Today let’s talk about the technique that is better. Better than new year resolutions, better than visualization boards, and definitely better than reading yet another self-help book.
We’ll talk about
- the process of setting your own word of the year;
- why it’s better than the alternatives;
- and how to use it throughout the year.
I’ll share my word of the year and tell you how I am planning to use it in 2021.
What is the Word of the Year?
Word of the Year (WOY) is an alternative to new year resolutions. It shows your intention for the upcoming year; the way you want to show up next year. This is the word that helps you to say no. It helps you clear out your schedule, not to fill even further.
The beauty of this approach is that your Word of the Year can be applied to all areas of your life; therefore making it a very simple tool to use. It is easy to remember. All you need to do is to keep one word in your head.
Honestly, it feels like cheating because you pick just one word and it gives you the answer to almost every question you have throughout the year. You don’t know what to put on your calendar and what to say no to? Your WOY is the answer. You don’t know what to plan for your weekend? You WOY is the answer. You don’t know if you should purchase this shirt? You guessed it, you WOY will help you figure it out.
So how do I choose your own Word of the Year?
You first imagine all the things you want to achieve or have next year. This is your traditional goals such as “launch a business”, “loose 20 pounds”, or “get a promotion at work”. Then you imagine the type of person you need to become in order to achieve your goals.
Pay attention to different forms of the same word. For example, the words inspiration, inspired, or inspirational have different energy to them even though they have the same origin.
So, if your goal is to launch a business, you will think about the person you need to become in order to launch a successful business.
- What does she do different?
- How does she show up?
- How does she dress?
- What does she eat?
- How does her schedule look like?
- Who does she follow on Instagram? Does she even spend time on Instagram in the first place?
- What does she read?
- Who does she spend time with?
Brainstorm. Write it down. Go for a walk with these questions. Think the common theme between your answers. What is the overarching characteristic of the woman who started a success business? You can come up with words such as “disciplined”, or “confident”, or “decisive”. Or you can think of people who truly inspire you and represent the ideal version of a business owner. Or you can think of your favouring brands. Or geographical places. It can be anything. See which one feels the best to you. And make this word your very own word of the year.
When you chose your Word of the Year, how do you use it?
First of all, you don’t wait for January 1st, or your birthday, or next Monday. You start today. Yes, you start before you are ready, before you have a perfect planner or a perfect productivity app.
And you start with the idea of just 1% daily improvements. I personally started acting on my Word of the Year back in November. Every day I would ask myself “What is the one 1% improvement I can do today to bring me closer to my WOY?”
Then you adjust your the calendar accordingly. What goes on your calendar? And more importantly – what doesn’t go there? Become a time snob and say no to activities that take you away from embodying your Word of the Year.
- Pick your free time activities accordingly.
- What does your WOY say about your social media use?
- What about Relationships?
- How about the books you read?
- Does your WOY have anything to say about your approach to food and exercise?
- What about your daily habits? Your morning route?
- How would this person react to covid? To the news? Will this person be even watching the news in the first place?
These are all the questions you can ask yourself.
Whenever you feel stuck, remember your Word of the Year. It will guide you in the right direction.
My Word of the Year
When I reflected on my goals for 2021, I realized that I need to become more committed to my projects, to bring more consistency to everything related to my business. Therefore, my word of the year is committed.
How does the word committed look like in relationship to this podcast?
- It means publishing weekly episodes.
- It means having 52 episodes by the end of the year.
- It means making this commitment public as I am doing right now.
- It means I need to have a backlog of recorded episodes.
- I need to be more disciplined.
- Have a schedule.
- Have a professional editor.
- Educate myself on the topic of podcasting.
- Spend each day writing and thinking about the new topics.
- It means I have to learn how to work with difficult emotions.
- How be consistent when I want to quit.
Committed means shipping the work no matter what. It means getting over the mental block of “what would people think” and my perfectionism. And more importantly, If I can’t do something, finding help and not letting my ego tell me its favourite story of “I should do it all by myself”.
Choosing one thing at a time and mastering it till it becomes a habit. I can’t be really commuted to a thousand things, can I?
Understanding that finding your passion is a myth. Your passion is a decision. You make a decision and then you commit to it.
I’ve done hard things by committing. Not by being perfect. Not by not failing . By showing up. Even when I didn’t feel like. Even when I had nothing to show. I would still show up for my appointments and face the truth. Face that I haven’t done something and ask for help. Because sometimes asking for help is the best todo item you can put on your calendar. Very few things a meant to be done alone.
I focus on the process, not the outcome. I can control the process, my practice. I can’t control the outcome, what people would think.
- As for my calendar, I schedule the things I am committed to first.
- As for social media, I check it when the important work is done.
- As for eating and exercise, I am committed to embracing the system over arbitrary body weight goals.
So this a quick overview of how I’ll be showing up next year.
When you think you don’t know. This is just your brain trying to hide.
Pick one word. Stick with it. You can always adjust it next year.
I’ve heard about this technique years ago. It sounded promising but I didn’t implement it. I allowed myself to be confused. I was looking for the perfect word. I heard about this technique every year but didn’t implement. Guess what – I regretted it. However, I allowed myself to hide behind the “I don’t know” and “I’m not ready”. Don’t do the same mistake.
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”