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Looking Back Over 2019 and
Looking Forward to 2020

As the momentous year of 2019 comes to a close, I’m looking back over my shoulder at what an amazing year this has been.

Having closed my garden and gift rep business last year after three decades, I embarked on my renaissance career with a clear, unobstructed focus to take my message out to the world by growing my speaking business and launching my book. 

This was a huge risk for me, leaving behind the familiar and comfortable for the absolute unknown. Being a first time author, I had no idea how well the book would be received by gardeners or if it would sell at all. While 2019 was filled with exciting milestones, simultaneously there was doubt and doses of uncertainty.

For more than twenty years I’ve been seeking how I could be of service.

When I discovered adaptive gardening, 

right from the beginning,

my gut said: “This is it.”


When the book deal fell into my lap, I knew I was finally in the right place, at the right time. Then I realized that growing a business in 2019 was much more complicated and challenging than it was in 1990. In those days, all you needed was a business card and a tank of gas. Nowadays, in order to get my name out there, to find my peeps, I knew I needed a village to make my dream come true.

Thankfully, I found a business coach Amanda Winn at Wholehearted Business Development, who specializes in coaching small business owners and especially enjoys working with seniorpreneurs in developing their encore careers.  Amanda also has a talented team of graphic designers and innovative web developers she trusts and has worked with for years. So, I trusted her. Working with her this past year, has been a steady climb towards expanding my vision and the growth of my business. 

She loved my approach for inspiring greater resiliency for senior gardeners and modern elders and wanted to support me in fulfilling my dream. At the same time, she knew what the inevitable challenges would be. 

As a way to anchor my intentions for my business and to serve as a reminder and touchstone, Amanda asked me to choose a word or phrase that captured how I wanted to inspire others, and what I wanted to receive from my business — which in turn is the vision I hold for my life as well. In a moment, I knew the answer. EASE and JOY  — the tagline of my book. 

The following week, I received a beautiful necklace from Amanda with a gold token ring on it that reads:  EASE and JOY. It’s a daily reminder of my intention which helps keep me on track. 

Setting your New Year intentions with MyIntent.org golden token rings

She ordered it from MyIntent.org. Have you heard about them yet? Their mission is to be a catalyst for meaningful conversations and positive action in the world. Check them out. I think you’ll find their story of how they grew their business for the greater good a true inspiration. I sure do.

Identifying my focus phrase of Ease and Joy for the year served me well so I’m NOT letting go of it. I’m always on the lookout for greater ease and joy in my life, even when my “fears/insecurities/worried thoughts” pull me away from feeling it. My intention is to seek it everyday, in every conversation and endeavor.

Here’s my intention for 2020:  
Graciousness and Connection
I like that.

Celebrating with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a candle and a card, Toni Gattone Resilient Gardener speaker and author blogs about her Intentions for 2020: Graciousness and Connection.

*I’ll be sharing more about why I chose these as
my 2020 words in my next two blogs. 

So tell me: 
What is your intention for 2020? 
How do you see yourself being more resilient 
and connected next year? 

Intentions are lived each day, independent of achieving

the goal or destination. Goals are external achievements.

Intentions are about your relationship with yourself and others.

~Donna Zajonc

Toni Gattone

Toni Gattone

Adaptive Gardening Expert and Inspirational Change-Agent.Toni’s enthusiasm is contagious. She is passionate about empowering gardeners with practical, how-to information. While gardeners of all ages and abilities appreciate her work, she especially enjoys working with modern elders, boomers and seniors who are growing older and yet want to live bolder lives. Her posts are information rich, with helpful resources, that will keep you coming back for what’s new. Toni is a caring and compassionate gardening guide and cheerleader, and oh by the way, she’s very Italian.

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