being everyone’s mother, you know what I mean. Or, The Year of the Husband – put him first, he does deserve it (most times). Or, SILENCE – after mulling some ideas over with family they pissed me off and I came up with this one. I do like BRAVE. Can’t wait to hear about your bungy jump 🙂

    1. wendy mcleod macknight says:

      God _ i have got to do this T!

      1. If either of you find a 12 step program for this, let me know and I’ll sign up with you:)

    2. You’ll be the first one I tell…I’m guessing it will be parachuting:) NOT! I always think of you as carefree…so it’s interesting you’d pick that one! I’ve tried to stop mothering everyone, but it seems part of my DNA…I. Just. Can’t. Stop. Is there an intervention program for that? Happy New Year Doll.

  20. Jennifer…This is so amazing to me. Yesterday, I wrote my post for tomorrow. The theme of the post is how my one goal for 2015 is to be more courageous. I have been up for fifteen minutes this morning…it is 4:45 AM in Texas…
    the first news story I saw was about the death of the former editor of the Houston Chronicle…forty years ago he offered me my dream job…to write features in a major daily newspaper…I turned it down from fear of living on the low salary.
    The next post I saw which captured my heart was yours. To be BRAVE.
    These are just confirmations to be…2015 is also my year to be brave…to take bold steps even after 60…because time is rapidly running out to take them.
    Thanks so much….let’s keep each other informed of the brave moves we make…I need accountability in this area!

    1. You just gave me goose bumps Pam!! My feeling of time passing was part of my decision too. Several months ago I decided to declare myself, an over 50 blogger. My followers dropped off like flies…who knew I had young readers? It just struck me that soon I’ll be over 60 and time is racing past an an alarming clip! What am I waiting for? What am I afraid of? Yes, let’s stay in touch!! Happy New Year Pam!

  21. Wendy mcleod macknight says:

    Oh I love this! Hmmm – the last two years have actually been my brave ones, so I think I would 2015’s word to be BREAKTHROUGH – not only career-wise, but in my quest to be kinder, more peaceful and living in a place of gratitude. What a great idea! Happy new year Jennifer!

    1. I love that one Wendy!! You’re a very good person. I’m so happy to have met you in blog land. Happiest New Year to you and many publishing breakthroughs to you:) xo

  22. I’ve never made a New Year resolution in my life, I tend to work on things I want to change when they come up.
    My word hmm, that would be ‘fitness’, Im tiring of it all but need one last push before I side into middle aged decrepitude.

    1. You’re so funny! It doesn’t feel like a push into decrepitude…more like having roller skates on and going down a huge hill! I need to get myself moving this year too. Happy New Year gorgeous.

  23. I think taking off in an RV like the adventure you recently embarked on is BRAVE. Selling one of your homes and downsizing is BRAVE. I look forward to your adventures this next year, oh BRAVEHEART!

    And thank you, btw, for your kind words on my behalf.

    1. Funny, I never thought of those as brave…I guess they were:) I’m well on my way then. Thank YOU for your inspiration!! Happy New Year:)

  24. Jen, Great word and a great idea! I have to try to find one for myself as well.. I do try to be a little braver each year and push myself to get out of the comfort bubble!! I hope 2015 is a super year for you and I’m so glad we met this year. Have fun tomorrow! xo Kim

    1. Me too Kim! Have a wonderful time at Tahoe…how could you not? Ditto about meeting you:) some of the very nicest people are in blog land!!Happy New year. xo

  25. Karen Bradsell says:

    Which meant requesting Santa bring a FitBit for Christmas! It really encourages me to be healthy! Which also means joining the Y again and trying to eat well. I need more energy for life and realize that I want and need to take better care of myself, so maybe the late 60’s and the 70’s aren’t filled with trips to the Dr.
    Just found your blog through The Vivienne Files. love your writing”

    1. Thanks Karen! I’ve sure let my activity level slide. Maybe Santa’s little helper (me) should buy a FitBit:)

    1. Great word! Happy New Year Glenda!!

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