You all, I have chosen my word of the year, but I’m looking at it a little bit differently this year. I’m thinking about my word of the year in terms of my self‑image, which is what this episode is all about. I can’t wait to share my word of the year with you and tell you about the process that I went through to decide what it is, so let’s dive into a self-image world of the year.
Bonjour, and welcome to The French Kiss Life Podcast, where personal development meets style. I’m Tonya Leigh, certified master life coach and the hostess of this party, where we explore how to live artfully and well. Each week, I’ll be sharing inspiring stories, practical tips, and timeless wisdom on how to elevate the quality of your everyday and celebrate along the way. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
Hello, my beautiful friends. Can you believe we have just one more day before we say goodbye to 2020? I don’t know about you, but I’m excited. I’m excited for 2021, but I was excited for 2020 as well. And even despite everything that we’ve experienced this year, I am grateful for all of it. I’m grateful for what I learned about myself. I’m grateful for the incredible people that I met. I’m grateful for health. I’m grateful for family and friends.
I think it’s really important that we look back on our year with gratitude and look for the lessons that it provided, look for the blessing that we had, look for how we grew no matter what happened. And that’s what I’m doing. I’m spending the next day or two just reflecting over 2020 and setting some intentions for 2021.
My main focus for 2021 is going to be on the School of Self-Image. This is my membership program that I started in October of this year, and I am just excited and exhilarated for what we have planned for 2021. And in case you didn’t see it, we just opened the doors for enrollment for the membership. And January is going to be all around cultivating confidence because confidence is the secret sauce to creating a life that you love.
So, if you want to make focusing on elevating your self-image a number one priority this year, which I highly recommend because your self-image is creating your entire life, how you see yourself, I would love to see you within the School of Self-Image. You can go to schoolofselfimage.com/join to read about the membership, what’s included. And hey, I look forward to possibly supporting you in 2021.
Now, speaking of self-image, I want to talk about a self-image word of the year. Some of you may be familiar with the concept of choosing a word of the year. I’ve been doing this practice for many, many years. And I love how it gives me direction, how I’m able to really focus, how a word of the year helps me to decide what is a yes or a no. It helps me determine how I need to think about things. It shows me how I need to be showing up in my life.
I have chosen many different words as my word of the year. One year, the word was Hermès. In fact, you can – actually, I don’t know if I did a podcast on it. I know I did a blog post on it. I will make sure to link it in the show notes. I highly recommend that you either read or listen to it because I can’t remember which one I did. You can definitely read it though.
I’ve also chosen my maiden name as a word of the year. My maiden name is Rising, so one year, my word of the year was rising. I have chosen CEO as a word of the year two years ago I think it was. Yeah, two years ago, because I really wanted to focus on being a good leader and being a CEO of my company.
And then last year, my word of the amazed. I wanted to be amazed with life. I wanted to be amazed with myself. And let me tell y’all, that word came to fruition in the most unexpected ways. In fact, I talked about that in last week’s podcast.
But this year, I’m thinking about my word of the year in a little bit of a different twist. I’m thinking about it in terms of my self-image. Because in preparing to open up the doors to the School of Self-Image and doing so much research on self‑image and how it impacts our life, I realized learning to elevate and transform your self‑image is the secret to creating what it is that you want. If you don’t transform your self-image, you’re going to continue to be stuck and to struggle in reaching your goals.
And here’s why. It’s not about action. Even though that is an important piece of the puzzle, it’s about your beingness. You will always come back to who you think yourself to be, which is your self-image. Your self-image is how you see yourself.
And so, if you see yourself, for example, as overweight, you can go on all of the diets, you can even lose weight. But for those of us who have struggled with our weight, we know that we tend to go back to a certain number unless we change the inner blueprint of our self-image.
The same goes with a business, having money. It’s as if we have this thermostat that we keep coming back to, a number on the thermostat, as to what is possible for us. So, if you want to transcend the limitations that you’ve put on yourself, you’re going to have to elevate and transform your self-image.
So, for my word of the year this year, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I’ve been spending a lot of time journaling, thinking about who do I need to become this year. How do I want to see myself in 2021? Next year at this time, who will be celebrating that I’ve become?
And so, when we’re choosing our word of the year, one of the things that I often see is we want to choose all of the words, very similar to we want to have about 20 goals at one time. I do not recommend this. I choose one word, and I have one extraordinary goal for the year.
And that is one of the first things that you do when you start the School of Self‑Image. You choose one extraordinary goal that you’re going to focus on over the year. And then the work is to become the woman who has reached that goal not when you’ve reached it, but now because you have to be it in order to create it.
And so, for me, I sat down with my extraordinary goal, which I reveal within the School of Self-Image. All of my ladies know what my goal is for this year. But I sat down with my goal, and I asked myself, who do I need to be to reach this goal?
Now, I had many different options come up. I need to be confident. I need to be focused. I need to be tenacious. I need to be determined. But there was one word in particular that came up. And I realized if I am that, I for sure am going to reach my goal.
And the crazy thing is this word keeps coming up. My daughter has been using this word so much recently. And every time she uses it, I just get the tingles, and I laugh. I’m like, I love it when you use this word. And then a friend of mine called me up the other day. And we were talking, and this word came up in the conversation.
