Goal Setting: Choose One Word

23rd December 2016

There’s a billion things you want to do and a billion obstacles in your way.

How can you cut through the clutter and clarify what’s important for the new year?

So far, we’ve started our goal-setting journey and we have taken a look back by asking five essential questions. We’ve seen a little bit of what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and we hopefully have a bit of an idea where we (maybe, kinda, sorta) want to go from this point forward.

We know where we are.

And boy, it seems a little messy, doesn’t it?

It’s easy to look at our list of completed goals and unfinished business and see an incoherent jumble. There’s no rhyme or reason, no grouping, no theme.

Cut through the clutter of goal-setting and choose one word to define your year.

Today’s challenge is to choose one word to define your next year.

I am in no way the first person to think of this concept. Many creatives, writers, and visionaries incorporate this idea into their planning and goal-setting.

To name just a few: Ali Edwards has One Little Word®, Susannah Conway has Find Your Word, Gretchen Rubin has a mini-sode of her podcast Happier, and even my dear friend/mentor Jackie Wolven is helping others find their word.

Cool. It’s trendy. What’s the point, though?

Anyone with a to-do list will tell you it’s incredibly satisfying to cross things off of it. It’s rewarding–so much so that we sometimes write tasks we’ve already completed at the top of that to-do list just so we can cross them off (guilty as charged).

But goal setting isn’t about making a to-do list. It isn’t about checking things off.

It’s about the bigger picture.

The weird paradox of goal setting is that in order to achieve the bigger picture, we’ve got to get specific with our goals.

Our lives aren’t lists. They can’t be. Our lives are big picture things.

By choosing a word to define our year, we keep our eyes on our own big picture.

Go back to that jumble of things you wanted to do last year and the awesome things you managed to get done.

What jumps out at you?

What did you want but not get? What did you have that you didn’t expect?

All of these questions can help you find your word.

Maybe your word is “faith,” because you want to explore your spirituality.
Maybe it’s “authentic,” because you haven’t really felt like yourself in a long time.
Maybe it’s “home,” because you’re finally building that dream house you’ve always wanted.

Your word doesn’t have to be an SAT vocabulary word.
It doesn’t have to be anything but meaningful to you.

Your word is short and sweet, so when life gets complicated, you can remain clear on what your purpose is. The Big Picture.

Your word should summarize your Big Picture. What do you want this next year to look like? What do you want to be doing?

More business opportunities or auditions?
More time spent with family?
Less time hustling, more time savoring?
Building relationships with those you love?
Living less out of fear and more out of faith?

Go on, pick your word. Once you’ve got it, share it with me in the comments.

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