For many year’s now, I have chosen a word of the year as a guide for my intentions and purpose. A word of the year keeps me grounded and committed to a big thought for the year.
Why a word instead of a goal
I am a big fan of SMART goals and tracking data. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time based. You can accomplish your goals with milestones, accountability with tracking, and time lines to prioritize what to do and when to do it. According to Essentialism’s Greg, Mckeown, if you empower your goals by connecting to your core beliefs, its more likely you will be successful. Tie your “why” to your goals to ensure success.
I chose a different route over the last few years. As my friend Janice Simon says, the word of the year sets an intention rather than a goal. That intention guides you to stay true to your values and focus decision making. Our word of the year influences our mindset at home and at work, keeping us on track. It is a holistic way to shape the year.
How to choose a word of the year
Take time to reflect on what you want more of or less of in your life this year. Some years it is more about my professional rather than personal needs. I typically begin thinking in December of my word and wrap up in early January. Give yourself time to choose your word.
- Pay attention to what you are paying attention to, says Adam Grant and John Green. What have you been saying to yourself that you need to do more or less of? Where have you been spending time or need to spend time?
- According to Inc writer Minda Zetlin, ask yourself these questions: What do I need, not want, but need? What’s in my way? What has to go? What needs to be done in me and through me
- Narrow your list of possibilities that have meaning to you. I usually narrow down to 2 or 3 words, then to my one word.
Once chosen, place your word where you can see it regularly to reflect on it and use it. That might be in your planner, on your bathroom mirror or your computer desktop. Use it in your weekly planning as you review your tasks and week ahead.
For 2022, I chose the word strategic. Strategic is defined as carefully designed or planned to serve a particular purpose or advantage and of great importance within an integrated whole or to a planned effect. This year I want to view my personal and professional life with an advantageous overview.
2021. Niche. Moving specifically to a tighter focus.
2020. Expand. Expand my horizons.
2019. Shift. A slight shift in direction can bring more opportunities.
2018. Possibilities. What’s possible?
2017. Thrive. Thrive in all ways.
2016. Momentum. Keep going.
2015. Fifteen. Fifteen years in professional organizing and productivity
2014. Flourish. Flourish in life.
2013. Fabulous. Fit, fabulous and fun!
What is your word of the year? I look forward to hearing from you!