By now your social media feed is full of posts arguing for both sides of the debate over setting goals for the new year.
We’re all familiar with the research that shows how few of us follow through with New Year’s resolutions and yet there is something compelling about the turning of the calendar that gets me thinking about what I want for the year ahead.
So, this year I am trying something different. An approach that I discovered from Dr Jason Fox (a fellow Australian) but which has wide spread support in the leadership realm.
Instead of setting goals this new year, choose one word to be your guiding star for the year to help guide the behaviors, principles, patterns and projects that you work on.
The rationale is that setting SMART goals only works in a stable environment, when life has predictable and formulaic outcomes. However, given the complexity, unpredictable and non-linear nature of modern life, and the continued uncertainty of the pandemic in 2021, a one-word intention can provide you with greater focus and motivation.
Dr Fox says one word softens and de-specifies your goals. He describes it as a “fuzzy, contextual beacon” to guide you, to keep you on the path of your intention. It doesn’t necessarily fix anything but rather draws us towards a sense of fulfillment and contribution.
When I think about my one-word intention for 2021, I was immediately drawn to the word Belief. Belief in myself. Belief in the impact that I am having in the world. Belief that following my passions will create the life and work that I want. Belief that if I continue down this path, financial success and sustainability will follow. Belief is the antithesis of self-doubt which has held me back for so long and will be the lens through which I make courageous decisions and take bold action in 2021.
Lingering Thought: What is the one word that will inspire and guide you through 2021?