I just saw something interesting on my LinkedIn feed. One of my connections shared a post that looked like a meme but was titled, “First Four Words You See Are Your Focus for 2021.” Following the title were the jumbled letters of a word-search puzzle.
I usually roll my eyes at such things, but this one looked kind of fun. I scanned the letters, looking for the first word to pop out. Lo and behold, four extremely relevant words emerged:
Sure enough, those words do convey much of what will be important to me in 2021 and for a lot of reasons.
“Alignment” and “love” go together. As we emerge from the pandemic next year, I will likely be busier than usual, perhaps ever. It will be essential for my actions to be in alignment with my goals, values, ethics and personal priorities. Speaking of personal priorities, the importance of love goes without saying, but I nevertheless am too often guilty of placing my most important relationships on the back burner.
“Creative” and “breakthrough” go together as I will launch at least two new products/services in 2021, and I’m going to be involved in a new business venture.
I love this time of year not just because it’s fun to celebrate our holiday traditions. I love this time of year, because I enjoy planning for the future. One of my favorite parts of the calendar is this current period of time when I thoughtfully, introspectively and strategically prepare my plan for the coming year. Doing so both relaxes me and excites me at that same time (I know that sounds somewhat oxymoronic, but it’s true).
Entire books have been written on how to maximize your success through planning and goal-setting. But every year at this time, I like to bring up a useful concept that simplifies your plan to channel your energy and focus your efforts. I encourage you to choose one word that will serve as your personal theme for 2021.
The concept comes from Mike Ashcroft’s book, My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word. For years, Ashcroft has been encouraging people to abandon the practice of New Year’s resolutions and instead choose one word to be their focus for an entire year.
By selecting just one word, you clarify and simplify what you want to accomplish and who you want to become. As Ashcraft says, “This process forces clarity by taking all of your big plans for life-change and narrowing them down into a single thing. Your one word focuses on your character and creates a vision for your future.”
So how do you choose?
It may be “just one word” but choosing a single word to represent your whole year can seem like a daunting task.
Ashcraft advises you to follow three steps to arrive at your word:
Step One: Determine the type of person you want to become.
Step Two: Identify the characteristics of that person.
Step Three: Pick a word.
Some of the commonly chosen words include courage, focus, trust, faith, success, healthy, confidence…The list goes on and on.
Now, what’s going to be YOUR word for 2021?
Once you have your word, write it down and post it in a prominent place. Look at that word and think about that word all year long. Let your one word propel you toward success.
Like you, I have a decision to make. I have not yet settled on one word for 2021. Should it be alignment? Creative? Breakthrough? Love? Or perhaps there’s some magic word that sums up all four of those words. I’m not yet sure, but I need to decide quickly. Next year is only a few days away.