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2019 Word – Courage

The next thing I knew, I was running a half marathon…

2019 Recap

Well, my friends, I cannot believe that last year is over.

And somehow, I didn’t publish a blog post in nearly a year. I started last year with big goals. Just the other day, I was reviewing them, and it turns out that I didn’t actually check too many of those goals off, but that doesn’t mean that nothing happened.

2019 was quite a year. Looking back I did the following:

I started running.

After years of stopping and starting the C25K app without much-lasting success, I decided to try a different method and enrolled ina 5K running class through Not Your Average Runner.

Aubrey Shaw at the Woman's Club of Cayce 2019 Hot Flash 5K

The 5K class fed into a 10K class. And the 10K class fed into a half marathon class. And the next thing I knew, I was running a half marathon.

Aubrey Shaw at the Savannah 2019 Rock n Roll Half Marathon

I completed my first half marathon in Savannah on November 2, 2019. And I’ve already picked out two more to complete this year.

My business became debt-free.

2019 is the year we paid my insurance agency and. I wrote last year that taking out a loan through the Small Business Administration is a financial decision I would change if I had it to do again.

Aubrey Shaw, owner of LifeTime Insurance Agency in Cayce SC
October 2019

Paying this loan off has created a lot of breathing room in my business’s cash flow, and since then, I have paid off my car as well.

Want to get your business debt-free? I recommend reading & implementing Profit First by Mike Michalowicz.

Aubrey Shaw receiving the NAIFA-SC 2019 award for Young Advisor of the Year.

Last year, I was named as the 2019 Young Advisor of the Year by NAIFA South Carolina and was nominated for the national NAIFA Young Advisor of the Year award.

One final business win to share is that I had my first Open Enrollment season where I sold more than $1 million in insurance premiums.

Jujitsu travels took me all over the country.

Last year, I was lucky enough to travel to California, Florida, Chicago, and Atlanta for jujitsu and judo classes and events.

2019 AJJF National Judo Tournament in Atlanta
2019 AJJF National Judo Tournament

Our dojo judo team went to three tournaments. I chose to participate in the South Carolina State Judo tournament and the AJJF National Judo tournament; in each tournament, I brought home a silver medal in my division. I also tried my hand at the AJJF National Freestyle contest and placed third in my division.

I continue to find blessings in our martial arts school by helping teach the children’s judo classes. We now have more than 20 kids regularly attending class, which amazes me.

I hate that I didn’t find time to update this blog with last year’s adventures. This recap of the year doesn’t seem nearly complete enough, but I can say that 2019 was quite a year. Looking forward to the next decade (!!), I can’t wait to see where 2020 brings me.

2019 Word of the Year & Goals

Over the last few years, I have found that choosing a word of the year to help me focus on what I want to add to my life. Keeping that word in front of me can help me make decisions in line with my priorities, know when to say “no” to opportunities that don’t align with my vision, and motivate me to take action when it’s time to move.

Want to see what my previous words of the year have been, check them out:

  • 2018 Word of the Year was CLARIFY
  • 2017 Word of the Year was START
  • 2016 Word of the Year was ACHIEVE

As part of my 2018 year-end review yesterday, I discussed that in 2019 I want to get in the best physical, mental, spiritual and financial shape of my life.

Every goal that I’m setting is with this in mind. Several of them are goals that I have set in years past. So, what is the right word to give me the right amount of oomph to push me toward achieving these goals?

2019 Word of the Year: COURAGE

Courage also happens to be one of my core values. For me, the definition of courage is “taking action in difficult situations by choosing to follow my intuition and logic.”

In 2019, I want to use this word to keep me moving even when the pathway seems steep, in spite of imposter syndrome, and on those days where it seems easier to stay in my comfort zone.

Over the last few years, I have found that choosing a word of the year to help me focus as I set my annual goals. My 2019 word of the year is COURAGE.

Goals for the 2019

Pay off our debt snowball.

The Mister and I took Financial Peace University in 2015, which makes this the fourth calendar year that I’ve written this goal out. I wish we had knocked this goal out sooner, but I haven’t had the courage in year’s past to really cut back our lifestyle and stay committed to living on a written budget.

This is the last year that I’m declaring it, “2019 will be the year that we become debt-free.

Since I primarily handle the budget and bills, I need to have the courage to tell myself “no” my brain tries to sway me to immediate gratification rather than staying on plan. We CAN do this, and we will.

Increase my business income by 20 percent

This goal is a stretch goal for me, just typing the words gives me flutters in my stomach. It’s going to take courage to make the calls. It’s going to take courage to believe that sales will come. It’s going to take courage to push through the imposter syndrome.

I know that I didn’t hit my 2018 goal because I didn’t believe in myself enough to try. That HAS to change…because how do we get debt-free if I don’t grow my income? It’s not fair to rely on the Mister to do all the overtime.

Hit my goal weight of 135 lbs

And work toward this goal while still having the courage to love my current body and cherish its abilities. In the last 5 years, I’ve watched the number on the scale creep upward and upward, and I’ve come to realize that I’m not comfortable in my skin anymore.

I know what to eat that helps me feel my best energetically. I’ve just allowed convenience and comfort get in the way of living/eating that lifestyle. I know that weight is just one measure of a healthy body, but this is where I’m starting. This is the year that I change that I get back to loving the reflection in the mirror while fueling my body and mind well.

Pass my second-degree black belt exam.

Here’s the thing: I’ve been eligible to test for this rank since October, but I’ve held myself back. I need to learn only 25 more techniques than I needed for my first-degree exam, and the truth is that again I’ve let fear get in my way of learning them.

Just like with my business income goal, getting ready for my exam (and learning those last few techniques) involves the courage to believe that I can do this. I have to take ownership asking for the instruction and getting the practice to feel ready.

Live my faith more visibly

Of all my goals, this one is probably the most nebulous and hardest to measure. I have come to realize that I rarely discuss my faith among my friends — never mind share about it on this blog or via social media.

I want to have the courage to embrace my love for Jesus more publicly. So I’m giving myself two challenges this year:

  1. Get back to attending church on a weekly basis with my husband.
  2. Participate in reading the entire Bible this year with my husband.

In addition to strengthening my walk with God, completing these challenges are going to help my life in so many areas:

  • feeling more at peace with life’s challenges
  • relying more on God than myself and reducing worry
  • bringing me closer to the Mister and strengthening our marriage
  • preparing me to be a better parent for future children.

2019 is my year of courage.

I’m looking forward to the challenges in front of me. I can’t wait until December when I’ll be sharing with you how I’ve grown and what I’ve accomplished. Future Aubrey is going to be so proud of the daily acts of courage.

What goals are you setting for 2019? Do you use a word of the year to stay focused?