It seems the “word of the year” moment becomes more popular every year. Because of that, I almost chose NOT to make a word choice for this year. My 2016 word was “love” and I suppose it was a success, though it took me the greater part of 10 months to truly begin to understand how to love myself. I felt like before that time, using that word gave me permission to accommodate a lot of bad behavior from people around me. Love is NOT conflict avoidance.

This year, my word choice came to me due to the only podcast I make a point of listening to every week, SortaAwesome. Its tagline reflects “discovering all the shiny things out there” and their logo is this beautiful gold, sparkly piece of design on a white background. I kept seeing this simple white-on-gold on mugs and shirts all throughout the holiday season.  It reminded me of how my mother used to say my hair looked like “spun gold” (that’s pre-gray now, Mom!).

I keep hearing people describe me as “spirited” and “feisty” which are words I didn’t think described me until recently. I also hear a lot of compliments on my unique hair, which is both golden and very curly (a bit of a unique combination). When I started developing my personal brand platform, I immediately thought of a way to incorporate my look (curly) into what I do (communicate). Thus The Curly Communicator was born, helping companies to “make waves.”

Similarly in my personal life, I view myself as the gold that goes overtop the white background to add the shine and fun. Thus how I came upon the word “sparkle” for this year. Here’s how I am viewing my mantra for this year:

*Not letting anyone dull MY sparkle – eliminating people and things from my life that do not allow me to reach my fullest potential

*helping other people find their sparkle – both professionally and personally

*allowing “sparkle” to come into my life as I form a new identity as a single, non-traditionally employed person. Not being afraid to try new things.

Here’s to a year of embracing the shiny, loud, glittery, and new!