Have you heard about the practice of choosing your "guiding word" for each new year?
The premise around having your “guiding word” is that it provides you with a focus, an intention for the year related to what you will do, how you will act and what you will place a high value on. It provides a lens to look at life through, and make choices around. Having a “guiding word” to remember keeps it simple and easy. You can then create your new years goals around your word.
I always feel a bit hesitant to use the word goal. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I'm not a fan of New Years resolutions as I don't know many people they actually work for. They often become something that is used to beat ourselves up about, can lead to unhealthy behaviours and cause disappointment when we don't reach them, but also when we do. This is why I think intentions might be a more helpful way to frame it. A word (or an intention) can be introduced as a mantra, a meditation, a reminder, a promise. A word can be interpreted in different ways. A word can’t be “broken” — it just feels kinder, more gentle.
When it comes to making intentional choices or seeking some sort of change in an effort to achieve important career or life goals, I place focus on the creation of regular habits or practices and a commitment to oneself --the process, not just the end result, the journey as much as the destination. I work with folks to change mindset from that of short-term reward to long term, lasting, meaningful change. I'm also a big fan of always starting small and being gentle. Also, failure is always an option. Sometimes there is as much to learn by not reaching a goal as there is by achieving it. After all, "failing" is learning. It's all just information. This is why I believe intention is key. Choosing this "guiding word" can help us keep our focus and remain intentional.
My “guiding word” for 2019? I'm not sure yet. So far I'm thinking I might choose "fun". Seriously, what is life without that? I think many of us don't remember how to have it, don't make nearly enough time for it, and definitely don't get enough of it. Me included.
Want to give it a try? Try choosing a word that evokes something positive in you, a feeling you are craving. Your word will feel good (no “shoulds” please) and be one that is a good fit for where you are in your life right now and where you would like to be.
Here are a few examples:
If you have trouble choosing one, don't worry. Any word that has meaning to you will have a positive impact if you commit to it. Whatever you choose, this is something you can focus on every day, all year long. Write it on post-its and stick them on your mirror, in your car, or at work. This is a helpful way to easily remind yourself of who you want to be or how you want to live. It reminds you to remain intentional and committed and will act as your guide throughout the next year. Think of it as your true north, a light to help direct your decisions and guide your steps. Have fun with it!
Looking for more ways to remain intentional over the next year? Coaching can help!
Want some help choosing your guiding word? The folks over at Guiding Word will be happy to help! Visit them over at www.guidingword.com.