Monday, January 9, 2017

Using One Word to Facilitate Goal Setting in the New Year

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. 

Using One Word to Facilitate Goal Setting in the New 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?

30 comments:

  1. I wrote down my goals and tweaked them until I had them widdled down to something attainable. THey were still pretty tough so my word for this year is Persevere!

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  2. I like the idea of giving yourself a margin of space to get things done. I've created a list of smaller goals to achieve this year.

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  3. I'm not one for making resolutions or writing down goals..I kind of am like I want to do this this year, and if it happens it happens, if not then it wasn't meant to be. So far it's worked out pretty well.

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  4. I love what you wrote about change. I am so the same way. I want instant results from the changes I've made, but that's not the way life works. I love your word, margin is a great way. Reprioritizing things is always a good thing. Cheers to a great 2017!

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  5. I love this new trend - I love the idea of going to make a decision and then thinking of my new years word and having that help me make that decision.

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  6. My word this year is mindful. I want to be mindful in all I do and overall be more present at home.

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  7. I love the way you're implementing your word. My word is balance, balance in all things in life.

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  8. Wow love the way you said you think you are setting goals but you are actually writing ideals. Too true and never realized this before. I'm glad you said that!

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  9. I love this! I am working on tweaking my 2017 goals and narrowing them down. I made a huge list and started to realize they were overwhelming me.

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  10. Honestly at the end of 2016, I was SO burnt out. I really am working on NOT getting that way again!

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  11. This is a great post! Also I love your word! I think mine is going to be confidence because I need to be confident in everything I do especially in blogging!

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  12. I like the idea of picking words and ideals rather than "resolutions" - much more in line with the actual idea, and far less stress that way!

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  13. Choosing a word rather than a particular goad is such a great idea because it brings motivation rather than impending doom!

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  14. I agree choosing a word really helps you focus and assists you in achieving your goals. I'm not big on resolutions but goal setting helps you have a long or short term plan - and the assistance of one key word is so helpful! Great post!

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  15. I made goals rather than resolutions this year and it's definitely helping, I haven't picked a word yet because my goals range in subjects and areas but I can see how it can help you focus your goals

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  16. My onw word for the year is NOW. Because I have thought about my goals, reworked them and built the foundation to really attain them all long enough. So the time is NOW to just do them.

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  17. My one word for 2017 is "simple." This helps me a lot in planning out my week, my month, and my year. I overcomplicated everything in 2016. I thought I needed to buy the fancy subscription boxes, purchase the fancy Groupons to do my fancy yoga classes.
    When truth be told, I just need my two legs to get a good workout and frozen veggies work great to make dinner! :)

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  18. I originally chose goals that were too broad and unspecific so I wrote them all down and made them more manageable. For example, instead of 'be healthier', I chose 'go to the gym at least 3 times a week' instead :) Great post x

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  19. This year I'm very focused on being mindful and deliberate with my actions and decisions. Last year I did a lot that was very unfocused and casual. I want to be more conscious this year of the decisions I'm making and how that affects my big picture.

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  20. I decided this year I would make small resolutions. Every time I make big ones they just don't happen.

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  21. I often think of goals as ideals too because they seem more obtainable . For me the word of the year might be your previous one which is action. I was reading an interesting article in the paper today that told me the billionaire's philosophy was often centered around action.

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  22. I have never thought about this much, but I do love the concept of this trend! It's definitely a great way to help facilitate goals.

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  23. This word thing must be new I had never heard of it before like last week but I think it is brilliant definitely gonna need to do some thinking and come up with one

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  24. I don't really set a word of the year every year. But you have a good point, your goals should also coincide with the word that you picked, if not it doesn't make any sense at all.

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  25. I don't do the one word challenge as I don't find it was very fitting for my goals. I actually never heard of the word thing until this year.

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  26. My word this year is unstoppable. So many things came up last year to put things on pause and I don't want that to happen again this year. I want to be unstoppable.

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  27. Wow. To understand the difference between a short range goal and a long term ideal - that is an awesome advice. My word for the year is grow.

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  28. I think I have some pretty attainable goals this year, and I just have to get to work. My world would be belief

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  29. I don't really have a word for this year but I want to keep moving forward. I want to look ahead and keeping pushing myself to do better than I have before.

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  30. Love this!!! I picked a word for the very first time this year! My word is epic!!!!!

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