As a Business & Personal Performance Coach, I ask clients to choose a word that will serve as their guide in the coming year. They’ve chosen cool words like LAUNCH, REACH, SELF-COMPASSION and everything in between. It’s such a great exercise, I’d love to challenge you to do the same.
Several of my former clients still send me an e-mail me and tell me their word for the New Year. Some haven’t been active clients for years, but they continue to see the value in the process and have made choosing their word an annual event. Sort of brings a tear to my eye! 🙂
When I tell new clients about my guiding word selection for the coming year, the question I often hear is “With so many words in the english language, how can I boil a whole year down to just one word?”
That is a great question! I’m not suggesting it’s easy. But the process is both fascinating and cathartic! If you’re interested in choosing a word for 2014, let me walk you through the process.
For me this is a written exercise, but that’s not true for everyone. I love the process of writing but if you are more of a thinker vs. a writer, you can get there just the same. The only rule is to take your time and enjoy the journey of self exploration.
The first thing I do is take a look back at the past year or two. I write short lists of people, places and things that make my heart sing. Then I make a list of those that I don’t engage in often enough. I ask myself some tough questions about the big picture of what I really want to be doing with my life. I evaluate what I have too much or not enough of. Then, because I like to divide the year based on holidays rather than months, I ask myself what my life will look like by Valentine’s Day, Easter, 4th of July, my birthday, wedding anniversary and next Christmas. Odd maybe, but that has always seemed to work for me.
Based on all the answers to the self-imposed questions, I write down a bunch of words that are action oriented. What I’m looking for are words that might help me stay on track in order to achieve my goals, dreams and aspirations.
I don’t want to choose a word that will box me in, rather one that will make me stretch. As a matter of fact, STRETCH was my word for 2011. And stretch I did! I did stuff that scared me half to death in 2011, but WOW! What a Year!
MY WORD FOR 2014 IS
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
I totally love it!! CONNECTION fits 2014 for so many reasons. Since I split the year between my homes in Dallas, TX and Steamboat Springs, CO, I have to work extra hard to get and stay connected to people I meet in my neighborhood, at church and in the community.
Bob and I have made a commitment to start hosting a casual gathering at our home in Dallas on the 3rd Saturday morning of the month. We’re calling it “Cooper’s Neighborhood Cafe”. We recently moved into this neighborhood and are the newbies on our block. Our plan is to hand-deliver invitations to all the neighbors, brew some good coffee, put out a platter of pastries and then wait to see who shows up! The end result is that whoever walks through our door will be a new CONNECTION! As part-time Dallas residents, we need to take full responsibility to connect and stay connected.
Another CONNECTION in 2014 will be to ramp up my blog writing and connect with you often. I hope to gather new subscribers who, over the year, will offer comments for all of us to read. Why not connect with each other? Right?
So there you go…my guiding word in 2014 will be to establish and enhance my CONNECTIONS with believers, unbelievers and seekers alike. I’d say that’s a great start to 2014.
My prayer for you? To do the work needed to choose a word – or maybe words – that will guide you in the coming year.
Of course no word will ever take the place of our true guiding light in our Lord, Jesus Christ.
I’d like to think He’ll have a good time watching me take the initiative, lean in and create some meaningful CONNECTIONS with other members of His fabulous flock!