So it’s the first quarter of a new year. How’s it going so far?
What you answer is probably not as important as knowing what this year is going to be about for you. One way to theme your year is to have a watchword.
A watchword is a word or phrase that expresses a core aim or belief.
Some questions you can use to help you come up with that word or phrase include:
- What was I unhappy about last year? How can I change that this year?
- What do I need more of in my life?
- What do I need less of in my life?
- What one thing would make a significant difference this year?
The answers to these questions will lead to different words, but you may see an overlap, and that overlap is probably a good indicator of what should be your priority this year.
Types of Watchwords
You could be trying to establish a habit. Potential watchwords might be routine, exercise, or minimize.
You may want to deepen a value in your life. Words like hope, intentionality, and trust could help.
You might want an all-purpose word that applies across your personal and professional lives. Think words like focus, delegation, and accountability.
Ask for Help
Once you’ve decided on a watchword for the year, realize that you now have to attach it to something tactical. Just like “lose weight” doesn’t mean anything as a goal, but “lose 4 pounds” offers clarity, so too a watchword like “exercise” doesn’t mean anything without at least one specific practice behind it.
Once you’ve put something practical behind the watchword, tell someone you trust not just to share something personal, but to ask for help and accountability. It’s often easy to make excuses for ourselves, but it’s less easy to do so when you’ve asked others to keep you accountable. They might even choose to get in on the act themselves!
One way to track your progress with your watchword can be to journal each day (could be something as short as a paragraph) chronicling how you did with your watchword.
Remember that you want this watchword to last all year, not just a week or a month, so pick it wisely and make sure that you are truly invested in holding to it. If you do, you’ll be likely to find yourself improved in one way at the end of the year, potentially ready to do it again with another aspect of your life!
This content originally appeared in our monthly Open Calendar Club Newsletter.