The holidays is a perfect time to plan for the new year. I spent mine thinking of the three words that will guide my actions and behaviours to achieve my goals and live the life I want to lead.
An assessment of my use of last year’s words (Purposeful, Groundbreaking and Global) helped make my selection—when I used them well, when I didn’t and when I forgot them altogether.
This year, I have vowed to use them for all substantial decisions on how I spend my time.
I realize that every decision impacts whether or not I am progressing against my goals. Everything counts. For example, if I agree to do something that is unplanned, the benefit must be greater than doing something else. It’s a choice. That’s why my first word is ‘Choiceful’. It will remind me of the implications of my decisions before I make them.
This year I want to grow by taking on new opportunities and challenges. This will require limiting the amount of activities that are repeats of things I have done in the past. New experiences and challenges are what I am motivated by this year.
My first two words will have limited impact if I don’t leave room in my schedule to seize opportunities. Michael Hyatt calls this creating margin. That’s why my third word is ‘Flexible’. I must keep enough room in my schedule so I can choose take on new experiences.
I felt the pain of zero margin over the past 3 months when I over-extended myself well beyond capacity. My cost was working non-stop, day and night, missing out on other parts of my life. I did it to myself and don’t want to do it again.
I am excited about my 3 word selections and how I will use them over the next 12 months. They are posted by my computer so I don’t forget them. I also plan to conduct a couple of check-ins over 2015 so I get the best use of them.
So what do you think? If you chose 3 words to help guide you in 2015, what would they be?
Like many people, I have taken time over the holidays to reflect on 2013 achievements and 2014 goals.
I read a newsletter from Chris Brogan about his approach to 2014 planning. He invited his readers to choose three guiding words that sum up what you want to work on in the year. He included a link to the words he had used over the last seven years with tips on what words were most effective.
After checking them out, I scribbled a few words down in my planning notes but moved onto other things. It wasn’t until I described the exercise to a friend that I became excited by its possibilities. What a simple and effective way to remind you of your priorities and keep you on track.
The following day, I read a post from another leadership guru, Dan Rockwell’s, called Don’t Make a Resolution; Find a Word. He advocates a one-word approach to focus your actions over the coming year.
I am definitely a three word person. Here are mine for 2014:
Everything I do must connect to my purpose of helping people and organizations be more successful by working in new ways. My watch-out is becoming absorbed in interesting side projects that are not aligned with my overarching goal. Time is a luxury I cannot afford.
I am at my best when I am out of my comfort zone. I need to focus on developing new change support offerings and different ways of providing them. More on this in a couple of weeks.
I wrote Change with Confidence from a global perspective based on my experiences and researched international examples—change is universal. My business also needs to be global, including my writing, speaking engagements and clients.
Of the three words, only “global” remains from the words I scribbled down last week; better words emerged with time. What this tells me is that I wasn’t clear about my areas of focus until I went through the exercise a few times.
Maybe this will be true for you. What are your three words for 2014?