I can't believe that 2010 is already almost over. It's been an amazing year filled with growth and achievement. I didn't do everything I thought I was going to do this year...some things took precedent over others. Namely Shwowp, the startup I began the year co-founding with my amazing partners Cassandra Girard and Jerome Paradis. We not only launched a startup, but we've launched a lifelong friendship and I'm proud to call them my co-founders. There are still a few more things to do before I feel like I've completed my year of ACHIEVE (my themeword for this past year). I really want to coast into next year continuing to grow the awesome seed that we've planted into a real world-changing phenomenon. I've had the dream of creating tools to give consumers control of their own data for a long time. We're in the 'looking for seed funding' process - which is a whole new level of challenge for me. I've never liked pitching or being an aggressive sales person. I've always tried to build something meaningful that people are drawn to instead. Funding can work that way, but from what I've learned, it also requires the pitching and sales part. Even though I thought I'd hate it, it's been the part of running a startup that has increased my skills the most.

So as I was thinking about what my themeword would be for 2011, I envisioned a year where the seed that we've planted grows into a real harvest. And then it came to me. Reap. I intend to reap the fruits of that labor in this next year. It's definitely time.

But it isn't only on the career side that I want to REAP the benefits of a long haul of hard work. I've spent the past three years looking internally, working on making me a better me. I've made significant changes inside and out in order to be a better human being. The kind of human being I'd want to be with. The kind of human being I could love. And somewhere along the way, I gained self-respect and self-love. Looking back on relationships I had over the years, I realized that many mistakes I made were due to me not feeling like I deserved better. Three years later, I have a pretty solid understanding of who I am and what I need out of a love relationship. I hope to REAP that love in the new year as well.

REAP is a #themeword that sums up everything I've been waiting for. The ability to exhale a bit. Not to stop moving forward at all. I'll never do that. I want to continue my personal growth, Shwowp's growth, my physical abilities, my emotional maturity and my general positive impact on the world. But while I'm doing that, I also want to enjoy how far I've come and cash in (so to speak) on the investments I've made over the past few years. Maybe even take a real holiday...one that isn't tethered to a conference or another work-related event.

I have a marathon planned with a friend in May (there will be one helluva exhale after that one!), some really cool new opportunities to get Shwowp out there (technology correspondent on the Marilyn Denis Show, I've been asked to be a Nike Make Yourself Movement ambassador, I'll be emcee-ing the SXSW Accelerator event, etc) and all sorts of exciting things are falling into place for the new year. I want to enjoy every minute of it and savour as much as I can. Hell. I even bought a couple of different concert tickets!

So, in the tradition that Erica Douglass began on NYE 2007/2008, what is YOUR #themeword?

How to Pick Your #ThemeWord for 2011 (via Erica O'Grady):

  1. Think of a word that reflects your hopes and dreams for 2010.
  2. Share your ThemeWord with friends on Twitter, Facebook, or Your Blog.
  3. Be sure and use the hashtag #Themeword.

What I love about boiling the entire year down into one word is that it helps focus everything else. It’s also a fun exercise. Be sure to tweet and tell me yours.