Last December, I was attending our annual CAPS Convention (my professional association: Canadian Association of professional Speakers). A few colleagues and I were having this “profound” discussion about the direction to take for our 2018 professional development and businesses growth. That triggered my thinking around the Word-of-the-Year strategy I had used for 2017. Rather than making a list of objectives or projects, I had decided to give 2017 a specific and clear intention, sort of a theme, which would guide my decisions and actions. So I chose the word “ZEN”; that word alone guided me to make wise decisions about simplifying my life which I felt had become too hectic. For example I decided to: shorten my workweek; take a longer vacation; declutter my house and office; unsubscribe from newsletters I no longer needed; and more. I didn’t really do a planning exercise to list all those actions at the beginning of the year. Rather, I listed what was affecting my peace of mind and as the weeks passed, I focused on that ONE word and what I could do to simplify my life and make it ZEN.
This year my word is “VISIBILITY” and my intention is to develop the courage and confidence I need to show up in a different way. I want to improve my visibility in my industry, in my networks, and in my community. So I am starting by sharing my word on different platforms including this newsletter. I would like to inspire you and so I invite you to think of a word-of-the-year that could include the objectives (or resolutions) you have identified for this New Year. Maybe you have objectives for your team at work, maybe they are of a personal nature. Whatever you decide to focus on this year, here are a few tips to help keep that focus.
Six Tips on How to Create your Word-of-the-year
- Find a quiet moment and reflect on the following question: At the end of this year, if I have improved my business or life, what does it look like? What does it feel like? Simply reflect quietly.
- Write all the words that come to mind after this first step. Make sure you don’t judge them, simply write them. Use post-it notes if you want to make it colorful and stick them to the wall for a better view.
- Choose one word and try it out. Choose the one word that likely best represents the intention you would like to give your year. Think of the things you might do differently if this word was your guide this year. If it fits, keep it. If not, choose a different one and try it out.
- Make it visible. Now is time to share it with your close friends, colleagues or anybody who would support you. Then make it visible: use it as a screen saver, place it on your fridge, and write it on your bathroom mirror, whatever works for you. The idea is to see it often so the intention is alive.
- Note the decisions/actions you choose based on that word. You want to keep track a little bit, so you can see how it works for you.
- Celebrate. Make sure you celebrate each success you achieve, and effort that pays off. What’s your favorite way to celebrate an achievement, big or small? Let me know in the comments below.
The take-away here is that it’s a worthwhile exercise to make a New Year’s resolution. Increase your success and achievements by wrapping it in a word-of-the-year strategy. This is a powerful way to make a change for your life.
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