Why a word for the year is not enough

A word for the year is a fantastic way to help achieve your goals, get clarity in your approach, adopt new beliefs and habits.  I love seeing all the words that friends, clients and contacts embrace for the year.  Words like…

However, coming up with a word, is just the start or to put it another way, you need to bring it to life, by integrating into your life!  Simple and small steps can help integrate your word into your life with profound impact.

Have you ever bought something from a company, or worked in one where you didn’t feel the product or culture was aligned with the sprouted values?  It feels inauthentic. It can be like if you come up with your word and don’t actually live it.  Embedding your word into your life helps you live it and embrace it for the whole year.  It helps keep the word relevant, reminding you of it, so that you can truly get the most value from this word you’ve chosen. Just like the best organisations embed their values into the company and they’re not just wallpaper or words on their website, embedding your word for the year into your daily life will support your success.

Embedding the word into your life doesn’t take a lot of work but can have a huge impact on your goals and success.  Below a list of tips to help you keep your word alive in 2017!

  1. Include a version of it in your passwords
  2. Make an image for the wallpaper on your phone, iPad, computer or all three!
  3. Get a chalk pen or Texta and write on your word on your mirror in the bathroom so you see the word every day. Or on your vision board or notice board or fridge or anywhere else that makes it visible!
  4. If you use a journal, write it randomly on pages throughout the year.  Don’t just write the word, use questions! (See below.)
  5. Include your word or a version of it in your daily meditation and/or your weekly review.
  6. Develop your word for the year with family/friends/team members and support each other throughout the year to live them.
  7. Tell people your word! Don’t just tell them the word, tell them what it means to you and how it will help you be successful and in a state of flow over the next 12 months.  You can also do this on social media and in a blog.
  8. Look to your goals for the year and see how are you living your word to achieve your goals.  Include it in your action plans.  Create a question around your word to match your goals.
  9. If you’re getting new business cards printed, look to have your word printed on the back of your card so that you can then discuss how that word is part of who you in 2017, when you talk to clients, suppliers and colleagues.
  10. Turn your word into questions! Our brain is hardwired to answer questions, so turning “Courage” into “How can I be more courageous today?”, will get your conscious attention and help you take action. Use questions to frame up your word as often as possible – in meditation, reflections, afformations, goal setting. 

Question examples…

Ease” could be “How can I achieve my goals with ease this week?

Commit” could be “What commitments do I need to make today?

Confident” could be “Where could I have been more confident in the previous week?

Brave” could be “What brave choices do I need to make today?

My word for 2016 was courage and it helped me be successful personally and in business.  I was more courageous in conversations with family, friends and clients.  While I still love the word “Courage” and will continue to be more courageous, my word for 2017 is “Focus”.  I will be asking myself regularly, what and who needs my focus today?  Would love to know how you’re keeping your word alive in 2017.

Get some attitude in your vision

It’s that time of the year when people and organisation leaders are reviewing the achievements of the previous year and developing the organisation vision for the next 1, 3 or 5 years. However, does this sound familiar: you’ve developed and communicated your organisation vision, people seem to be doing what they need to do, yet they don’t seem as engaged as they should be? Are they just working through the motions?

So often in developing an organisation vision the focus is on the results that need to be achieved – revenue, profit, sales figures, production targets, technical results, etc. The actions to achieve the results are also identified at each level of the organisation, in individual and team KPIs, activities, projects, development plans, charters, etc.

Whilst best practice is to involve a cross section of employees from all levels in the organisation to develop the vision, there is always the challenge of employees actually committing to the vision.

You can provide the clarity, what your team needs to do to get there and the results they are aiming for, yet they may not be engaged with what they are expected to do to achieve the vision.

You need to get some ATTITUDE in your vision!

An ATTITUDE is defined as “a settled way of thinking or feeling about something”. Think about it this way, what do your employees think of the vision and how do they feel about it?

Too often the focus is on the actions and behaviours of employees, when fundamentally it is our attitudes that drive our behaviours and the results we achieve at work and in our lives. If you want to achieve anything in life, the first step is focusing on the attitude you have towards achieving that goal, whether that be financial, health, career or relationships.

Think of a footballer running down the tunnel at the start of a big game. If a reporter were to ask, “Do you think you’re going to win today?” You can bet the answer will be something like, “We’ve trained hard all week and we believe we can win,” or, “We will focus on our game plan and we know we can win.”

I’m yet to hear a player say something like, “The other team are so good, I think they will win!” If we heard that, I’m sure coach would have a lot to say to the player at half time! Fundamentally, the coach’s role is to develop a winning attitude throughout the team. A belief that they can win. The players have prepared all week, they think and feel they can win the game.

You need your employees to be game players and develop a winning attitude.

If your employees think and feel they can achieve the results you are half way there.

So how do you develop a winning attitude in your organisation culture?

How do people think about the vision?

Do they think the results are achievable? If not, why not? What are the challenges, the roadblocks?

Are they confident and capable to complete their actions? Do they have enough industry and organisation data to understand how they contribute to the long-term vision?

How do people feel about the vision?

Do people have the opportunity to use their natural strengths as much as possible? Are employees in roles aligned to their preferred work preference?

Do employees feel valued, supported, challenged and stretched? Do they feel they have a chance to contribute to the overall success of the organisation?

Do they feel they are being adequately recognised and rewarded for their contribution? Do they feel connected to the vision and the organisation’s values?

Do people have clarity in the vision?

Clarity, or lack thereof, is one of the biggest challenges for organisations. Clarity in the roles, responsibilities and who is ultimately accountable to achieving each area is also critical in achieving the vision.

It’s imperative that people not only understand their role in achieving the plan, but also have the clarity and certainty to develop engagement and the right attitude. Whether that’s within a certain shift, week, month, or a long-term vision and business strategy.

When developing your organisation vision, integrate the attitudes you desire of your employees to deliver the results – because ultimately, if you don’t consider their attitudes, they’ll never be truly intrinsically motivated.