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Following up on your Word of the Year

Have you been thinking about your word of the year?

Wow, 2017 is half over! Where the heck did the time go?

Given we’re now into June, it seems like a good time to revisit our Word of the Year concept. Don’t remember what I’m talking about? That’s cool! A word of the year is another way of setting a new year’s resolution, but one where you think about what’s truly important in your life and business and create a framework for focusing on that. It’s about what you really want and not just about your client’s needs or the CEUs you’ll take. Where do you actually want to take your practice? If you could have your ideal business, what would that look like? You can listen to my podcast episode about that, or read about my experiences in 2016 with choosing a ‘framing word’.

To recap in brief: For 2017 I’ve chosen the word ‘Purpose’. The idea is for me to think about all the decisions I’m making in my life and business and ask myself: do they really reflect my core purpose? Are these choices the right ones for me in light of that?

When I talked about this topic back at the beginning of January one thing I didn’t cover was how to keep looking back at your word. How do you keep it at the forefront of your mind each day?

It’s so easy to set it and forget it, like with a lot of things in our lives, right?

I’ve got a few things I’ve been doing myself, and some other things I’ve heard people have success with. So here are my suggestions to help you out!

Word of the Month

Try setting a word of the month that is another expression or another way to look at your word of the year.

For example, if your word was health, you could set a word of the month to focus on some aspect of that that resonates with you. Fitness, nutrition, 10 thousand steps, drink more water, or whatever.

With my own word of the year, I’ve been setting some monthly words to help me along. For May, my word was truth. Sometimes for me the most important thing is coming back to what’s honest and real and not just what others want to hear (and yes, that includes clients 😉 ).

Do a daily journal

When was the last time you had a journal? I know for some people this is part of their daily lives, but for others it’s just not something that they really do.

The idea here is to take some time regularly, whether it’s daily, weekly, or whatever works, and write about how things are going! A place for you to collect your thoughts, look at what you feel you need to change, and how you think you’ll go ahead to make those changes. Also a place to give yourself kudos for a job well done if you’ve been totalling crushing your goals and making stuff happen! Hey, sometimes we forget to do that. This seems especially true for people in caregiving professions!

Use a goals-oriented dayplanner

Leaping onward from the journaling idea is to use a dayplanner that is built around your goals and desires and not just to do lists and appointment times.

My planner of choice this year is Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map planner. It starts off the year asking you to do some exercises to identify your needs and goals for the year – similar to the exercises we talked about with choosing your word of the year! You then revisit those goals and needs at the beginning of each month. You’re also asked each day to reflect on how you’re feeling and what you need to change in order to do what you want and need to do, all reflecting back on your goals. Of course, the planner ALSO has space to list your daily meetings and bookings and to do lists and other things like that. But it helps you reframe your obligations into choices, and reframe your day into choices that are meaningful for your life and business and not just a big ass list of things you need to get done. More focus, less stress!

So far I’ve found it a great addition to my daily routine, so check it out if this appeals to you at all. And if that particular day planner doesn’t work for you but the idea does, there are literally dozens out there that serve similar functions (need recommendations? Hit reply and let me know!)

Surround yourself with your word

Put signs of your word of the year around you! How you do this depends on your personality, taste and work environment, but it’s great to have daily reminders of your word as you do your thing. Brushwork from Etsy? Do a daily art project? Post a sticky note on your door? Something on your fridge? By your bed? At your clinic?

Anything that will remind you of your word and will inspire you to keep it in your mind as you’re going about your day!

How are you guys doing with your word of the year? Have you had some success in keeping it in mind as you continue to work on your business and practice this year? I’ve love to hear from you!

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