As the New Year approaches I enjoy spending time reviewing my goals and my progress from the previous twelve months and setting goals for the next. I look at my life in four parts: Physical, mental, emotional & spiritual. I set goals in each. I think about what I want to be in each category, why I want it and how I am going to achieve it. It is one of my favorite times of the year.
Several years ago, I added something different to my goal setting session. I decided to choose a word: one single word that I would focus on throughout the year. It became the subject of my study, the focus of my thoughts, and it defined the trait I wished to gain in that year. Like Benjamin Franklin’s 13 virtues, my word would become part of me in that year.
One year I chose the word Communication. I always felt like I was a natural communicator but I wanted to turn a raw talent into a strength. At the time I wanted to become a professional speaker and was speaking regularly in building our business. I read books on communication, presenting, public speaking and story telling. I worked very hard to eliminate any filler words from my speech, such as um, or ah. I recorded myself every time I presented, either in audio or video, and analyzed what worked, what didn’t work, and how I might improve. That year my communication vastly improved and is something I continue to work on today.
Two years ago I chose the word Humility. Often called the mother of all virtues, humility is having the disposition to always be learning and growing. It is being open and willing to develop new skills, gain new vantage points and become more. It is learning to not take yourself too seriously (I’m still working on that) and being open to feedback. It is interesting because as I sought to learn humility, I experienced many false starts, setbacks and failures that year. It is like someone was trying to teach me humility through experiential learning. Humility is definitely a lifelong pursuit.
In 2017 I chose the word Empathy. I typed it into Amazon and bought and read all of the top books on the empathy. (I have spent a lot of time learning from Brene Brown). I have sought to learn how to validate, how to really listen and how to ask insightful questions.
To kick off 2018 our family spent part of New Years Day choosing our words for the year. My word for 2018 is Consistency. I have identified five areas where I need to be consistent and the specific actions in each area that will help to create the 2018 I want by being consistent.
What is your word for 2018? Share yours below, I’d love to hear what your word is and support you in your focus.