Choosing A Word Instead Of A Goal

bubblyIn addition to glasses of bubbly champagne and (hopefully) a kiss at midnight, New Year’s Eve also brings with it a desire to start fresh. January tends to be a time for cleaning our slate—disposing of baggage, literal and emotional—in order to usher in clarity, hope, and new ideas for the future.

For many years now I have been working with hundreds of agents and leaders in developing business through planning, strategies and of course GOALS. Now if you attended one of my fall 2016 MEC events where my focus was on teaching you how to be insanely productive in 2017 through focus and working distraction free. Many of you can relate to how I laid out goal setting. See forever most of have been setting GOALS in life and in business and including these goals in our business plan for each coming year has helped us achieve success.

A close friend recently shared with me their “WORD Of The YEAR”. At first I was confused and didn’t quite understand what she meant. Instead of adopting GOALS, she adopted a WORD.

That’s when I stopped setting goals, and started choosing a word.

It’s important to know choosing a word for the year doesn’t negate your specific hopes and dreams. Instead, it supports them by allowing yourself space to grow, change, and make adjustments along the way.

The way Claire Diaz Ortiz puts it, “pick one word that word that imbues the type of year you wish to have, and a word that can serve as a guidepost for what you want in the year to come. One simple word that will help you decide between X and Y, and help you remember what’s important when you find yourself in an endless loop of Facebook/Twitter/Email checking you can’t get out of.”words1

3 STEPS TO CHOOSE A WORD FOR THE YEAR

Step 1: Set an intention

The best words arrive when they’re ready. It might take a week, or a month. (I suggest you begin considering your word in October or November, then make a firm decision at the end of the year.)

When choosing a word for the year, don’t rush the process.

The best way to determine your word is to simply set an intention to find one. Give yourself some time to ponder it. Reflect on the current year, and as far ahead as you can see, what the new year might offer. Ask yourself how you want to feel, not what you want to do or accomplish.

Step 2: Gather some options

As you reflect, gather a handful of words that might be contenders. See how you respond to them, and if you like, talk it over with your significant other or a close friend.

Step 3: Make your choice

When the time is right, commit to the word. Don’t worry about making the wrong choice. The beauty of a single word is it can manifest its meaning in several ways.

For instance, my friends word for 2016 was OPEN. This ended up applying to small moments like being open minded about an idea or recommendation (not caring where a group decided to go to dinner, say), and larger experiences like navigating new career options.

Once you’ve settled on your word, embrace it. You don’t need to do anything specific, just be aware of it, and enjoy seeing how your word begins to apply to various aspects of your life throughout the year.

Have you ever chosen a word for the year? Are you thinking of trying it for the first time? Share in the comments!