Word of the Year

If you’re anything like us, the Christmas season was stressful, food filled and flecked with illness. It’s okay though, we’ve survived and we’re on the other side in not only a new year, but a new decade!

You may be able to tell that here in the Gathford household we’re pretty rubbish when it comes to resolutions. It’s like a curse. Not two minutes after we’ve vowed to stay away from Chocolate for the month, we’ve realised there’s a huge cadbury’s bar stowed away in the fridge. Lent is a very difficult time for us.

We’re not alone though! People have been breaking New Year’s resolutions since the Roman times when Mr Caesar ruled that the new year started on the 1st January. In fact, research has shown that fewer than 1 in 10 people stick to their new year’s resolutions with a quarter of people giving up within week one.

Now, we can’t claim ownership of this solution, but it’s one that we both (as members of the quarter) are going to try this year. We both thought it was a relatively new concept but, as it turns out, we’re late to the party. Introducing: our word(s) of the year.

A word of what?

A word of the year. Just one word of your choosing that defines how you want to be/feel/think throughout the new year. The ideal ‘word of the year’ is something that can be embraced throughout your life, at work, at home, even on the bus to the shops. Whatever it is, the idea is to encompass it in whatever way you can throughout the year. To put it in a bit of a fuffy yet useful way: A word of the year is a constant source of nourishment, enabling one to grow and progress.

Our Words

Who I am and what I do, so long as I put my whole authentic self into it, will always be enough.


My word was a tough choice. 2019 had so many highs and lows to process before I could even start thinking about what I want 2020 to look like. The actual story of how this word came to be my word of the year for 2020 is perhaps the least ‘me’ story I will ever tell.

I’ve been doing yoga at home on and off for a while now. A few nights ago I found myself doing one of my favorite at home yoga videos, struggling through a vinyasa in probably the least elegant way possible. Towards the end of the practice there’s a standing bow pose that I dread. Well, not on this particular night. All of a sudden I found a sense of complete balance, I raised my leg without hesitation and nailed the pose. It may have been the most graceful I’ve ever looked attempting yoga and – for just a moment – I felt like an actual goddess. I had this overwhelming feeling of confidence in myself. So, for 2020, my word is: Confidence.

People who know me (especially those who knew me in my childhood) may look at this word and think ‘How on earth could she need more confidence?’ Honestly, I get where they’re coming from: I’m often full on and guns a’blazin in social situations. This, however, isn’t confidence. This is an awful lot of bravado that I have honed over the years. It hasn’t always been this way. I was an extremely confident child, I threw myself into situtions without much worry about whether I’d be able to achieve what I put my mind to, and didn’t bat an eyelid if I’d make a fool of myself. Over the years this confidence dimmed, and worry overtook. In recent years, my confidence in myself and in the future has dwindled. I spend the majority of my time second-guessing myself and situations.

This year, I’m going to be confident in myself. I’m going to have confidence in my self worth. I’m going to be confident enough to meet new people without worrying whether I make a good enough impression. I am going to have confidence that things get better with hard work and determination. I am going to nail a standing bow pose with the elegance of a ballerina. I am going to be confident that who I am and what I do, so long as I put my whole authentic self into it, will always be enough.

I want to feel more positive, leading me to see my worth and value


2019 was a strange and tough year for me. There were many ups (which we have covered on this blog) but there were also many downs. Throughout 2019 I had struggled with knowing my self worth. This led me to feeling down and losing motivation. As both a couple and individually we both went through a lot over the last year. Of course, we had amazing people looking out for us, but even if there is an army to support you, once the brain has a way of thinking it is hard to change. The last year gave me rejection after rejection in terms of job applications, leading me to feel that I lacked the ability to get even the most basic of jobs. I felt I wasn’t contributing properly to social situations, whether it was with friends or family. I struggled (and still do to a certain extent) to know my position and what I bring to a social situation other than the guy who cracks a joke. Possibly worst of all, I felt that I was really letting Hannah down, be it in a supporting way or from not having the energy or motivation to go out and have adventures. This is still and ongoing issue, one where I am moving in the right direction but more can always be done.

That is why my word for the year is “Proactive”. A word that gets thrown around a lot but actually can make a world of difference. To be proactive means to go out and grab situations. Not just waiting for things to fall perfectly into place. Not shying away from the hard work. This year I want to be proactive in all areas of my life. At work I want to really push on a create a client base for myself and get my diary full of patients. In terms of fitness, I want to be more active and feel comfortable in my body. In my mental state, I want to feel more positive, leading me to see my worth and value. Obviously I know just saying this stuff doesn’t change it. However, it is a starting point. It is now written and, therefore, all of you can use it against me when I say I can’t be bothered to go to play football or I’m too tired to cook a healthy meal. This year will be one of being proactive to achieve goals and become productive.

Bonus Joint Word!

Just in case anyone was wondering.

So those are our words. If you feel like you want to join us and have your own word for 2020, here are a couple of tips from us:

  1. Think over the last year and what it brought. Think about what you want more of and what you need less of.
  2. Make a list of possible words and read them out loud. It feels silly but once you say one that resonates it starts to take hold and cement itself as your word.
  3. DON’T Overthink! You’ll know your word when you see it, hear it, or say it. Embrace the word.

If you have a word, please share it with us in the comments or on our social media! We love hearing from you guys. Sharing your vision for 2020 can be just as useful as knowing it.

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