• Joni Bonnell

"Dedicated." My Word For 2021

Reasons I Chose a Word of the Year for 2021

Choosing a "word of the year" is something new to me, having never had (or wanted) one before. A few things led to this decision, and somehow, this feels right and something I am determined to achieve.


Cultivating Goals for 2021

2020 in review

Michael (our 27-year-old son who is staying with us during COVID) and I recorded and published our podcast, Mom Knows Best, in early December that focused on the ways our year has been affected.

The truth is that while 2020 has been a year of great consternation and change, it has been one of the best years of my life. Before recording the podcast, I didn't say this out loud because millions of people were unfathomably affected in 2020. There has (and continues to be) been COVID-19, where so many have lost their lives, loved ones, jobs, businesses, and health (mental and physical). No person I know has suffered or died from COVID-19. I have no friends who have lost their livelihoods, homes, or businesses. However, many have been on an emotional roller coaster since March, when COVID-19 was first discussed here in the US.

My life, and those closest to me, have prospered. This fact has left me dealing with survivor's guilt for much of the year. How do I gleefully show up sharing my love of my new community and home? My husband's career has taken a sizeable upward trajectory since COVID-19 as he is in a non-profit business that is helping thousands of Americans gain more education. I enrolled in the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy (FMCA), where I have met amazing people and am learning to be competent in what my purpose is: coaching women. My children's careers have not been negatively affected, and my grand daughter's first year in kindergarten has been different, but still there.

I know very few people in my new and small town, but neighbors I do know are ones I treasure deeply. Every morning I wake up looking at the majestic Wasatch and Timpanogos mountains and am humbled that they are my view. Every day I wake up humbled that I am living a life that fits.

Driven Leadership Retreat that Changed My Life

This year, my friend gave me the gift of Driven Leadership's BOLD retreat that changed my life. This retreat, coupled with my year of blessings, propelled me to dig deep into my fears and limiting beliefs. Before the retreat, I thought my life was 100% on track, but the retreat uncovered truths that were still negatively affecting me. Fear, needing to be liked, trying to control situations, and squelching my voice was holding me back.

I uncovered and put words to my "why." I created a vision for the life I wanted to live. I looked at myself in a mirror (for what seemed to be an eternity) and saw a beautiful woman staring back. I learned to set goals, consequences for not arriving at said goals, and accountability. I took this new life force with me and spent the last quarter of 2020 being more purposeful and focused than ever.

Journaling and Planning

Driven by the transformation that occurred at the leadership retreat, I wanted to keep implementing all I had learned to become even stronger. I began a daily journaling process and invested in a yearly goal planning system called Cultivate What Matters. I'll share more on this process in a future post.

My daily journaling process has allowed more purposeful and achievable outcomes through writing on these topics:

  1. Gratitude

  2. People and things I want to remember in prayer

  3. Affirmations

  4. Answering the question, "I would love to?"

  5. Answering "what is the one thing I will do today, such that by doing it, everything is either easier or unnecessary?"

  6. Naming three secondary priorities, in the order of importance, only to be done once I have completed my One Thing.

Getting up early morning, grabbing a cup of coffee followed by sitting in my comfy chair journaling is now something I do without thought or setting the alarm. I look forward to starting my day this way and once done, I am focused on the right pieces that will help me be better. The once tired and crabby morning mindset is now calming yet invigorating.


So why the word "Dedicated?"

As I pondered what word would resonate with my goals and dreams for 2021, I closed my eyes and imagined what it would be like if all of the goals I wrote were to come to fruition. Yes, this brought a smile to my face, and sometimes, just that physical smile is enough to put my mind in a positive state of action.

Some words that came into my mind were: vulnerable, champion, inspired, truthful, passionate, and limitless. None of them felt right. So I put my pen and paper aside and took the 24-hour rule of not thinking or forcing something for 24 hours. The next day, I picked up the pen and paper again, and the first word that spewed out was "dedicated." It was as though it came out of nowhere, a term I hadn't thought of yet.

Opening up my planner to my goal section, I thoroughly read my long-term, mid-term, and short-term goals, and the word "dedicated" is what I need to achieve all I have set for myself. And most importantly, it feels right in my heart.

I am excited to implement my word in all I say and do, and that means weekly blogging! Get ready, friends!

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