I was first introduced to Christine Kane’s word of the year tool about two years ago. This year I decided to give it a try. Since I was in the early stages of starting this blog the word I choose was growth. The definition I set for growth was “gradual progress towards fullness or fulfillment”. Everytime I felt discouraged about the slow progress on the blog my word kept me pushing on.
You see, having a word of the year offers a new paradigm where setting goals is not just about what you get but also about who you become in the process. Your word will also enable you overcome the obstacles you encounter as you work at achieving your goals for the year. This is because, your word acts as a radar that helps point you to your true north. It is also the basis upon which you act throughout the year. That is why in my view, your word of the year should mirror your goals.
Living With Intention
I often talk about living with intention on this blog. Having a word of the year will help you to live with intention. According to Christine “intention is not just a desire, it is a burning desire”. The intention you establish with your word is what will enable you continue to pursue your dreams and goals when everyone and everything around you is screaming that you should give up. We know that having desires is a good thing since even God promises to grant us our heart’s desires if we trust and delight in him. (Psalms 37:4).
Christine notes that although for some people living with intention comes easily and they can come up with a word in an instant. For the rest of us, it evolves over time. It comes through a nudge or a whisper that will not leave you alone. Sometimes it is that dream that keeps coming back each time you go to sleep. According to Christine, the people whose intention evolves overtime tend to record better results because they do not use their ego to come up with a word or goals that are ridiculous and tend to fall on the way side.
The BE – DO – HAVE Model
According to Christine Kane, the best way to create positive change that lasts in your life is to follow the Be-Do-Have Model. I like to refer to this model as beginning with your end in mind or knowing why you want to achieve a certain goal. This model requires that you begin by envisioning what results you want to have as you set a particular goal.
For example next year one of my goals is to lose at least 8 kgs by 31/12/18. My BE level for this goal is that I want to have a healthy BMI and enjoy dressing up again. Now that I am clear about the BE level I move to the DO level. What do I need to do to achieve these results. I have decided to work on my diet to eat less carbohydrates, more proteins and vegetables and to continue to work out 4 days a week. Now that the DO level is clear I turn to the HAVE level which has to do with how I will feel once I have achieved these results. I will be more healthier and will be able to wear the clothes I like in a size that is comfortable for me.
From the example above, you can see that beginning at the BE level where you visualise your end result and are clear about your WHY ensures that the DO and HAVE levels flow naturally.
Your word of the year will remind you of who you want to BE and what you have to DO. Your word allows you to tap into your intention as opposed to new year resolutions which are often shallow since they do not go deep into the WHY behind them.
Get Your Word To Work For You
As a disclaimer it is important to point out that your word is not a magic wand that you can wave and get instant results. We all know that all success is as a result of hard work. What your word will do is help you get up each time you fall or encounter an obstacle. There are a few rules Christine Kane has as you come up with your word of the year and they are:
Have Only One Word
The temptation to choose more than one word is huge but resist it and settle for one word. Remember your word of the year comes with intention and clarity and that is why it should be one word. When you narrow down to one word, you are able to focus and this generates multiple results.
The Word should be about you
As you come up with your word, you need to be authentic with yourself. Remember the word you choose should speak to you and enable you to see clearly the path you need to take next year. Your word will speak to you in many ways through the lessons and experiences you encounter. Be alert and willing to listen.
Remain committed to your word
The journey of life is full of many bumps and next year will not be different. However, whatever happens remain committed to your word. Do not be quick to abandon it at the slightest challenge you face.
Trust that your word will bring the How
Many times after we are clear about our why we want the how to also be clear. However sometimes you have to trust that the how will show up later. Avoid trying to figure out how your word is going to work for you just trust that everything will fall into place at the right time.
Craft Your Word For Next Year
Christine Kane has put together a writeup with a selection of words you can draw from. In case you do not find anything in that pool of words, I advise that you check out this tool and do the work by answering the questions she has come up with.
Once you have come up with your word, be willing to share it with others. This does two things it helps you to get accountability partners and to have encouragement along the way. The other thing you need to do is keep your word in front of you. Put it in a place you can look at it everyday. I have put mine on my goal sheet for 2018. You can download the goal sheet from my resources page HERE.
You maybe wondering what is my word for 2018 and it is simplicity. There are times I feel overwhelmed like there is so much screaming for my attention. So much so that a few days ago my husband said my motto these days seems to be “I have many things to do”. Unfortunately for me, when I feel overwhelmed anxiety tends to set in.
My word simplicity will remind me to stick to what is essential by ensuring that urgent things do not take the place of the important. Simplicity will also help me remember that most times the best gifts of life come in small simple packages. Instead of looking out for the “big” things I will “remember to be grateful for the small things because one day I will look back and realise they were the big things”.