January is typically a time for New Years resolutions and goal setting and within a few short weeks most resolutions are broken and our goals may go awry. This year, thanks to taking part in Aby Moore’s Wrap Party, I’m taking a different tack and choosing one word to set my intention for the year ahead.
It’s a concept that’s been around for a number of years now and while I dabbled with it last year I didn’t really go deep enough to choose a word that strongly resonated with me in all areas of my life. In fact, I can’t even remember what word I chose.
As you may know I always write a Monthly Bucket List (see January’s here), and I break my goals down into Family, Home, Blog and Me. It’s a system I find really helps me keep balance in my life and focus on what’s important. Why is it then that in previous years when setting goals and intentions for the year ahead I only focused on one area? I have no idea but this year I had a bit of a lightbulb moment that guided me to my word for 2018, and I’m already seeing results.
Here is the extremely simple process I used:
- Write down everything you want to achieve this year in all areas of your life. From the small goals to the big dreams. You don’t have to use the same categories as me, use whatever works for you and your life. Possible categories might be work, health, fitness, personal development, relationships, school etc.
- Write down how you want to feel this year in each of your categories. Don’t overthink this stage, just write down whatever comes to mind.
- Write down as many words as you can think of that resonate with you when you think about your goals and how you want to feel. Again, don’t overthink this, just jot down whatever comes to mind in 5 minutes. You might have one word you might have 30. (If you need a little help check out the FREE workbook which includes 80+ Words to Kickstart Your Thinking.)
- Take a break for a while. This can be 10 minutes or a whole day, whatever works for you. It helps you come back to the exercise refreshed and with new eyes.
- After a break, read through your answers from the first two steps and make any changes if necessary.
- Scan your list of words and without overthinking, cross out any that don’t immediately resonate with you. With the remaining words look for any trends. It’s possible that one of those words may actually incorporate the meaning of several others. Or one may help you achieve the others.
- Now that your list is narrowed down, see how each word could be applied to all the areas you want to focus on. Some may only apply to one area, if so, cross it out. You are looking for a word that will guide all your goals and decisions in each area of your life.
- When you have your word, use it to refine your goals. Circumstances change, we may need to change direction and/or goals as the year progresses, but use your guiding word to help you make the adjustments. This word is your intention for the year, write it down and display it somewhere you will see it daily.
I started out with a list of 14 words that I loved but I chose the word Fearless. The reason I chose this above the others was because for me, the one thing holding me back from achieving all my goals is always fear of some kind. Fear of failure, fear of looking rediculous, fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough. This year, whenever it comes to making a decision or setting a goal, I am going to use my guiding word to push myself and step out of my comfort zone.
I will be writing more about the word Fearless and how it has already helped me in my Words To Live By Series in the coming weeks, so keep a look out.
I’ve created a workbook with all of these steps and a place to write out your answers. As mentioned above it also contains a list of over 80 words to kickstart you thinking and help you choose the perfect word for an incredible 2018.
Do you have a guiding word for 2018? I’d love for you to share yours in the comments below.