What’s Your Word?
News flash! The end of a calendar year is nearly upon us and a new year begins just one moment after the current year ends.
One of the key actions we take is to make resolutions; set intentions; reset goals; make commitments. We trash old calendars and hang up new ones. We physically clean up, organize, and weed out to make room for the new. We take time for family and friends, and re-establish relationships we’ve dropped throughout the year because our schedules are so busy.
With all of the “start anew” that happens at the intersection of years, do you find yourself stepping back, taking some time, and assessing how the current year turned out for you? When you do – if you do (and I suggest you do so if you don’t) – how much do you feel you’ve missed some key goals and intentions that you set at the beginning of the year? How often does this happen at this time of the year for you? Over the years?
Think about how you live your life throughout the year – how you make decisions about what to do; to what you said “yes” and to what you said “no”; how you may have been busy yet unproductive; how you might have missed an opportunity that presented itself because you were so busy; how you may have overthought something yet under-done what would have brought that “something” to reality.
I know I’ve experienced all of these situations at one time or another. I would look back at what felt like very busy years and realize that I had accomplished less than half of what I set out to accomplish, yet I was soooo busy the entire time!
And then, three years ago, I made a discovery that changed everything! This discovery was so simple – yet so powerful – that from the time I did it I achieved 60-to-80% of my goals for the year, every year, from then on. This one simple action can transform your future; guide every decision you make; allow you to take advantage of opportunities you don’t even know are in front of you until they appear; and free you to spend more time with the people most important to you, doing more of what you want to do. This discovery is…
Yep…you heard me – one word.
Identify one word to which you will dedicate the entire next year.
That one word can be based on the goals you’ve already set, or it can help you set goals and intentions for the year.
Here’s my example and story:
For 2015 – when I made this discovery – I set my year to the word “conversion”. That word set in my mind that every action, every decision, everything I did (within reason) was to lead to my converting the free programs and products and offerings I made to upsells to be paid. By the end of the year, I had converted 5 more people who took advantage of my free offerings to paying clients – more in number and several thousand dollars more in income than the previous two years combined.
For 2016 I set my year to the word “believe”. As I look back on the year I realize I have implemented at least 2 new programs I previously thought would not be viable simply because I kept the mantra “believe” in my very being.
As a new year approaches, my word will be “stretch”. My intentions for the year are to do things beyond what I’m prepared to do; to have others see in me what I don’t see in myself; to bring on a team of people to help me do what I can’t (or won’t or haven’t) done for myself; to learn some skills that challenge me yet, when mastered, will move me forward to greater success; to speak on a stage I’ve wanted to be on in front of 2500+ people at a conference in August.
You see, when you identify a word for the year, then you synchronize your brain to “see” everything that comes up throughout the year as supporting your word.
It’s like when I first bought my Toyota Matrix car. I’d never heard of a Toyota Matrix until I ended up buying a car that met my need for transferring my Mom, who was wheelchair-bound, into and out of a vehicle when I could no longer do so with my Toyota 4-Runner SUV. Once I left the new-car lot in my Matrix, suddenly every 5th car on the road was a Toyota Matrix or its equivalent!
So I encourage you to take a few moments after the hustle and bustle of the holidays and think about what you want the year ahead to be for you – personally and professionally. Then identify your word for the year. Write it down and keep it in front of you – on your computer monitor, or in your wallet, or on your refrigerator – somewhere you will see it constantly. Let your word guide you as you make every decision throughout the year to support your word.
Finally…make a date with yourself on your calendar now, for the end of next year, to evaluate how much more you accomplished and achieved because you set your word as your guide.
What’s your word?