After writing a recent column about preparing for business success in 2020, I started thinking about the personal side of being ready for a new year. Let me take you inside the steps I’m taking this year.
One of my favorite steps is to select a “Word of the Year” to guide my choices over the course of the year, a technique I learned from one of my mentors, Catrice M. Jackson.
To choose, spend some time reflecting on a word that exemplifies what you’d like from 2020. This year I started at Thanksgiving time so I had several weeks for next year’s word to emerge.
In terms of content, I have the best results when I choose a word that helps me overcome a challenge or advance to a higher level and that has some selflessness built in. After all, who doesn’t want to make the world a better place?
For example, if you give up easily, a word like Determination or Persistence may inspire you.
Then create more context with a shortlist of supplemental words that express related values. With a word like Determination, additional words like Compassion or Growth can mitigate any steamroller effect.
Complete this activity by posting them in places where you’ll see them every day so they are top of mind.
Another activity I’m planning for New Year’s Day is to create a vision poster for the year. To get ready for this, I’ll round up some old magazines so that I have a wide variety of images to pick from, plus poster board and glue sticks.
This is a fun group activity, so involve your whole family or invite friends to join you.
Without overthinking, go through the magazines and pull out pictures and phrases that appeal to you. It’s especially interesting to use publications you wouldn’t normally look at — try used bookstores or thrift stores to get a wide range.
After you’ve got a nice pile, group them in ways that make sense to you. Let the structure emerge from the items you’ve selected.
Then arrange them in a way that feels right to you. There’s no wrong way — some people like neat alignment, others create sprawling patterns.
It’s finally time to consider the message from your poster. What do you see about your hopes, dreams, expectations or fears about 2020? How can that guide you as you make decisions?
By the way, if you were struggling to find a word for the year, a vision poster might be just the thing to get you started.
I’m also working on my learning list, seeking out blogs and podcasts that broaden my perspectives.
One major focus is to learn from African-American women, and I’m turning to Medium and Patreon for options. What do you care about? Find topics and sources that expand your mind!
Now, maybe you’re wondering what my Word of the Year is. Drumroll please — my word is Service. I look forward to sharing where this takes me in 2020. And feel free to share yours — I’d love to hear!
What challenges do you face at work? Send your questions to Liz Reyer, leadership coach and president of Reyer Coaching & Consulting in Eagan. She can be reached at email@example.com.