While we all know about New Year’s resolutions, all the resolution-related research tells us that such goals don’t make much of a difference. Once most people get past January, the general adherence to a long list of resolutions is very small. That’s why my challenge for you is to instead choose just one word, a word to hold as your guiding light for 2019.
I suggest you choose a word that will guide your New Year’s decisions and leadership focus. For instance, if you choose the word “transformation” your goal might be to make significant changes in your life and your leadership, as well as your group or organization. As you assess each decision or action, you’ll be thinking about whether what you’re doing is likely to be transformative.
Or perhaps your word is “steady.” Your goal might be to bring a sense of calm and clear expectations to your life and your team. Or if “bandwidth” is your word, your goal might be to work within your bandwidth this year, refusing to commit to more than you can realistically accomplish. Perhaps you need to have a laser focus on excellence within your bandwidth.
If you choose “listen” as your word, you might focus on allowing others to speak first before jumping into a conversation. Or you may designate 2019 as the year for addressing feedback from people in your organization who don’t feel heard. “Listen” will therefore remind you of your primary goal in every interaction.
Whatever word you choose, make sure it’s a word that really means something to you and is right for the direction you want to take in both your work and your life. Make this word your own. And for that matter, it doesn’t have to be a real word. It could be your own word, a word you invent that means something to you alone.
What is my word for the year? I think I will choose “impact” for 2019. I want to make sure I’m spending my time and effort in ways that have meaningful impact on my family, friends and clients. My goal as a professional has always been to help people flourish in their work and life in ways that are most rewarding and fulfilling to them. I therefore want to maintain a very intentional focus next year on accepting work and commitments that align with that desire. My intent is that my work flow into others’ goals, thereby magnifying my impact.
When I’m able to know that something I said left another person feeling better about themselves, more empowered and more satisfied, I feel that I have met my personal and professional goal of making a positive difference for others — I have made an impact.
What is your word for 2019? If you have a moment, comment below or send it my way: firstname.lastname@example.org.