There’s a lot of content (and pressure!) on creating a set of fresh goals to activate your life each year. To be honest, sometimes it makes me feel a little overwhelmed.
I start thinking…Am I prepared? Are my goals ambitious enough?
If that’s you, try thinking about it this way…
For the last few years I’ve decided to make a “word of the year”.
Nobody told me to…It just popped in my head one day, and it happens work for me because it fits what I like to call a “principles-based” approach (more on that later).
Before creating a list of hard-set goals (which I still encourage), having a single word for the year allows you to keep your focus centered on one thing to work towards. So, even on those days (or weeks…or months) when you aren’t actively working towards your goals, you can easily get re-centered and still feel accomplished.
Here’s what it looks like in practice:
In 2017, my word was “alignment”.
The idea stemmed from spending some time writing in my journal, reflecting on a rough 2016 (Watch more about the importance of journaling here.) Let’s just say many areas of my life were not doing well — — physical, financial, spiritual and family health were lacking. And, as a result, the confidence and clarity I needed to launch and grow a business was really suffering.
In many ways, my back was against the wall. And, after 28 years of trauma from being an athlete, my back was definitely not aligned properly either. I literally had a massive pain in my neck…So, naturally the easiest way to start addressing this “misalignment” in my life was to call a chiropractor.
For the first six months of 2017 I went to see a chiropractor once/week. I hadn’t seen one before, and I was super skeptical. But wow am I glad I did it…!
Have you ever been to a chiro? Highly recommend. I remember the exact thought I had after my first adjustment…
“Wow, I feel like a new person. How did I get used to living any other way?”
^ The truth is, this helped me realize we all get comfortable living without proper alignment, in one way or another…
- 5–6 hours of sleep/night is not proper alignment.
- Eating take-out 4 nights/week is not proper alignment.
- 20-minute “maintenance” workouts just to say you went to the gym is notproper alignment.
- Buying stuff because you don’t know what else to do with your money is not proper alignment.
- Spending money on something you don’t enjoy with people you don’t want to be with (on NYE, for example) just because you don’t know what else you’ll do with your time is not proper alignment.
- Spending an hour on Instagram getting sucked down a rabbit hole of nonsense about the latest nonsense someone is going viral for is not proper alignment.
You get the point.
Here’s the thing:
In football, boxing, soccer, golf, tennis, you name it…you can’t have the maximum power in your hit, punch, kick, stroke, swing unless you have proper alignment. And…
In life, you can’t have maximum impact unless you have proper alignment.
So, throughout 2017 I centered much of my time, energy and money around getting proper alignment:
- I hired a chiro.
- I hired a personal trainer.
- I hired a counselor.
- I created better morning routines.
- I proactively tested different business ideas to get clear about what should be at the core.
- I spent more time researching the best technology to facilitate growth of my business for 2018.
- And, most of all, I spent more time getting to know who God is and why I can look to Him before anyone else…
(Side Note: I didn’t “have” the money to spend on some of those things I mentioned. So that’s not a good excuse! If you truly value making a positive change in your life, then you’ll do what it takes to make it happen.)
Now, everything isn’t Hunky Dory. But my personal and professional life have lots more alignment than they did on Dec. 31, 2016. There’s clear, measurable, visible alignment — and, more importantly, the increase of intangible peace and joy in my life is a direct reflection of that change…
So what’s my word for 2018?
Well, now that I have better alignment, I want to create more…
This year I’m going to focus on how I can get the most power from whatever I’m working with…
As a result, here’s five things I’m going to focus on:
- Be more present. Whether it’s through small interactions, physical movements, speaking, coaching, writing…
- Slow my life down. I want to continue working hard to protect my peace. Especially in the morning. This helps me pay attention to exactly where I may be misusing my time, energy or money throughout the day.
- Focus on technique. In my personal training sessions, for example, I want to pay attention to the movement vs. the completion of the movement.
- Extract the most from whatever I’m doing. With work, for example, I can find more ways to share the content I’ve already created rather than re-creating each time.
- Rest well. This means taking my “recharge” time more seriously.
It’s a “principles-based” approach because these things can be applied anywhere. Whether it’s on a plane ride, client call, dinner conversation, or just walking around the streets of New York. Life is often unpredictable, so while you need to have focus on a firm end-goal, you should also have a way to stay flexible in your approach.
Want to have your own “word of the year”? It’s never too late!
Follow these 3-steps:
- Spend 5 minutes writing in your journal about 2017. What’s going great? What needs to change before it becomes a big problem?
- Now think of a word that can be your focal point to help you solve those potential problems.
- Write it down, then create a short list of five practical ways you can start to engage your life differently (as I did above). Then I’ll challenge you to take it a step further — — start using the calendar on your phone to create reminders about different “action items” you need to do (like scheduling a chiro appt). 🙂
Originally published at www.linkedin.com