My word for 2014: Brave

Have you ever selected one word to focus on for a year? This word is supposed to represent what you want in your life and be the filter through which you run any decisions you make. I initially dismissed the idea because I thought it would be hard to pick just one word that could apply to more than one area of my life, but the word that keeps coming to me is BRAVE.

Brave people take risks, brave people believe that things will work out in the end, brave people trust themselves.

Be brave

I’m pretty much the opposite of this: I’ve allowed fear to hold me back in many areas of my life. I’ll tell myself to dream big then once I dare to, I tell myself that I should be more realistic because that dream can’t actually come true. When people tel me that love is on the way I respond positively but I have doubts (and I’ve been called out on the tone of my response). I’ve been resistant to doing things I’ve never done before to see results I’ve never seen. I keep reading about people who are doing big things, despite not having everything in place, and I want to join them. I’m still young (it’s all relative, right?) and I have the freedom to move around since I don’t have children or a husband yet: it will never be easier than it is now for me to decide to rent out my house and live or work elsewhere for a period of time, or go to New York City or to a tropical destination for a week, things I’ve never done. (Money is a factor, but it’s fear holding me back because I don’t have a problem living frugally to save money for something I want.)

BRAVE actions for 2014

I will provide monthly updates on everything below. If you don’t see an update, please call me out on it!

At work

  • document my value as an employee and communicate it clearly during my performance appraisal Deadline: February 28, 2014
  • stop getting so nervous when speaking during meetings—it shows in my voice and after 8+ years with the same employer I should be able to speak confidently—my boss always has to remind me to breathe! Deadline: June 30, 2014
  • set better boundaries with respect to my workload, and with social interactions with colleagues Deadline: February 15, 2014

With friends

  • let fading friendships go or prioritize them by bringing it up with the friend—stop feeling bad about the state of a friendship because it takes two to make it work (or not) Deadline: June 30, 2014
  • say no to activities or tasks that I really don’t want to do Deadline: Ongoing
  • expand my friendships to include at least two people whose lives are more similar to mine Deadline: June 30, 2014

In love

  • be truly open to interest from a Christian man, as long as he doesn’t raise any alarm bells Deadline: Ongoing
  • tell six family members and friends that I’m looking for love Deadline: February 14, 2014 *wink*

Other areas

  • go out to one social event, preferably one that strangers will also attend, monthly Deadline: Ongoing
  • go out for dinner alone every other month Deadline: Ongoing
  • travel internationally at least once more alone (even though I know I felt lonely the last time); it could be my last opportunity for a solo trip for a while Deadline: December 31, 2014
  • admit that even though I want to learn how to paint, it would be more efficient to hire someone to paint (parts of?) my house—and do it! Deadline: March 31, 2014
  • hold a live event in Lagos for the 2014 Nigerian Blog Awards Deadline: December 31, 2014
  • contact two potential mentors for entrepreneurial insight Deadline: March 31, 2014
  • launch a new website Deadline: March 31, 2014

Have you or will you choose a word for 2014? What is one thing you hope to accomplish this year?

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17 thoughts on “My word for 2014: Brave

  1. Your goals are definitely smart and realistic. I lol’ed at some of the deadlines though (why so far out? Why not now?) Lol :D

    I will definitely call you out on them *wink* BTW, congratulations on your new ventures and it will be exciting to be a part of it. My new year goals will be to take risks and ask questions. Yes, questions! Sometimes we fear rejection and that pulls us back.

    Oh, lol @ getting nervous at meetings. I used to get nervous while leading worship and my team members would replay the video of me visibly shaking until I couldn’t take it anymore. Lol :D

    What helped me get better was my head conversation with God: “Can I trust you Lord, to lead these people into worship?” coming to terms with my abilities as a worship leader/not comparing my gifts with another – even if they’re more experienced and skilled than I am. Once I became aware of these things leading worship became natural and I wasn’t afraid of criticism or being compared to another minister. :)

    • Hmmph! See challenge from day one—abeg leave me with my deadlines ooo! Than you for promising to call me out on them—I definitely need that.

      Thanks for the reminder to take even something as small as this to God. You know, I don’t think I’ve ever taken the time to ask God quickly before a meeting to give me the confidence to speak without being nervous! Sometimes I’m just so foolish.

  2. Great word!

    And I love your goals! I wish you luck with achieving them in your timeline.

    I’m not one to do resolutions for a new calendar year, but think that I do want to set some concrete goals this year.

  3. I definitely feel you on the fear thing because I was so impressed by your goals but then I also felt a twinge of fear at how you are going to accomplish it all…telltale sign of what happens in my own life aye? I wish you lots of luck and I love the word “brave’ reminds me of one of my favorite songs from 2013 “brave”.

