Have you ever heard of setting a word for the year? I’ve been hearing about it a lot in the planner community but I didn’t put too much thought into it…until now. It’s so important to set the tone for your day and it’s even more important to set the tone for your year. With the new year just around the corner, it’s time to find, commit to, and announce your word for 2018.
How to Find Your Word of the Year
Choosing your word for 2018 can seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to. I sat down one afternoon and really thought about 2017. I asked myself what I was happy with, what I wasn’t happy with, what could be improved, etc. I took notes during this reflection and the recurring theme became my word of the year. For example, if your 2017 left you feeling like you were always broke, your word of the year could be frugal. If you’re like me, you may find yourself wanting to choose more than one word but don’t do that! Focus on the most important area for you and you’ll find that those other areas may fall into place on their own.
How to Commit to Your Word of the Year
Choosing your word, writing it down, and/or telling others about it is the easy part. The hard part is committing to it. How do you commit to a word? Well, for me, I like to have a plan (surprise, surprise). Once I chose my word of the year, I thought about what I needed to do to work on it every day. This word is your goal and I’ve found that an inverted triangle works best for me. Goal setting has a trickle down effect, meaning that you need to see the big picture and work it all the way down to your day-to-day life. This is where most people go wrong when setting resolutions (ahem!) and why most of us don’t stick to our long-term goals. Here’s the inverted triangle…
Once you’ve selected your word, think about what you need to do every month to achieve your goal. Is that saving $20? Is it reading 1 book? Whatever it is, set your monthly goals. Then, take those monthly goals and break them into weekly tasks. If your monthly goal is to save $20, you could save $5 each week. If your goal is to read 1 book, simply divide the number of chapters/pages by 4 to see how much you should read each week. Now, do the same thing with your weekly tasks; break them down into daily tasks. Want to save $5 each week? Put $1 a day in an envelope in a safe place until you’re ready to make your weekly/monthly deposit. Want to read 3 chapters a week? Divide the number of pages by 5 (or 7) to see how many pages per day you should read to reach your goal.
Breaking your goals down into much smaller tasks is a much more manageable way to achieve them. And, bonus, if you’re into instant gratification, like most of us are, you’ll see results every single day! Working on your long-term goal every day will make it much easier for you to achieve it. There’s no need to try to cram it all in or rush to get it done. You’re taking the necessary steps every day to make sure you achieve it. And, breaking your long-term goal down like this is much less stressful on you, which is always a good thing. Seems like a lot of work, right? Well, duh! Achieving goals isn’t for the faint of heart, ya know. You have to put in work, but I guarantee you, it’ll be worth it in the end.
Sharing Your Word
Sharing your word with friends, family, or an online community of like-minded folks creates accountability for you. It’s not about those people; it’s about creating a support system for you that holds your feet to the fire so you reach your goal. Even if you think it’s a silly or small goal, share it anyway! If your goal is to read 12 books this year, share that with your partner, children, friends, or whomever so that they know you need some quiet time to read each day. If you choose not to share your goals, don’t get pissed when people don’t support you in the way you need; they’re not mind readers.
My Word of the Year
For most of 2017, I was on point with food and exercise. As the year progressed, I slacked off…big time. Once the weather got cold, that was it for me. Some things happened in October that really threw me for a loop and I went off the rails. Not too much, but I still went off.
With that being said, my word of the year is CONSISTENT. I’m going to be more consistent with my diet and exercise. I have other goals for 2018 as well but this is my main focus. My word is very broad but I was very specific with what I want to be more consistent.
When setting any goal it’s important to make them SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely. Because my word is broad, I made it more specific by indicating that I want to be more consistent with my diet and exercise. How is this measurable? For me, I’m going to measure my progress using my planner, a monthly habit tracker, the Lose It! App and my food/exercise journal. If I eat it, it’s being logged…the same with exercise. Is this goal attainable? Yep. How about realistic? Can I realistically become more consistent? You bet! The timely part is the timeframe in which you want to achieve your goal. Can I become more consistent in a year. Abso-freakin-lutely!
I’ve applied this practice to all of the steps to achieve my goal and I urge you to do the same. It doesn’t take long, so carve out about an hour and make your yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals SMART. Can you realistically save $1 a day? Of course you can! Is your savings goal specific? Your goal must be specific before you can move forward with the other steps. I don’t want to hear that your goal is to “get healthy” in 2018. What does that mean? Healthy is different to every one of us. Be specific! Is “healthy” to you losing 30 pounds? If so, that’s your goal.
Now is the time to prepare for the new year. Set your intention, goal, tone. Be brutally honest with yourself because that’s the only way you’re going to see lasting changes. If you don’t like something in your life, you’re the only one who has the power to change it. Empower yourself to have the best 2018 you can have!
What’s your word for 2018?