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At a dinner with extended family this weekend, a conversation with my aunt about sociopaths and black coffee became a bit (more?) existential.

She asked me point blank, “So do you have a word for 2019? Your uncle and I have decided the word embrace is probably a good anchor for all we have going on in the coming year. As there will be a few known challenges and we’ll be tested more than once. We will attempt to embrace it all.”

I paraphrased her a bit, but that was the gist.

While this exercise is certainly simple, it did stop me for a moment to think. I have found that simple can be powerful and I have always loved turning something big into little memorable nugget.

In less than a minute, a few words popped to mind but I just kept coming back to the word “Cannonball”.  When I finally said it out loud, my wife and a few others nearby chuckled, “I know you’re putting in a pool, but really?”

Yeah, my word is Cannonball, and it’s slightly ridiculous. Every time I say it, I hear Ron Burgundy – but I’m fine with it.

Here’s why:

It’s bold. It takes effort. It’s a commitment. It’s got a dose of fun. It always makes waves. There’s no right way to do it. It can’t be ignored.

The last two years have been filled with countless changes, new experiences and challenges from many directions. Sometimes I was pushed out of my comfort zone and when the fear of the unknown crept in, I did my best to power through and say yes.  I have regretted it zero times.

So in 2019 I’m going to keep trusting my ability to learn to swim in the deep end. I’m going to jump into all the new meaningful things that my schedule will allow. I’m going to attempt to make a big splash in whatever I do. I might knock you off your floating raft, but please don’t take it personally.

As a planner, of course I have a list of goals for this new year written down… but now I also have a single word to define it all.


Even better.

What’s your word?



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