And so, I’m paying attention to the signs of the universe, and when I heard something over and over again, it’s usually a sign for me to pay attention. And so, I did, and I’ve chosen my word of the year. And I’m going to share it with you in just a moment, but I want to talk to you about how I want you to be thinking about your word of the year.
First of all, you can’t do it wrong, so don’t spend a month or two months trying to get the perfect word of the year. I’m all about being decisive and taking action, but I do want to give you some pointers that I’m using this year to really hone this process for myself.
So, the first thing I want you to think about is are you choosing a verb or an adjective for your word of the year. This is a really important distinction, and here’s why. Remember, I was talking about it’s your beingness that is attracting things and experiences and opportunities into your life. Well, if you think about it from that perspective, an adjective describes your beingness. So, if you think about you are the noun, you are the thing in the equation, a verb is describing what you do. It is an action.
So, for example, sometimes women will choose words like flourish, elevate, forgive. And don’t get me wrong; these are beautiful words. I highly recommend them, but I want you to go even deeper. What is on the other side of flourishing? Who has that allowed you to become? What’s on the other side of elevating? What are you elevating into? What is on the other side of forgiving? Who has that allowed you to become?
Can you see where I’m going with this? I want you to skip over the action and think about who have you become on the other side of these actions that you imagine yourself to be taking. This is why I encourage you to choose an adjective as your word of the year because an adjective describes the noun, which is you. It describes the beingness of you. Who have you become over the course of 2021? That is the question that I want you to be thinking about when you’re thinking about your word of the year.
I highly recommend when you are thinking about your word of the year to fast‑forward a year from now and think about what is the extraordinary goal that you reached this year. Notice that that is singular, one. I see so many of my clients sabotaging themselves because they’re trying to do too much at any given time.
They’re trying to reach a hundred goals within a year, and therefore, they have split energy. They can’t get their energy and their focus behind one thing because it’s scattered amongst many. It is so much more impactful that we become decisive women, and we choose what is our main focus, what is our main aim for this year. Now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve other goals in a year but never at the sacrifice of your one extraordinary goal.
And so, I sat with my extraordinary goal. And as I said earlier, I thought about who do I need to be to reach this goal and how will I feel once I’ve reached this goal. Because if you think about it, feelings are the adjectives which describe us. And if you want to create something that you don’t yet have, the work is to be the woman who has already created it, not once you’ve achieved it, but right now.
You can also imagine what do you think other people will be thinking about you once you’ve achieved your goal. How will other people describe you on the other end? Imagine next year at this time, you’re at a dinner party – and hopefully, you will be able to have those next year at this time – but you’ve reached your goal. And people are coming up and they’re saying, "You are so…," fill in the blank.
Maybe they’re saying, "You are so joyful. You are so confident. You are so courageous. You are so relaxed. You are so rich. You are so bold. You are persistent." What do you imagine other people will be saying about you?
What do you want other people to be saying about you? Because that’s really what you want to be saying about yourself, but sometimes it helps to think about what want other people to say about us. And give yourself some time to play around with it and feel these words in your body. Which ones equally excite you and probably frighten you? Because it’s going to require you elevate your self-image in order to become that woman.
So, my self-image word of the year is, drumroll, audacious. To be audacious means to be extremely bold and daring, recklessly brave, fearless, extremely original, without restriction to prior ideas, highly inventive, lively, unrestrained, and uninhibited. Y’all, that’s who I’m becoming this year.
And the way I’m going to use this word is I’m going to have it as the focus of my daily life. When I wake up in the morning, I’m going to be thinking, what does an audacious woman think about herself, about her ideas, about other people? How does she show up in her life? How does she dress? How does she carry herself? How does she walk into a room? What and with whom does she surround herself with? What is she doing on a daily basis?
And that is my word because, again, I know if I am an audacious woman this year, I’m going to blow my mind with what I’m able to achieve and create. That is my self-image word of the year.
Now, I want you to go out and figure out what is yours this year. Pick that one big extraordinary goal. At the end of 2021, what do you want to look back on and say, “Yes, I achieved this this year? I am so proud of myself”? And then who do you need to become now in order to achieve it, which is who you think you’ll be once you’ve achieved it.
That is your self-image word of the year, and I want to hear what yours is. Seriously, please share it with me. Head over to Instagram @tonyaleigh, or on Facebook, send me a private message. I want to hold that intention for you. Let’s make 2021 our best year ever. And let’s do it because we became the women that we intended to become today.
Thank you all for an extraordinary year. I cannot say enough how grateful and appreciative I am to be in your ear every single Wednesday or whatever day you listen to this and to share my journey, tips, strategies, what has helped me in life, with you. It is truly an honor, my friend. Happy 2020, and hello 2021. I’ll see you in the next episode. Cheers.
If you enjoyed this episode and you want to dive even deeper into the French Kiss Lifestyle, let’s start with a makeover; a mindset makeover. You can download my free training, The Three Mindset Makeovers Every Woman Needs, by visiting frenchkisslife.com/mindset. Because, after all, mindset is the new black.