Happy New Year and welcome to The Spark Show! In this episode, I’ll be talking about how to choose your 2021 word of the year. I’ll also be sharing my 2021 word of the year and how having a word of the year has contributed to my success.
First of all, I know you might be thinking - “2021 word of the year? What’s that? Do I really need to do that? There’s so much I want to accomplish this year! Why do I only pick one word?”
So, before we even get to choosing your word for the year, let’s talk about why you should have a word of the year.
First, I know in the beginning of the year, you’re excited. It’s a fresh start, you survived 2020 and now it’s that time where you’re feeling like you can accomplish anything. And, not to be a downer, but we all know that even though we have a strong start, it’s getting those things done that can be the real challenge.
There’s no doubt about it - it’s challenging to achieve your goals. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be a goal. So, when those challenges come up (which they will, it’s just a matter of time), then you will want to use your word to help you stay motivated and stay on course.
For example, maybe your goal is to get serious about your online business this year, and you know that’s going to require discipline and commitment to prioritize that goal and invest the time into your business. But sometimes, you’d rather relax, watch a whole season (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but you might have to make different choices if you want to accomplish something different.
Maybe in this case, your word could be FOCUS. By choosing to FOCUS on your online business, you’ll remind yourself every time you have the choice to work on your business or something else - you’ll want to choose your business with your word as your guide.
Another example here is maybe one of your goals for 2021 is to be more active and for your health to be a priority. Perhaps you want to create the habit of working out every single day. So, your word could be CONSISTENCY. And, when you have that word at the top of your mind, you will continue to remind yourself of the commitment you made to stick to your word.
There’s a reason why less than 8% of the population actually sticks to their New Year’s resolutions. Of course, you want to do all those things, but if you’re just saying it and not actually putting the work in - then that’s when what usually happens, happens.
What a lot of people don’t do is put the prep work into goal setting. A to-do list is just that until there’s a purpose and a plan behind it. You gotta get really clear on why you want to accomplish your goal. That WHY is the driving force that will help you keep taking action and moving forward to achieve your goal. If your reason is not compelling enough, you will probably not accomplish your goal.
So, let’s go back to my previous example about getting serious with your online business. If this is something you really want to achieve this year - you really have to have some compelling reasons on why you want to do it. To make more money is simply not enough. That’s not gonna get you out of bed and excited to go to your desk on a Saturday morning. You have to really get down to the deep reasoning behind it - maybe it’s because you want to secure financial stability for your family or fulfill your dreams of traveling the world (you’ll want to get really specific here - what kind of stability, like a trust fund for your daughter, which countries will you fly to when you achieve your goal?)
And, you’re gonna want to write this all down. You can start with three reasons per goal but I find that if you can write down 10, 20, or even 50 reasons - it’s a stronger foundation that will remind you of WHY you even want to do this in the first place and the reward that you will get.
You see, as humans, we respond to reinforcement. A reward is a positive reinforcement. We also respond to negative reinforcement such as pain and suffering. Some people use that as a tool to envision what will happen if they don’t achieve their goal. It works for some, but I like to focus more on the positive.
Once you’ve written down your WHY with your goals, take a look to see if there’s a common theme here. You can choose a word that will remind you of why you want to achieve your goals and hopefully those reasons are compelling enough to help you take action. Some ideas could be PURPOSE, COURAGE or PERSISTENCE.
Most of us are pretty good at keeping promises to others, especially those we love and care about. Unfortunately, when it comes to ourselves - it can be tough, because no one’s really keeping tabs on us, because we’re old enough to buy our own presents and not be on the “naughty list,” so sometimes when we make promises to ourselves, we tend to not keep them.
And, it can be really simple like, promising to give ourselves a break, or to talk kindly to ourselves. But, it can be easy to forget to do those things.
So, you can choose a word as a promise to yourself. It could be KINDNESS or BALANCE.
If you want to make a promise to yourself to have more fun this year, it could be JOY or PLAY.
So, how do you choose your word of the year?
By now, you probably have an idea. If you don’t, you can just put the question in your mind: “What’s my 2021 word of the year?” and I’m sure it will come to you.
You can also google “Word of the Year ideas” to get a list and choose the first one that stands out to you.
There is no right word or perfect word. You just have to choose one that works for you. You can choose more than one (again, you’re free to do whatever you want), but I find that choosing one will really help you focus on that one word.
Last year, my word of the year was SURRENDER and boy did it really help. With everything that happened in 2020, there was little under my control and my word of the year really helped me focus on surrendering and going with the flow.
This year, my word of the year is SIMPLIFY. I realized that at times I can make things complicated when things can be simple if I allow it to be. So this year, I’m going to use my word to guide me to keep things simple and have fun in the process.
I hope after this, you’re inspired to choose a word of the year. Once you’ve chosen, make sure to share it on Instagram as a post or story and tag me @heygwenlane and @thesparkschool.
If you haven’t downloaded my all-new free 2021 Brand Deal Pitch Calendar yet, make sure you do that right now by clicking here to get access to a 12-month planning calendar with events, holidays, social media days and advanced pitching windows so that you can get paid brand deals in 2021.
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