I have talked about choosing one word for the year, and also about how I am more of a long range goal planner, but how do we combine the two? Today I plan to show you how I am using my one word – margin – in order to guide and facilitate my goals for the New Year.
There seem to be two camps when it comes to goals and planning for the New Year. One is choosing a guiding word for the year – like margin for me; the other is to make SMART goals (I am completely taking resolutions out of the choices here!). However, I like to combine the two.
I love to write goals and see the progress I make against these goals when the end of the year comes, or whatever time period I am using to measure the goal, but I also like to have a guiding word to keep me on track while writing the goals – and for life choices in general.
Last year my word was action and it was a great word. I accomplished more last year than I ever thought was possible, it was an amazing word that worked to facilitate my goal creation for the year.
Now, at the end of the year, I was slightly burnt out (more than slightly, actually), and knew that going into 2017 things were going to have to change.
Here is the thing though, I still have a lot that I want to accomplish in 2017, and I know that I can push through any sort of discomfort to get a lot done. But, that is not how I want my year to be this year. I don’t want to just push through.
This is the reason that I chose margin as my word of the year. This word is going to help guide me while writing my goals for 2017.
When I talked about goal setting for the year I talked a bit about how I have the issue of wanting 10 years of goals to be finished by the end of a one year time period – that is a little insane, but it is also how my brain is wired.
I love change, and I want the change to be immediate, I don’t like to wait for things (this may be a result of the instant-everything culture we live in currently, but that is a post for another day).
Knowing this about myself, and also knowing the feelings I had at the end of 2016 (the totally burned out need a nap kind of feelings), I easily chose my one word for 2017 – margin.
How do you use one word to facilitate goal setting?
This is where long range goal planning comes in. I know that I have a list of goals that I want to tackle this year. Some of them might be able to easily be completed in a year, some may be a stretch, and some might be completely insane yet I still write them down.
Once I have written out all of my goals I will start to sort them. I talked about this a bit already when talking about long range goal planning, but I need to take a realistic look at the goals and see if they are a short term or long term goal.
Then I use my word of the year to take a look at the goals that are in my “yearly goals” column.
When I look at my goals, I need to make sure they match up with my guiding word, otherwise what is the point of choosing one word at all? If I go through my goals and see that I want to sign the kids up for all the activities while simultaneously writing 5 blog posts each week, start daily vlogging, homeschooling using a project based approach and making sure Lucy doesn’t tear the house apart (that last one doesn’t necessarily qualify as a goal), there is no way that I see any margin in those items. I need to back off.
However, if my word of the year was action, like it was last year, these goals might actually be good for me.
I look at those few items and think, well perhaps instead of 5 blog posts I try for 2-3, instead of daily vlogging I will do a weekly vlog, and the kids might only sign up for one activity in the season instead of multiple activities. There is a lot more margin in those goals instead of the previous list.
Now, your word is most likely not the same as my word, but when you look at your list of goals, do they line up with your word?
You chose your word for a reason, and looking at your goals you should be able to see hints of that word in all of them.
If you see a goal that doesn’t match up with your word, why doesn’t it match? Is it something that you really want to accomplish this year, or should it be moved to a long term goal column? Or perhaps there is a way to re-write that goal to be more in line with your word?
And the last thought – maybe it shouldn’t be your goal.
I often will think I am writing goals when they are actually ideals.
That was a harder one for me to swallow, what I want my life to look like, but not having it be realistic or attainable in the foreseeable future.
How do you use your one word to facilitate goal setting?