The new year is an exciting time for everyone. We get to clean up our lives and start new again. Or, at least, that is what it feels like. We pack away Christmas, maybe reorganize our homes, set new goals for the new year, and try to make the impossible happen.

A few years ago I decided to do away with New Year Resolutions. I realized that they did not really work well with me, that I fell short to the statistic of dropping them come the end of January. And for my mental state, it was not the best thing to do. So I decided to select a word to describe and shape my year. And it ended up being the best thing I could have done.

The first year I did a word was in 2016. I pondered for a few days what would be the word to shape my year. I’d spent 2015 working on my health, recovering from an injury, working on my mental state, and trying to understand why certain events unfolded the way they did. A day into the new year and I realized the word for 2016 would be STRIVE. If I could strive to be better, do more, and make a difference, I would like up to my desire for the new year.  Honestly, I had no idea how this one word would effect my entire life. I traveled the world, faced a near death experience, ran my first half marathon, and started to question if I was a runner. I lost more weight and became the strongest version of my self. I started co-leading a small group through my church and realized the great things God had in store for my life. All of this may have happened regardless of my New Years resolution or word, but I would like to believe that it all happened because I chose to make an effort to let a word shape my life.

After an eventful 2016 I found myself sitting at the end of the year wondering what 2017 would be like. I already knew I had big things lined up (hello NYC half marathon and Chicago Marathon!) and the scared the living daylights out of me. I was continuing to struggles with my identity in the running community and questioning if my heart would ever feel whole again. While out running one day in late December I passed a tree filled with wishes, a typical thing done in Seattle in December. The first one I looked at said “I wish to live a fearless life”. And it struck a cord deep within me. I had lived in fear of so many things for so long and I realized that if I was going to do big things in 2017, I couldn’t let fear stand in my way. Que the year of being FEARLESS. I lived my life apologetically, writing what I felt was needed to be said, sharing my faith more openly, allowing God to move in ways I couldn’t comprehend. I went into a season of hard running goals knowing that if I could either let them destroy me or change me. Letting fear get in the way would have let these goals destroy me, so I chose to let these distances change me. I spoke to more people, chased the seemingly unobtainable, and made the year of being fearless the best year yet.

So here I sit at the start of another New Year. 2018 has been setup to be a solid year, regardless of what I actually do with it. So I figured why not make it the year I challenge myself in what I believe. Yes, 2018 is the year of BELIEVE. It’s time for me to believe in myself and the things I am capable of doing, even if it scares me. It is time for me to believe in the truths and promises that God has set before me. It is time to believe in the goodness of others and the ability to make a difference in a world that can often seem bleak. I can tell you right now that I will not be racing as much this year but I will be putting in a greater effort to be stronger and faster. I might not get to write as much as I would like to, but the things I write will be filled with truth and a hope to reach more people. I might not understand the ways in which God will challenge me this year, but I know that it will be for my good and for His greater plan. My greatest hope for this year is that I believe in the power of change and how we can all be better if we want to.

As we set sail full force into 2018, my wish for you is to have a year that will change you in many different aspects. Wither its setting a resolution or selecting a word, do the thing that makes you happy and want to be the best version of yourself. Know that you are loved and cared for, even when the world seems dark, I am here for you and so are many others. Take a moment to reflect on the good things of 2017 and set a course for 2018. Let me know what your desires are for the New Year. Then go out there and change your world.

Until next time,
-Be Fearless, Go Boldly


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