I’ve been debating whether I should write a post about this or not. First of all, choosing a word of the year is all over the interwebs and social media. Do I really have something different to say? Then I asked myself what would I tell a client, my sister or a friend? I would give them an emphatic yes! You must put yourself out there because not only do you offer a unique perspective, but you must also have accountability for your own word.
So here I am sharing my WOY with you: Willingness. Which appropriately fits my hesitancy talking about this. I decided to be willing to share this with you because I believe in the strategy. First let me share with you my process and then I’ll explain why having a guide word is more beneficial than setting goals.
With all the many resources available for choosing a word of the year, I wasn’t going to reinvent the wheel and create my own tool. This year I chose to work through both Susannah Conway’s Unravel Your Year workbook and Christine Cane’s Word-of-the-Year Discovery Tool. Both very different, but effective. The workbooks only took me about an hour to process, but this material is old hat for me. For some, the process may take days.
Christine says that “the best order for creating change in your life is the BE-DO-HAVE model. In other words, before any change is going to take place, you must first embody, or be, the idea. I started the workbooks thinking I wanted my WOY to be action. I am fantastic at planning. I could plan, dream and scheme all day long, but when it comes to doing? I’m a little lackluster in that department. Using the tool to guide me, I discovered the idea that in order to have action, I must first have the feeling of willingness; willingness to change my schedule, let go of mom and spouse guilt, or even let household tasks take a back seat. I knew that action wouldn’t happen if at first I didn’t agree to let it happen. So choosing action as my word didn’t go deep enough. In order for 2019 to be a rich, abundant, and wild year I needed to reach beyond the idea of merely doing. With the help of the tool, I realized that I’m not very often willing, which is why the action hasn’t happened, and I’ve been stuck in planning mode.
By taking a step back and BEing willing, the DOing will come in order for me to HAVE…joy, growth, challenge, etc. All the components of a RAW life. And voila! I ended up with the perfect guide word.
Why a guide word versus goals?
Goals are great motivators when you need measurable results. Losing a certain number of pounds to reverse diabetes, for example, is a measurable goal that’s important and probably vital for your health. New years resolutions are goals that are usually determined by shoulds. I should start to exercise. I should eat better. I should watch less tv. You get it. The problem lies in the absence of a feeling. Maybe you should do all those things, we all should, but doing them doesn’t speak to how we want to feel. And knowing how you want to feel will lead to greater success than by merely going through the motions of trying to achieve a certain outcome. That’s exaclty why they don’t stick.
A guide word, on the other hand, takes the pass/fail scenario out of it and starts with the feeling. At the end of this year when I’m reviewing all I have accomplished, I want to over all feel like I was first willing to allow all of it to happen. I don’t want to have checklist of all I did or didn’t do. Plus, having one word versus a list of goals is a lot easier to remember. I can remember willingness, and use it to guide all the decisions I make in 2019.
I encourage you to create your WOY and if you are willing, share it with me. Because we all need community accountability.
(Not sure on how you want to feel? Go get Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map.)