One Word It’s that time of year when you are either freaking out over the holiday or you are preparing for the new year. I’m doing a little bit of both, but mostly I’m thinking about what I want my One Word to be for next year. In the free Do Good Work group we have had people message me with questions about having One Word and I thought I’d answer them here (you know their question might be your question).

Why Have One Word?

Q: What’s the point to choosing a word for the year? I like that people do it, but I just don’t see how I can use that in my own life.

A: If you have ever made a New Year’s Resolution you have an idea what doesn’t work. That idea, picking something you want to change, usually only lasts until the end of January and then you are back to eating donuts every morning and skipping the gym. That’s how choosing One Word is different. It isn’t about changing any one thing and is instead about having on idea to focus on for the whole year. It’s about living by intention instead of just ping ponging through your day. For instance, if your word is Focus, you might realize that you need to pay better attention in meetings, let go of procrastination or pay attention to the things that really matter.

Choosing One Word doesn’t change your life by some magic of the word. It’s about you putting it into your life and work in a meaningful everyday kind of way.

How Do I Make My One Word More Real This Year?

Q: I’ve chosen words in the past, but they just didn’t seem important. What am I doing wrong and how can I put them in the forefront.

A: You are what you pay attention to and that is the same with your One Word. If you choose it in January and then just stop thinking about it you aren’t really using it to make a difference. Throughout the next year in the Do Good Work Facebook Group we will have monthly prompts and check in on where we are with our word to make it more relevant to our day to day. Some things you can do are post it prominently in your workspace or somewhere you spend a lot of time, some folks purchase jewelry with it stamped on it and wear that throughout the year and you can add it as a hashtag to your Instagram photos to keep you focused on your intention.

I Can’t Decide on My Word

Q: I have a few words that I am thinking about, but I can’t decide.

A: The questions I ask myself when I’m deciding on my One Word are: What are you trying to achieve? How do I want to feel? At the end of the year what would my word and world look like to me?

When someone can’t come up with their word I often suspect that they are afraid of what they really really want. So, write down all the things you really really want and your word will come out of that.

Whatever word you choose I hope your year is stellar!

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