Brave Lessons

Each year, I try to choose one word that serves as my motto, or mantra, if you will.

It helps frame my year with intention and purpose, and I always learn some good lessons along the way, too.

In the past, I’ve chosen a variety of words:




I’ve also chosen happiness, gratitude, faith, and hope. 

Each week, as I think about what that words means, or how I can apply it in certain situations, it helps me stay focused on something that not only shifts my mindset in a better direction, but helps me be a better person.

I typically have a word in mind for the following year by the time November rolls around. Only I was struggling to come up with something for 2019. Then, my husband and I were on a long road-trip and were talking about the possibilities. At the same time, we both said “brave!” and that’s when it felt right. 

So for 2019, my guiding word is “Brave.” 

I’m excited at the prospect of the lessons I’ll learn and the places I’ll go being brave this year!

How about you?

Do you pick a word for the year or a saying? 

Happy New Year to you all! 


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After spending her formative years on a farm in Eastern Oregon, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield turns her rural experiences into sweet historical and contemporary romances filled with sarcasm, humor, and hunky western heroes.
When this USA Today bestselling author isn’t writing or covertly hiding decadent chocolate from the other occupants of her home, Shanna hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.

28 thoughts on “Brave Lessons”

  1. Oh I love your word. I think we all need to be brave going into a new year. If I had to choose a word fir me this year it would be hopeful. Hopeful for a much better year than 2018, hopeful for better health for my husband, out lived ines, and myself. Hopeful for all my friends to have a joyous and amazing year.
    I hope so far your year is going great for you and Brave is fueling your creative mind and books, & your & CC’s year.

    • Hi Debra, So sorry the year is off to a rough start for you. I hope it gets smoother by the day and you find joy in the little things. Take care and know you are wishing a happy rest of the year!

  2. I love the word Joy and that has been my word several times but I this year I chose Seek. Seek His Word. Seek knowledge. Seek to encourage. Seek to love better!

  3. What a great thing to do every year! I love it! No I haven’t done this in the past but I do believe it’s a worth while thing to do to help to have a great year! So let me think of what mine could be for 2019…I’m going to go with the phrase, “See the good”. I will try to see the good in all people and all situations! Happy New Year!

  4. I don’t choose a word for the year. I daily make a choice to yield to Holy Spirit. Thank you for this great post!

  5. I wish you lots of luck with this word. It is a good one.
    I dont do words, I make goals. For me this works better.

  6. Being brave is a good thing to be. I know there are many times I haven’t done something because I just didn’t think I could! Introvert self here doesn’t like many things that cause me to go outside my comfort zone, but remembering to be BRAVE and try new things would help. I love your word!! I don’t pick a word, myself, but love hearing inspirations that others get.

    • I am right there with you in the introvert corner where things outside the comfort zone are scary, but I’m determined (thanks for that word, Denise!) to do better this year! Wishing you a beautiful year ahead, Susan!

  7. I haven’t done this before, and just like me, I’d like to take on two thoughts for the year. The first when I read your post was “endure,” simply make it through what life throws our way. But then I read Stephanie’s post and it made me remember “to look for the good in all things” even if they may seem a challenge at first. Thanks for making me think and to focus.

  8. I did one of those generators on a couple of places and was given “courage.” But, I think I’m going with “Determination.”

  9. I haven’t chosen a word before, but I definitely am right now. I choose Thankful. I look back at the past year when my 19 year old son was diagnosed with a disease and remember the fear we faced for 6 months before the drs found a medication that worked. He lost 60 pounds and was weak and in pain. He also developed anemia. It was such a scary time . Then they found a medication that worked and now he is thriving and is strong. He wants to become a police officer and has passed all the physical requirements. All I can say is how Thankful to God I am.

    • Oh, Vicki! I can see why you’d chose thankful. Such a beautiful, powerful word full of grace. That’s wonderful your son is doing so well. I hope his dreams for the future come true! Blessings to you for 2019!

  10. Howdy Shanna, I haven’t picked an actual word before, but if I did, I think I’d share your “brave.” There are a lot of things that scare me LOL. I need to remind myself I’m a big girl now. Blessings in 2019!

  11. I never thought of picking a word to guide my year. It is a good idea. I could wear a rubber band around my wrist. When things got bad or I was felling negative, I could snap myself to remind me of my guiding word. It would help keep me grounded, focused, and positive. We are dealing with serious medical issues since last year. I think tenacity will be my word this year. I will continue doing what I have enjoyed. It may take me longer and be a bit painful, but I am not going to quit.

    • Patricia – you are an inspiration! Tenacity is a wonderful word choice. I’m sending thoughts for good health and patience and strength in the meantime to you. Take good care!

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