Choose joy cover art person on mountain

Every year, I choose a guiding phrase for the year. This year, the phrase is simple: choose joy.

After years of an ongoing pandemic, the damage I’ve seen done to small businesses, my own coaching experience, and the upheaval in the lives of friends and business associates, the choice became easy.

It’s also easy, because I spent years, not choosing joy.

Stuck in my Head

Several years ago, I went through a difficult season of life and business. It culminated in a cross-country move to restart many aspects of my life. Those experiences left me far from feeling joyous. Instead, I was angry, bitter, and resentful. Many times, I didn’t even realize it or see it in myself.

I would have told you I was happy.

Chances are, I would’ve even believed I was happy.

In all sincerity, I was convinced that as bad as those experiences were, “I was fine.”

I was lying to myself. Choose joy cover art person on mountain

It took me a year to even realize it.

When I did, I felt overwhelmed. I had suppressed my emotions for so long, I didn’t know how to handle them all. (I’m a good Enneagram 3).

Once I did realize it, I was stuck in my own head. I replayed the situations over and over again, analyzing each detail.

I found myself asking questions, growing angrier, and becoming disillusioned.

Maybe that was a necessary part of my healing journey, but it was here that I learned the importance of choosing joy.

Choose Joy

Sometime along the way, I just started to say the phrase.

When a situation would arise, or a decision needed to be made, I just found myself saying, “Choose joy.”

What’s the joyous response?

What does it look like to be happy?

How do I pick optimism and growth?

Where does my heart find peace?

The more I made those choices, the more reason I found for joy and contentment.

As this year dawned (and hard to believe it’s 1/12th over already!) it became the natural way for me to navigate this year.

Wherever you’re at. 

Whatever you’re facing.

In whatever way your life is taking shape:

Choose Joy.

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