    • High five, sister! God help me and maybe if you see me actually getting it done it’ll encourage you (because, ask anyone around me, I never get it done!). But there’s something about age 35 coming at me so rapidly that’s freaking me out. The time to act is NOW…we’re not guaranteed any other time except the current moment!

  4. Great goals! I’m so behind on setting my goals for the year. Maybe because I didn’t accomplish all that I wanted to do in 2013. Wondering whether to re-use those goals OR make new goals?

    Anyways, best wishes to you on yours!

    • Thank you…I suggest you review last year’s goals to see if they’re still things you want to do, then keep the ones you still want to accomplish this year and toss the ones that don’t fit anymore. Have a fabulous 2014 m’dear!

  5. Nice! I like the way you have broken your goals down and categorised them. I have found that breaking large goals into smaller ones make them seem more realistic.

    All the goals I have set for myself this year, literally leave me gasping for breath. I have so much I want to do that my constant prayer point since the 1st of January is for God to give me Spiritual, Mental and Physical Energy to accomplish them all. I would usually set goals that are slightly beyond my capabilities at present and the challenge forces me to reach further and push for more. I can’t say I always achieve all my goals but I have always become better by simply trying.

    Wishing you all the best for 2013. May you goals be accomplished!

    • Thank you Enkay—I keep hearing that breaking it down helps, so I had to try it!

      Amen! I pray that God gives you just what you need to be able to achieve what you’ve set for yourself. I’m finding that the fact that my goals are scary has been making me hesitant to move forward but I too will need to pray for guidance. I wish you all the best as you work to achieve your goals too! xo

  6. I think the fact that you’ve shared them will help you get them done or at least try harder. You’re a step ahead of me…i haven’t bothered this year cos i have the same ones and i just think ‘who you fooling?’ lol…sad, huh?

    As per solo travel…may i ask why you feel you ‘must’ do it if you’ve done it and it was lonely? I always say i wish i could travel by myself but i’ll prob be miserable so, meh.

    Anyhoos, all the best on your goals…here’s to a better year!!

    • Hi Nwa.baby!

      Thank you for your comment and (I laughed at your “who you fooling?”!) and your awesome question. The reason I want to try traveling alone again is two-fold: I have a better idea of what it’s like to travel alone, so I’ll be better prepared, and I can’t put my dreams of traveling on hold until I find a man to explore with, because I’ll have major regrets!

      I thought I’d feel empowered and in control traveling alone, forgetting that I have a terrible sense of direction that often makes panic and worry if I think I’m lost! lol. However I learned to trust and rely on myself and it’s good to do things that push you out of your comfort zone, especially since in the end I didn’t have any regrets about the trip.

      Because my friends and my sister are settled and now travel with their husbands and/or children, I don’t want to put my dreams of seeing more of the world on hold until I meet someone. Traveling anywhere except Nigeria hasn’t been really feasible for my family but by God’s grace we’ll get more money for that kind of stuff!

      Best case scenario I’ll be able to revisit some of my favourite places with my husband (or boyfriend), and rediscover them from a different perspective! But maybe I’ll also meet a new friend who’s in the same phase of life as I am and we can be travel buddies!

  7. I absolutely identify with a lot of what you have said above. I read through them and I have to say you sound a lot like me. I definitely need to make a list like this for 2014 and STICK to it! especially telling ppl that I am looking for love. it made me cringe just reading it, but I KNOW that it is definitely something that I need to do. asking for help and all that. :) Alo, letting go of faltering friendships and finally getting that book of (lame?) poetry published! Yikes!

    • Yes—we can do it! Putting it out there like I did on the blog or telling someone are good ways to be accountable.

      It’s hard telling people that you’re looking for love but if you don’t ever mention it, people won’t think to keep their eyes open!

      You want to publish a book of poetry? Oh my goodness I’m so emailing you to kick your butt!

      • LOL. ThanX for the email. I have printed it and taped it to the a side wall in my office space. as a reminder (I have decided to write / type out at least ONE line of poetry a day!) My B.Day is in June and my BIG BRAVE task now is to be holding a copy of poetry book in my hand on dat day!

  8. Hmmm! I like people who set their goals, who want to try again where they fail before, and those looking for love and who say it. I don’t know why I find it difficult to tell pple that I’m looking for love or tHat I’m lonely. This two you have mention and I salute those who trust God for a new begining is not always easy to start again where you’ve failed b4.. I can’t dare travel alone cos of loneliness but u have done it b4 and u want to strategise and try it again despite ur bad experience, I like that. And let me tell u I want to try that too, though I’m not a constant traveller but I want to go alone probably meet new people cos I don’t have many friends, but I want to visit nearby country this year during my annual leave. I don’t want to live this year like other years .. I will definatelY share my experience with u later and I’m awaiting urs.. Good luck God bless u

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