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Colleen wrote a post about choosing a word for 2017. She shared her word for 2017, and I want to share mine. There’s nothing like making it public to be accountable. I may be a little late to the party but better late than never, right? And, maybe we consider this a 30-day check-in.

In the past, I have chosen a word but never really stuck to it. My first year out of college, my word was Believe. It’s an optimistic word and one I thought would help guide me as I moved to from college to working. Believe that what I learned throughout college experiences and courses was enough to do well at work. Believe that I could manage to coach high school field hockey after a four-year hiatus from the sport and a full-time role at a market research firm. But once I was distracted by the every day the days, my word flew out the window and I didn’t step back to remind myself to believe.

After Colleen had published her post, I challenged myself to choose a word, a word that would remind and challenge me to make 2017 a great year. And as cliche, as it sounds, challenge me to become a better version of myself by the end of the year. Good thing I have 11 more months.

My word for 2017 is Growth. Growth within my role at Intero, within my new found hobby that I enjoy, and my diet, as unexpected as that seems.

Working for a four-person LinkedIn training, coaching, and consulting firm, there is a lot of growth potential. When I first started at Intero, my role was very heads down, behind the scenes. Over the past year, my role expanded quite a bit, especially when our colleague, Erin was on maternity leave (SO happy she is back). LinkedIn with all their changes forced me to step up, and I found myself on more and more coaching calls helping my clients. As a result of my work in LinkedIn and helping clients Colleen and I had a discussion about transitioning my role and behind-the-scene services to more coaching. We have honed our processes, and how we provide LinkedIn outreach. We want our clients to be informed and know how to fish. Now and over the next few months, my focus will be 1:1 coaching. Who knows, maybe in 6-12 months I’ll be doing interactive webinars and presentations for companies, but right now I’m excited to work with my clients, be creative testing new approaches and help them find success with LinkedIn.

Another creative outlet for me is hand lettering. I’ve always been into crafting and making hand lettered canvases, but I recently found the right courses, materials, and tools to take my hand-lettering to the next level. My house has currently become an inspirational haven for my work, and people seem to love what they see. So, I figured if I’m going to spend all of this time and money on learning and tools, I should display my work beyond my walls. My goal is to open an Etsy shop. Now if I could have two-three more hours to practice every day, I’ll be good to go!

And finally, you may wonder how the word ‘growth’ fits with my diet? I’ll be the first to admit my diet is not great or as my sister likes to say, “it’s atrocious.” I admit that is a bit dramatic, but considering I haven’t had a recommended serving size of any vegetable in the past five+ years, perhaps she is right.

I have always been a finicky eater. My parents gave up forcing me to eat my vegetables a long time ago. It was a battle; one they’d never win. But as I approach 25, I need to grow the list of healthy foods, specifically vegetables that I will eat. By far, this will be the most challenging area of growth for me. Thankfully, I live with my sister, and she is sure to keep me accountable.

I’m hoping that by the end of 2017, I will have helped my clients use LinkedIn more confidently and strategically, opened my Etsy shop and sold at least ten pieces of work, and will enjoy my five servings of fruits and vegetables. Each area will take me beyond my comfort zone, and that is exciting.

Well, I better get started since tomorrow is February 1st. When did that happen?

Remember, it’s not too late to choose your word.

Keep accountable and don’t forget to check in and assess how you are doing. Let’s not give up on the idea of stretching.