I have chosen RELEASE as my 2020 Word-of-the-Year. For me a WOTY is my focus area for the year.   In past year’s my words included JOY (which helped me embrace practicing positivity), SOAR (which stood for Savoring, Optimistic, Activating, and Resilient and, while complicated, was a strong word for the year I was fighting cancer and learning to live my retirement life vision), and last year’s JOURNEY (which is best captured in the phrase “Create the Vision. Plan the Path. Live the Journey.”) As I worked on living in the moment in 2019, I’ve realized I have a number of mental obstructions including self-limiting beliefs and resentments. To kick off this new decade, I feel a need to release.

RELEASE so I can be the true me – active, connected, creative, contemplative.

As I delved into RELEASE, I realized this was THE growth I needed at this point in my life:

Release the Past. Embrace the Now.

Release self-limiting beliefs. Create self-empowering beliefs.

Release resentments & grudges. Forgive and accept.

Release ego-driven behaviors of judgment, approval seeking, & comparison.

Become more compassionate and non-judgmental – of myself and others.

Release the need for perfection & perceived expectations.

Accept myself. Appreciate myself.

Release Chakra energy blockage. Embrace my body, my sensuality & my creativity.

Release muscle tension. Relieve the pain

As I was exploring what RELEASE means to me, especially reading about Chakra Blockage release, there were a number of activities recommended in various sources. So I have created a 20 for 2020 to aid in my year of RELEASE.

20 for 2020 – Release the Past. Grow Self-Acceptance. Live in the Now.

  1. Daily Gratitude Journaling
  2. Do specific Release Activities – Release Workbook, Release Art Project(s), Release Meditation.
  3. Get in contact with water – bathe, swim, walk by the ocean/lake, waxing moon evening walk by the water, Epson bath (get the jet tub fixed!)
  4. Dance in the moonlight under a full moon
  5. Make contact to earth with bare feet
  6. Be playful – do kids craft kits, origami, wine tastings, try pole dancing (?), use the hula hoop(?)
  7. Add in the color Orange – clothing/scarf, bowl of oranges, orange gemstones
  8. Use scented oils or candles. Use new Incense holder.
  9. Explore Reiki
  10. Play the drums; rhythmic music; attend Sunset Music (Monday’s in FL)
  11. Feng Shui new home
  12. Cultivate Florida friendships
  13. Listen to Bach or Vivaldi
  14. Be aware of new moon and full moon – full moon shelling, new moon rituals; watch more sunsets.
  15. Cook creatively – one new recipe a week?
  16. Create list “what am I curious about?” – follow the threads; Where does my curiosity want to take me? Learn to play chess, write memoir, new recipes to cook, bird-watching. Keep tracking new things! (Target 101 again.)
  17. Keep a dream journal.
  18. Be frivolous – do what?!
  19. Bring hiking back into my life.
  20. Continue Self Care – eat healthy, drink more water, movement, strength training, sleep, massage


I’ve crafted two different release activities based on researching different therapeutic approaches to shifting self-limiting beliefs and releasing resentment.   I’ve turned them into a Personal Release Workbook, but the basic approaches are below.

Releasing Self-limiting Beliefs

Henry Ford said, “Think you can, think you can’t; either way you’ll be right.”

  1. Write down the self-limiting belief in detail – when did it start, what emotions it elicits, how is it holding me back, what value do I gain from my holding onto it (feeling of specialness, avoidance of failure & judgment)
  2. Acknowledge it is a belief and not a truth – identify life experiences when it was not true, any validity in others minds (people tell you it’s not true), any facts from experts
  3. Affirmation: I choose not to believe this anymore. It is not true.
  4. Create corresponding Self-Empowering Belief – write it down, imagine how life would change if I believed this, benefits of new belief, how new belief will make me feel
  5. Daily affirmations of the new Empowering Belief. Recognize voices challenging new beliefs and claim ”I am responsible for the change – the power to change rests in my hands”.
  6. Create actions, behaviors, and goals to prove new Empowering Belief is true. Example, if I really believe I eat healthy, what am I buying at grocery store? Do I need new language? Do I need to be aware of trigger responses?
  7. Be persistent. Repeat steps 4-6.


