My word for 2020 is consistency. You will most likely have seen posts on social media regarding setting a Word Of The Year (WOTY), but I wanted to take you through the process. Ultimately it is a word chosen as one of the most important words in the public sphere often at the end of the year by the folks over at the Oxford, Collins, Merriam-Webster Dictionaries. However, there has been a recent trend to choose a word for yourself for the upcoming year.
The power of choosing a word for the year
I jumped on the bandwagon in 2018 when I chose 'Resilience' and last year I went for 'Invest' in terms of investing in myself. I didn't always hold the word in my mind but I did find that it cropped up more often than I expected. It helped me find focus. Last year, in particular, making the choice to invest in myself financially, emotionally and physically paid dividends. I took time off to have a baby, I ate well, I exercised, I came back from mat leave and focused on what mattered and saw the difference. I stopped putting my time into things that weren't working, including some relationships in my personal life because they weren't a wise investment of my energy.
Then we came to this year. Now, to be honest, I'm pretty determined and I achieve most of my goals (at least 85%) but when I reflect on those that I don't achieve, it almost always comes down to consistency. I would probably describe myself as someone who likes to start stuff and likes the sense of achievement of finishing stuff but I don't enjoy the bit in the middle!
So, with that in mind, when I was thinking about my word of the year it became pretty clear that there was only one option. The 'bit in the middle' is where the magic happens and it's all about being consistent. Taking action regardless of how I feel on any given day.
What does consistency mean to me?
It means that this year will be the year I build upon the work I have been doing over the last five years to build my business and acknowledging all the progress I have made so far. I will keep doing the things that work and I won't worry about the rest. I believe that being consistent will help me both personally and professionally.
Being consistent will help me let go of the fear of the unknown, of the self-doubt as to whether I can achieve my goal as well as all that procrastination and excuses. Why? because when you choose to be consistent none of that matters, you just keep doing what you're doing. It makes you accountable to yourself, to your plan. For me, being consistent will require some planning (yay!) but also some creativity in terms of consistently posting or writing during the school holidays or if the kids are off sick etc.
Setting intentions for the year ahead
When I set my word of the year or any goal, in fact, I like to set some intentions. Here are my top ten for the year:
- Send a weekly email to all of my subscribers
- Attend a minimum of one networking event a month
- Create two new videos a week
- Run a minimum of 3 times a week
- Cross-train for strength a minimum of 3 times a week to compliment my running
- Identify my knowledge gaps and make a plan to close them
- 15 minutes of a mindful activity (meditation, yoga, journaling, writing, bath etc.) per day
- Creative Sundays
- Get outside daily
- Focus on family time
As you can see, some are more specific than others but for each of these intentions I have broken them down to create smaller goals and I will be tracking them monthly. Some, like running, I already do but it is on there to continue doing. Others, like creative Sundays, are new, but I hope will become something we look back on with fondness as the kids grow up.
We are a week into the new year and already I am spending significantly less time on social media, aimlessly scrolling. Instead, I am choosing activities that align with my intentions above. I will be asking the folks to hold me accountable and will be updating monthly over in the LinkedIn group. You'd be welcome to do the same with your goals as well if you'd like.
Choosing your own word of the year
When it comes to choosing your own word of the year, there is no right or wrong way to do it. It's about choosing one word (you may or may not want to choose a mantra/affirmation/quote instead or to go alongside) that will encompass your intentions for the year ahead. You want it to be your focus, your reminder to be your best self for the year. Perhaps your word will come to you in a flash of inspiration or maybe you keep seeing it pop up as you go about your day. It might come to you quickly or it might be more slowly - you will know when you know.
However, there are three easy steps to determine your word for the year:
- REFLECT on what you want your goals to be this year - is there a common word or feeling?
- MIND MAP places and experiences that mean something to you. You might meditate on it, get outside or grab a pen and paper and draw it out
- MAKE A LIST if you come up with more than one. Research synonyms and choose one that really resonates with you
Once you have chosen it you can turn it into a vision board or make a picture to add to your phone/laptop/tablet. I create a Pinterest board each year and add quotes, pictures, blogs etc. In addition, tell people your word - announce it to hold yourself accountable and to see how it feels!