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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?

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30 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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! 🙂

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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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