Releasing Resentments – Resentments are deep-seated negative feelings of real or perceived past injustices that create mental bondage/blockage today. Shifting from resentment to acceptance opens space for more positivity.

  1. Face it – Vent it out – write it down and what happened, all the details of what happened to cause resentment, be honest, it does not need to “make sense”.
  2. Feel it – How did it make you feel then and now, how did it impact your life – your identity, your feeling of worth, your fears, your dreams, changed behaviors, avoidance of things.   Feelings of abandonment or lack of support?
  3. Deal with it – Recognize the injustice. Show compassion towards the individuals involved. They most likely did their best or they were dealing with their own issues. How did I contribute to the situation? How has it helped me in life?
  4. Accept it – Choose to release the resentment. Recognize you cannot change the past. You could not control the other person’s actions. Articulate your forgiveness. Stop indulging in ruminating about it. You need to forgive yourself – for holding onto the resentment! “It is what it is.”
  5. Release it – Visualize the release. Articulate the release. Focus on the heart chakra as you release resentment towards specific individuals. Consider burning all the pages you’ve written. Consider “wiping it out” with an art project. Consider expressing the anger physically – punch a pillow, scream out-loud. Practice gratitude: Release is a gift to myself. It opens space in my mind, my body, and my spirit.

I am looking forward to 2020, working through my RELEASE activities, and learning to better accept myself and live in the now.

If you choose one, what’s your WOTY?

35 thoughts on “WOTY 2020 – RELEASE

    1. Sue, I saw your post on releasing self limiting beliefs and thought the same thing – same wavelength (again!). I’ve got a whole series of activities planned for this year to help me really let go of some (long held) things.


  1. What a wonderful post! I love how much work you have put into your personal growth and transformation. I used to be like that, but I went off the rails. Not sure what happened… Right now, my WOTY would be earthquake. Lots of earth shaking changes in store for me for 2020 I think. And I’m pretty anxious about it. I hate that. That’s why I love AGMA. It’s a wonderful chance to escape and be funny.

    I just might have to print off your post and put it somewhere so that I can see daily. I need to remember what it is to be mindful and purposeful instead of tossing in the waves. Maybe it can be my anchor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AGMA – And then there are times I’m too much in my head and just need to play in the waves! I understand about big changes… I’m hoping 2020 sees a big change – a huge release moment. But even if not, I do want to work on releasing some other things.

      Feel free to steal anything for your anchor… and please do keep on escaping to the blog-o-sphere and being funny. I’m not the only one who appreciates your humor!


  2. Pat. Thanks for you’re posts. I always enjoy reading them and especially about the topic of WOTY. My daughter and her husband and my husband and I always get together on New Year’s Eve and discuss our words. I recently left corporate America for a year of discovery. So my WOTY is just that….discover. I am patiently anticipating this amazing year and discovering who I am (at 51!) who I want to be and what the rest of my life/career may look like. Thanks again for your posts. I look forward to continuing to follow in 2020.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking on a “ABC” approach to things… and my “D” was Discovery! (I’m stuck on a good “B” term, so the blog idea is not progressing.)

      Self-discovery is a great thing to be doing on leaving Corporate America. I spent a lot of time when I first retired (early at 53) doing things to figure out who I was and what I wanted my life to look like.

      I’ll plug my book – if you’re looking for activities to help you do that discovery – it’s on Amazon. Also called Retirement Transition!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a great word Pat! I love how the words we choose help us focus on how we’d like the year to pan out and we take some control. My word of the year is jump and I’m going to try to jump at opportunities, jump on board with things and just jump whenever I can!! All the best for 2020 #mlstl

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jump is such a fun word. When I was doing an A to Z of new things, I ended up using “jump on a trampoline” which was actually something new to me. Jumping into life sounds very positive and empowering!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pat… Can I tell you how much I LOVE this post?! Mostly because it resonates with me on every level.

    I did a series of blog posts on Impostor Syndrome several years ago where I explored the self-limiting lie and then countered with truthful positive affirmations. Perhaps I should resurrect those posts for 2020?

