Powerful things, words.
They can drive us, excite us, inspire, remind and guide us.
Last year my word was JOY. It was incredible how just focussing on that word changed both my outlook and my attention. I launched The Joy Chaser, cementing an idea that had been brewing for a while and felt inspired to maintain my intention of Joy in the everyday.
Unlike resolutions which, let’s be honest, we invariably break and then feel bad about, a single word can act as a note of positivity throughout the year. This year I wanted my word to both ground and stretch me and eventually I settled on not one, but two words.
For my work I’ve chosen reach.
In 2016 I want to reach beyond what I know I’m capable of, beyond even what I think I might be capable of and create something amazing.
But I also want to reach OUT. To touch the lives of others and help them move away from negativity and be the most positive version of themselves.
For home I’ve chosen accept, taking wisdom from the Serenity prayer by American Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.
I’ve learnt over the past year that a big part of everyday happiness for me is accepting the things that I can’t change. In my life, my work, myself and others. Accepting that I don’t have the time to do everything that I want to each day. Accepting that having a toddler in the house means that some days things are just going to be THAT way. Accepting that the people in my life are the way they are and they’re not going to change, however much I nag or get frustrated that the towels are all over the bathroom floor or the rubbish bin hasn’t been emptied and is overflowing on the kitchen floor.
Accept might sound like a softer, more complacent word but I’m huge on changing things so this is a tough one for me!
Do you have a word for 2016?
If not, and you’d like one, here’s a little exercise you can do… and I’ve also made a free worksheet you can download.
The right time to choose a word for your year is entirely yours but I’d counsel you to spend a bit of time on it. While we’re not going to leap on the first word that comes to mind, the power of intuition can be huge so we’re going to harness it.
Ready to choose your word for 2016?
First of all let’s go back to that powerful intuition I mentioned. Here’s a list of positive words… read through it and make a note of any that immediately jump out at you in your journal or on a sheet of paper. Add any others that spring to mind too.
Now read through your note and make a list of all the positive things the words you picked mean to you. Done? Add any new words you thought of to your list.
We’re going to let your subconscious give those words a little stir for a while.
Let’s think about your goals…
In the meantime I’d like you to take another piece of paper (or use the worksheet) to make a list of your dreams or goals for the year ahead. This isn’t planning, my friends, this is big, hairy goal creation. Goals that excite you but also scare you just a little bit. (They might even send a little shiver down your spine!)
When you have that second list pop it side by side with your list of words.
Which of the words you wrote down fits best with your goals? Which words seem to leap out at you? Which words feel like they’re driving you to make plans for your goals? Circle them. This is your shortlist.
Ok so you now have maybe 5 or 6 (or less) words that feel like they could be contenders for YOUR word.
Pop that list somewhere where you can see it and get on with your day. You’re going to let those words brew and percolate through your mind.
You can leave them for an hour, a day, two days – whatever feels right for you. But I find that the right word eventually comes to the front and speaks to me.
And when you find YOUR word? Shake hands baby because this is your partner for 2016.
Here’s some ideas for what you can do together:
- make your word part of your screensaver on your laptop or phone so that you see it everyday
- make a page for your planner, journal or diary that puts your word front and centre
- look at your word each day and let it drive your actions towards the goals you’ve set
- tell your family or friends about your word or write a blog post about it that cements your intentions
- write your word on a card (make it pretty or striking if you like) and pop it by your bed – look at it each morning when you wake up to start your day with a positive outlook
Hope you’ve found this post or the free worksheet useful. Feel free to share it!
I’d love to hear about your word for 2016! Leave me a note in the comments below… and here’s that download link again in case you missed it the first time.