Our 2019 Word of the Year

Jess Ann Kirby shares her 2019 word of the year instead of resolutions
Illustration by Shore Creative

When I sit down to write my goals for the year I like to choose a word to help set the tone and give me a bit of direction. In 2018, my word of the year was balance. I was struggling with the feeling that my personal life and work were so intertwined I no longer knew what was what. I was burnt out and tired. If I had to give myself a grade on how well I did with balance in 2018, I’d probably say a “B.” I still made a lot of excuses for allowing my work to consume my life. I’d blame it on owning my own business. I’d say it’s just the nature of this industry. But the truth is, that’s BS, and I honestly didn’t realize it until I went through some business coaching towards the end of the year. Mike reached out and offered to coach me for a month and having never done anything like that before, I figured I’d give it a shot. It was a very helpful and eye opening experience. At the same time, 2018 was a year of reflection for me about my purpose (personally and professionally). I learned a lot about myself and what I want out of my life and my career, which leads me to my 2019 word of the year. I asked Jess and Caylin (who will be contributing here more regularly) to share theirs too, since I think it’s always nice to hear different ideas and perspectives and maybe even help some of you with your goals for the year. I’d love to hear if any of you have a word or theme for 2019. Let us know in the comments.



When I started writing out my goals for 2019 (going live in tomorrow’s post) the one word that kept popping into my head was intention. I want to be intentional with my time and how I spend it, in my work and my personal life. I want to spend less time mindlessly scrolling through Instagram and only follow and interact with accounts that I enjoy. I don’t want to check my email 500 times a day. I want to spend more time with the people who are important to me. I want to give my time to causes and organizations that I am passionate about. I want to be intentional about how I spend (and save) money. I’m tired of the buy, buy, buy all the time culture. I want to curate things with intention and just have less “stuff” in general. I’ve thought about that a lot the last few months…more to come tomorrow.



There’s a great quote that says, “You know how every once in a while you do something and the little voice says, ‘There. That’s it. That’s why you’re here.’ And you get a warm glow in your heart because you know it’s true? Do more of that.” It’s very easy for me to get caught up in the things I think I should be doing and not what I want to be doing. I’m at a point in both my life and career where I want to be more intentional with the projects I take on, the people I work with, and how I continue to grow my business. I also really want to take time to give back to the community—I’m looking into mentoring in the new year. In 2019 I do want to be on social less and read more, I want to take more classes (online or IRL), and spend more time with people I care about. I also want to appreciate how far I’ve come and really celebrate the wins instead of breezing right by them. I’m excited for what this new year has to offer.

Jess L


In 2019, my goal is to spend more of my time and energy (and money) on new experiences and making memories, as opposed to material things. I also hope to be more fully immersed in my experiences without distractions like social media. I feel as though sometimes I get caught up in the ‘things’ that will make me happy next, when I want to start to focus instead on new activities and feelings that I want to experience, with the knowledge that I will find a lot more fulfillment there. So far, I’ll be going to a pasta making class, taking a weekend in Florida with girlfriends and visiting a speedway in 2019– all adventures I have never done before! I’m looking forward to intentionally putting effort into doing things and therefore taking effort away from buying things.

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  1. Katie Gill wrote:

    I really like the idea of the word intention, for a theme for the year…if it’s ok I think I will use that too 🙂

    I want to be more intentional with my time this year, and how I spend my days…with the idea of working smarter, not necessarily harder. There are things in my business that I spend too much time on, and would benefit from automating, and/or delegating tasks out.

    It’s going to be a big year for me, I am moving back to Newport with my SO, after being in Philly together for 6 years. We are buying a home and will be rebuilding our life together in a new (but familiar) spot. That will be a big change in my business, and I am nervous but excited to see where it goes.

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s post!

    1.2.19 | Reply
  2. Rita Winthrop wrote:

    I suppose I never really thought about the idea of just a word to set intention (see what I did there) for the year – but I’m into it. I also, am not a big believer in resolutions, but rather setting goals, and revelations for whats to come. I’ve spent the last few years trying to define myself – which while corny, is accurate as I think it took me a long time to get into a groove with what my future would hold and being OK without knowing what the next step might be. I am psyched that 2019 is here.

    I think if I had to pick a word(s) it would be strength of conviction. I am feeling like this year my blog is going to take off because I finally am feeling confident in what I’m doing. And it is that kind of attitude, I’ve always believed that will drive success.

    I also am SUPER excite for Katie Gill (see above) to be moving home. She and I are both pretty aggressive Jess Kirby fans, and likely are reading these as soon as you send them.

    Thank you always for your guidance and thoughts

    Much love. xo

    1.2.19 | Reply
  3. MarciaMarciaMarcia wrote:

    I struggled to come up with my word this year – nothing felt right -and I knew I needed to just let go and let it come to me, and it did exactly that this morning.


    As in “to move smoothly and continuously along, as if without effort or resistance.” It’s perfect. It’s not stagnant, there’s purpose and progress. It’s not passive, it’s deliberate. But it leaves room for spontaneity and opportunity, with none of the frustration that comes with pushing too hard.

    1.2.19 | Reply
  4. Kristin Offiler wrote:

    My word is Trust.

    Mainly trusting myself, my ambitions, my dreams, my instincts. I keep saying “I trust myself” when I feel unsure about something and it snaps me right into the mindset I want to be in for 2019.

    1.2.19 | Reply
  5. Kelsey M. wrote:

    I love how all 3 of your intentions for 2019 kind of relate to each other! They’re all tied together with being more intentional with your time, energy, money, mental space, etc. I’ve found a lot of my friends and family are working on the same thing. Less time scrolling through social media and more time actually being present in life! Can’t wait to see what 2019 brings!

    1.3.19 | Reply

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