    I am pinning to #MLSTL board for future reference (probably on a weekly basis!)
    Wishing you a happy 2020 and the start of a new retirement decade 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Molly, I’ve been fighting the Imposter Syndrome my entire life. These days I am pretty good at self-congratulating when I am showing my capability, but making a minor mistake can still swirl me down! I’ve got work to do, but plan on doing it this year- intentionally. I didn’t follow you that long ago…perhaps you should revisit those posts. And it might be interesting with a new “retired” focus! Happy 2020 to you as well.


  5. Release is such a great word Pat – it was the first WOTY I chose back in 2015 because I needed to let go of a lot of stuff and find myself again. I think I did a lot of releasing in 2019 too as I put all the drama behind me and chose to release the person involved from my thoughts and my expectations (of an apology, acknowledgement, accountability etc). Anger and resentment are like acid and I had no place for them. I love all your ideas for the year ahead – you’re always so intentional.
    2020 is going to be a great year – I just put up my WOTY post today and it’s all about embracing the year ahead. I’m looking for guests and I hope you’ll send me an email and join the fun. xxx
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leanne, The planner in me is the intentionality you see! You know I love my lists! I’ve got a lot of change happening this year, so letting go of the limiting beliefs and resentments will allow the space for the new to flourish. I also turn 60 this year, so it’s a great thing to release all the old to start my new decade strong and empowered. I did email you to sign me up…. Symphony is such a lovely word. I’m going to have fun thinking on it for a guest post!


  6. Excellent, Pat! My word for 2020 is Alignment. Now that I am retired, I can create even more fully a life that aligns with my values, and I look forward to creating that alignment this year.
    Regarding Releasing Resentment – I 100% agree with everything you wrote and I have practiced all of it to help me with my resentments and injustices (of which there are many, if you have read my blog) and found it most helpful. Most of all, I live my life to the fullest and happiest every day which is the most satisfying, healthiest, most life-affirming “revenge” against injustices I can think of. HAH!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for letting me know that my approach should work! A lot of this is past resentment… not current injustices. Although I do like the idea that living everyday to it’s fullest is the best “revenge”!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love reading people’s WOTY – not just because I’m interested in what it is, but because I love knowing the reasons why. I’m yet to decide on mine, but do have some ideas…watch this space.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have a resentment I need to deal with but I’m struggling with accepting it and releasing it. Do you have any suggestions for how I might do that? I’m keeping what I call a healing journal where I write down all my feelings. I just can’t seem to let it go though. I’ve forgiven but I can’t forget. I don’t want to live that way but I can’t control what comes into my head.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, while I have not used the tool yet, I am going to use the “release resentment” approach I outlined in the blog post. I’m planning on writing it all out in a journal, similar to your healing journal, and then burning the journal. It was suggested to me, as well, to write the resentment on a rock and throw it into a lake. I don’t think it’s about forgetting … I think it’s about letting the feeling of negativity go. I’m hoping the ritual of release will help. And since I’m a big believer in affirmations, I’m probably going to be using the “I choose to release this resentment” affirmation a lot this year!


      1. Thanks Pat. Maybe the key for me will be releasing the negativity associated with it. I just know it’s not something I can forget. I don’t know that any type of ritual will help. Time, more than anything, is what will allow it to fade in importance. I’m also trying to use it as a wake up call for the need to make some positive changes.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I love RELEASE! You put so much thought into your word! And this one seems fitting for this year. You accomplished so much in 2019, now letting go of all the things that are holding anything else back seems appropriate.
    My word seemed to just spring on me and I really like it. It’s POWER. As you saw on my Facebook page, I have felt like I have lost a lot of my power since I retired and have struggled with that. So this year, I will find my power again. Power in God, Power in my self, Power in my body, Power in my thinking, Power in my relationships, Power in my family, Power

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Candyse, And as I told you on FB… you are STILL an amazing and powerful woman. However, I also love how you’re looking at all aspects of power – mind, body, soul. I think 2020 will be an amazing year.


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