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Words for 2021

Last year, my colleague, Heather, came up with a single word to work on in her life in 2020. She chose the word write and developed goals and plans and results all around this one word. She challenged us this morning to come up without own word for the upcoming year.

Dawn Strauss Berta
Dawn Strauss Berta – self-care

My word for 2021 is self-care. I have never really thought about self-care before. I have 2 daughters, they are now 22 and 14. Raising them, dealing with their education, health, drama, lol, I have not thought about self-care since before my 22-year-old was born. The first part of quarantine was difficult for me, as it was for many. I ate too much, slept too much, stopped exercising, and let worry consume me. This new year brings me new hope, and I feel ready to start taking better care of myself! I am excited to start eating healthy, start exercising again, and go to those doctor appointments that I have been putting off. I would love to hear your tips for self-care! Email me at dawn@yourteachablemoment.com and maybe we can get through this together.

Dawn Strauss Berta
Heather Shamp – heart

About ten years ago I began this tradition of choosing a word each year to focus on. Over those years, I’ve chosen words like: compassion, content, hope, breathe, and write. I’ve been surprised and amazed at how my chosen word formed a thread throughout the year. Sometimes it was intentional, like the year I chose the word breathe. I created the space to cultivate a daily mindfulness practice that I continue today, long after that year ended. Last year, my word was write. I intended to write my stories, but it ended up going in a different direction. I started my editing business, which still deals with writing. 

This last year was hard for all of us in different ways. We had to adjust to new social norms and expectations. We had to give up things that were really important to us. We had to adjust living in a new way. But many of us also were dealt even more, on top of an already incredibly difficult year. We suffered unimaginable heartbreak. We uncovered years of deceit. We lost people and things we never believed we could lose, in one way or another. 

I was one of those. 

So for the coming year, my word is heart. I will be intentionally working on threading this word through every single day this year. I have three ways in which I will incorporate this word into my daily life. 

Heal My Heart – I am purposefully allowing myself to deeply feel even difficult feelings and honor the time I need to feel them. Some days it may mean I need to drop everything and head out onto a trail to reconnect and ground myself. Other days this may mean I will sob on the floor of my shower and curl up in bed. I am promising myself now that I will listen and honor what my heart needs.

Show My Heart – I am consistently showing my heart to those I love and to causes that mean a lot to me. This means I will give my family and friends my time and energy, in ways  that let them know that I cherish and love them, and that they are valued and important and seen. 

Open My Heart – I am opening my heart to find love again. I am continually recognizing my own worth and know that the man who steals my heart will have to be incredibly special. And I’m ready to put myself out there, be vulnerable, and find the love of my life. 

Dawn Strauss Berta
Wendy Blizard Eldredge – health

My word for 2021 is health. I know, I know… so cliche. So already done. It’s time for me to lose the baby weight finally. My baby is now 25. That is, 25 YEARS OLD! I am a victim of a long-standing case of fitness center phobia. I actually SWEAT when I enter a place meant for exercise. I am told that everyone SHOULD sweat, but my sweating isn’t in a good way. My heart races — I know, that is a side effect of not getting enough exercise, too — and my fight-or-flight instinct kicks in. Certainly, having a gym with BOYS is a problem for me since my inner middle school gym trauma rears it’s ugly head and I am again a gawky 13 year old. 

Well, time to change it up. In 2020, my oldest daughter bought a chain of fitness and nutrition centers for women here in Massachusetts (www.myprimefitness) as a side business. She is a total entrepreneur and had a great experience getting herself fit after her recovery from cancer at 23. Due to the pandemic, local gyms have been for sale at deep discounts, so she jumped on the chance to do this. So, how can I NOT get fit now? Her gym is only for women, so at least I have that going for me. 

Of course I asked her for a free or discounted membership since I AM her mother, and she just laughed. That was her response for two reasons — one, she is in this to make money — which I totally support and two — you will not value what you don’t pay for. I know this second one is very true since here at YTM our free courses often have many sign-ups, but very few show-ups! Paying my way at her gyms will keep me going so that I can get my money’s worth! 

I love that her gyms have a nutrition component since I know that health and weight loss start in the kitchen. I am not putting a number on what I want to lose — but I want my clothes to fit better and I want to have more energy and stamina. My husband joined a gym in December and now I have further reason to get myself going — to keep up with him!

We would love for you to join us in this tradition by choosing a word for 2021.

What word are you claiming? Let us know in the comments below.

Dawn, Heather, & Wendy – Founding Partners

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