• Jess Kennedy

My Word for 2018


As the short days of winter come and go, the is air crisp and cold, pushing me to stay indoors more. I’m not usually a big holidays person, but over the last couple of years I’ve started to embrace the season with hot cocoa, Hallmark Christmas movies, and fuzzy pjs just about any night of the week. This year, too, I've been listening to holiday music, and one song in particular has been on my mind.


"Winter Wonderland" is a classic, something to hum as you shop frantically, or to belt out loud on your shortened commute. It's never been a favorite, but it's a staple. Recently, though, I've found that one line from the song has been sticking out to me in a way that I can't ignore. It's been with me for a month now, and I'm ready to fully embrace the message:


Later on

we'll conspire

as we dream by the fire

To face unafraid

the plans that we've made

walking in a winter wonderland

To face unafraid the plans that we've made.


This snippet of a song that I've heard a million times since my childhood has been top of mind for me this season. Unafraid. I don't think of myself as risk-taker. As a result, I've always kept my plans to the ordinary, easy-to-accomplish, not-too-scary. It's worked for me so far: I have a great job, a wonderful fiancé, lovely friends and family, and a stable home. I have more than many people enjoy, and yet it's never felt like enough. I've spent the last few years of my life dreaming of more; more time with those friends and family, a job that I'm truly passionate about, a home that includes not only my corner of Texas, but all corners of the world. 


And yet, I wait. Wait for that special moment for it all to magically materialize, for it to fall into place in a way that doesn't terrify me. But it's not going to happen on its own.


To face unafraid the plans that we've made.


The only thing that will ever move the needle for me, is me. I've long been a list-keeper and a resolutions maker. Over the past years I've come to realize that unless you work every day, those resolutions don't keep themselves. You have to work at them, to make a plan, make that plan a habit, and to constantly check in with yourself to evaluate where you're headed. It's a lot of work. When it pays off, it's great, when it falls apart, it can be frustrating. 


This year I'm choosing a word to guide me though my goals: Courage.


Courage will make me a better coach. A better fiancée. A better sister, daughter, and friend. Courage will push me to my health goals, to my business goals, and to those utterly terrifying goals I-dare-not-speak. 


With courage, I will finally be debt-free, I will make investing in myself a priority. I'll say no to the things that drain my energy, and yes to that which lights me up. I'll feel compelled to make leaps I wouldn't have otherwise, and live to tell the tale. 


To face unafraid the plans that I've made.


I didn't expect to find such meaning in a song that I've heard a million times, but how fitting that something so ubiquitous during this season of review and renew would be the thing to finally shine through to me. I'll be sharing more about specific goals for the coming year, but I hope this post has inspired you to find your own guiding word for 2018!


I'm curious, have you ever found meaning in an unexpected place?

Let's stay in touch!

Photo credits: Jenny Lind; Erica Wilkins; Kevin Nguyen   |   ©2020 by J.Kennedy