How to use a motivational word, and why it works
2018 will be the third year for which I’ve chosen a personal motivational word. If you’ve never done so, I highly recommend it! Just like having only ONE FOCUS, the practice of having ONE WORD as a touchstone for everything you do during the year should not be underestimated.
My word for 2017 was Action, and it really DID prompt me to do things I never quite thought I could accomplish before. I wrote and published five books AND was able to quit my part-time job. A-ma-zing! To say I’m a believer in a personal motivation word is an understatement to say the least!
For 2018, I’ve chosen the word ESSENTIAL. There were several possibilities, but this is the one I kept coming back to. It encompasses the work and personal sides of my life, which I will talk about later.The practice of having one word as a touchstone for everything you do during the year should not be underestimated. #motivation #inspiration #essential2018 Click To Tweet
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Right now, let’s talk about motivational words and how to choose your own.
The importance of a personal motivational word
If you’ve never chosen a personal word, then it might just seem like a momentary trend. At this time of the year, you see people posting online about “their word” and you think it’s probably just one of those things they’ll cast aside within a few weeks just like their other resolutions.
But… if you choose your motivational word carefully, it really can be life-changing. You’re not pinning your hopes and dreams on the actual word, but you’re USING the word to HELP you reach your potential. Every time you think about that word, you will remember what it stands for and the meaning you have attached to it. In turn, that emotional connection will help you take action to properly handle whatever situation you find yourself dealing with.
Choosing your word
Grab a piece of paper (or print the worksheet below), your planner, a journal, or open a word doc on your computer.
Make a list of the things you would like to focus on this year. What do your things have in common? You should notice a theme emerging.
Do you feel as if your life is scattered and you need to try to bring it all together? Then your word could be Simplify or Focus.
Are you already on your way to making everything better and want to keep going? Then perhaps Momentum or Steady would work.
Or, what word have you often run across lately that you just LOVE and think would fit several aspects of your life? If a word has been speaking to you, then go with it!
Below is a FREE printable worksheet to help you choose your personal word – no signup necessary.
How the word “Essential” will help me reach my goals
I outlined my blog and home goals in my Blogiversary Post, and this year I chose those goals to be in alignment with my motivational word.
I don’t like to set too many goals for the year, or I burn out quickly. This is one reason I chose the word Essential. I want to make sure I limit my focus for this year, and concentrate ONLY on the most important things.
For every task I consider adding to my to-do list, I ask myself whether it is Essential to my goals. In turn, I ask myself whether those goals are Essential to my and my family’s happiness and well-being and/or the improvement of my work life. Every task and every goal must meet this criteria.
It also works in reverse. When I find myself with an accidentally long to-do list (which can result from a brain dump not properly segmented), I can look at each task and usually eliminate most of them without guilt.
You can use the same method with whichever word you choose. Ask yourself, “Does this task fall in line with <your word> and the goals I have associated with it?”
With that in mind, these are my basic goals:
– Drink more water and eat better, but don’t obsess over a perfect eating plan. Maybe move a little more often.
– Use my Tools4Wisdom planner every day. Use ONLY this planner for my personal, author, and both blog goals and tasks.
– Worry ONLY about writing books and blog posts. That actually means blocking the internet for most of the day so I don’t get caught up in social media or reviewing current sales trends, page views, etc.
– Read at least 30 minutes every day first thing in the morning. I will stop feeling guilty about trying to read before bed and failing because I fall asleep almost instantly.
– Take days off. I love being a blogger and an author, but I need to start taking off weekends and a full week here and there.
It’s not too late
You can choose your personal motivational word at any point in the year. Give it a try, and please feel free to leave a comment below about your results!
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