reflections on my one little word™ 2016: BIG

reflections on my one little word™ 2016: BIG | Amanda Zampelli

In January 2016 I wrote: It’s 2016 and I’m aiming for BIG things. BIG belief in myself. BIG trust. BIG magic. BIG chunks of time spent on activities that make me happy. BIG ideas. BIG celebrations. BIG smiles. BIG heart. In 2016, I shall be participating in Ali Edward’s One Little Word™ exercise by thinking & living BIG.” 

Well, loves, I’m here to report that all those things above have occurred, but only on the back end, currently thinking on my year in retrospect, do I really see how. It’s been a BIG year, in the most subtle way possible. Let me explain…

Choosing ‘BIG’ to be my word for 2016 was a given because by the end of 2015 (my year of PROOF) I was with John in my new apartment, going on my second year working for me & my BIG ideas, and more so than ever – the who I was with, where I was living, and what I was doing felt on track. …and with feeling ‘on track’ comes the feeling of: now how do I EXPAND upon this?

Choosing BIG to be my word this year was right on target, but it overwhlemed me right out the gate. For some weird, unknown exaggerated reason, I thought big, crackling fireworks of growth and opportunity was going to fill my January! Haa haa! I literally thought I was going to design a whole bunch of stuff for myself, revamp my website, change lives at CHA, and become an expert hand-letterer! I don’t know what came over me, but it must have been that ‘new year/new beginnings’ haze. Glad that shit wore off.

Looking back – big crackling fireworks of growth did occur, but in the form of silent experimentation…that unbeknownst to me at the time would illicit growth of monumental proportions.

BIG dancing:

On January 2nd, 2016 I attended my first dance social at the studio. I went completely out of my comfort zone, experimented on the dance floor with moves I learned in class – and I was hooked. HOOKED, I tell ya! That led to me attending more dance socials, finding a hobby in dancing Bachata that I’m pretty sure will last my whole life, and performing in costume on multiple occasions! It was BIG, to say say the least.

BIG Picture Classes:

Also, in January – I made a silent, very unofficial decision with myself: to keep all my crazy & wild memory keeping projects – that I had embarked on in 2015 and years prior – STREAMLINED and CONSOLIDATED into one album: my Happy Planner®. We all know how that panned out – 12 months later, all of my memories from 2016 are recorded on the pages of one Happy Planner®. I recorded them efficiently and in a systematic way that allowed me to develop an online class about it for Big Picture.

Coincidence that the website is called BIG Picture in a year that I declared my one little word ‘BIG’? I think not.

BIG speaking opportunities for me & my BIG ideas:

The opportunity with Big Picture Classes was really a dream of mine come true. I have always wanted to teach online crafting classes, and my class with them entitled “Memory Keeping in The Happy Planner®” couldn’t have been a more perfect one to start with.

…and in addition to that opportunity, BIG opportunities came my way this year: my job as the Social Media Coordinator for me & my BIG ideas had me travel to six (6!!!) different trade shows and conferences to teach/talk/connect/meet other women out there like me and inform about the product. I shine at these type of events – and with each one I attended, got better and better at this work. That, without a doubt, led to the ladies at NYC Planner Addicts and Sugary Gal Shop inviting me to speak at their Planner Event hashtagged #NYCSGSpresentsMAMBI. It was an amazing experience, and I can’t thank those girls enough for letting me represent The Happy Planner® brand, tell a bit of my story, and be inspired by them & all the attendees. It was HUGEfor me.

BIG ideas of my own:

I can’t speak for anyone else, but the best things happen to me organically. If I try to force growth – like I did at the start of this year – it backfires in my face. Instead, when I calm myself down, take time to turn inward and apply what I’m observing presently around me to my future goals, I end up igniting the fire of something that’s going to develop me. I wrote a post on it back in August that I titled “new things are happening quietly inside of me” that articulates it a bit better. an outsider, it might look like I’m doing nothing, that growth has stunted or that I’m ‘comfortable’ in my situation and therefore stagnant . But that’s not true. “New [Big] things are happening very quietly inside of me.”

BIG, as in ‘adulting’:

You guys, 2016 was my first full calendar year of acting ‘BIG’, like an adult. I definitely don’t feel like I was an adult, instead a total imposter, but truth is I lived on my own in my apartment, making meals, cleaning up, paying bills, doing chores, keeping myself and my cats alive for the first time! That’s MEGA for me!

If you knew me three years ago, you’d laugh. Maybe cry. The thought of being on my own was HORROR-movie level terrifying to me. No joke. I’m a late bloomer, and even though three years ago I was 29, and most chicks that age are married with 2+ kids and a home, I was perfectly content in my room in my mother’s house. However, I wasn’t content – I was paralyzed with the most severe anxiety of my life – and after battling through it and months of therapy, I saw light at the end of the tunnel. (My one little word that year was WORK btw, and NEVER AGAIN.)

But here I am, you guys. I did it! The realization that I acted like an adult this whole year has been causing scenes from the movie ‘BIG’ to flash in my mind lately. The one in particular where Tom Hanks has to stay at a hotel, and goes from being scared and crying the first night, to owning it and inviting his friend over for Oreos, not even flinching when a gun shot goes off out his window. Haa haa! That’s me! …oh and THIS ONE when he’s at a work meeting and “doesn’t get it”. That’s me too. Oh my gosh! I love that movie!

reflections on my one little word™ 2016: BIG | Amanda Zampelli

So yeah. BIG things happened subtly. Not at all the way I expected, but totally in line with my goals that I listed at the start of the year.

I’ve gained BIG belief in myself. Tremendous belief. BIG trust in my timeline and my capabilities and God’s plan for me. BIG magic for sure: on the dance floor, during my work day, out at conferences, in my Happy Planner® and in millions of little moments this year. BIG chunks of ‘me time’ which allowed space for those BIG ideas. BIG celebrations – most notably in the form of the best low key birthday I could’ve asked for!  BIG smiles and BIG heart from start to finish as well. The people in my world this year – my friends and family, each and every interaction – got all of my heart. I just want you to know that.

I’m sad to see this year go. It was a great one, and I venture to say my best yet. So much good bottled up in one trip around the sun. ‘BIG’ served me well, and like all the one little words of my past, will be with me forever. 2015’s PROOF, 2014’s WORK, 2013’s MAKE, and 2012’s MOVEMENT.