There’s power in resolution, in the simple act of saying to myself, “This is going to happen.” -MJC
For the fourth year, I’m sharing with you the concept of One Word. I was introduced to this idea in 2016 by my colleague and friend Jeanie Burke, President of Home Instead Senior Care Halifax. It involves choosing one word to express your resolutions/hopes/wishes/goals for the coming year. I’ve been amazed at the positive impact of this seemingly simple exercise, especially as I look back on my word for 2018.
There’s a lot of information available on the One Word concept. My research indicates the idea became a movement due to the writings and work of Jon Gordon, Dan Britton and Jimmy Page, and you can find more information at their website Get One Word. Simply put, instead of making a list of specific resolutions, which are often abandoned or forgotten by February, choose one word as your theme for the coming year. What’s the outcome? Here’s my experience:
The word I chose for 2016 was … DARE. I wanted to push against some of my self-created boundaries, challenge some of my fears and knock on more doors simply to see what was on the other side. With the word DARE humming in the back of my mind, I: agreed to publish a second book; got meetings with senior VPs at one of Canada’s largest banks; did my first “keynote”; hired a virtual assistant; attended DreamForce in San Francisco (along with 169,999 other people – yikes!); and the list goes on.
Throughout the year, every time I hesitated over an idea or potential opportunity I said to myself “DARE” and amazing things happened.
For 2017 I chose the word LEARN. One thing that became crystal clear to me throughout my year of daring, was that I needed to know a lot more about a lot more things!
The word “learn” comes from Old English meaning “to get knowledge, be cultivated; study, read, think about” but also from the Proto-Germanic meaning “to follow or find the track”. So through my studying, reading and thinking, I aimed to identify my path for 2018 and beyond. I began with researching and then crafting a 5-year plan (with the assistance of Stephanie Coldwell and the support of the Centre for Women in Business).
And it worked again! With a focus on learning throughout the year, I attended more workshops, events, webinars (including a life-changing, 100-day marketing seminar with Seth Godin) than ever before. And when things got stressful or failed completely, I asked myself “What can I learn from this experience?”.
The result was a clear vision of where I want to take The Phone Lady that still leaves plenty of room to adapt to how business communication keeps changing.
My word for 2018 was IMPERFECT and it makes me laugh to write about it now. The intent was to acknowledge my perfectionist streak and prevent it from getting in my way; I intended to move past “But it’s not perfect.” to “Here it is. What do you think?”
And I did do this, launching several new courses (that still need tweaking), sharing the beta version of my online course, as well as forcing myself to make and share video content. But the real power of this word has appeared more in my personal life. During the year I juggled my responsibilities as a daughter-in-law, caring for my mother-in-law and the family as they came to terms with her dementia and the necessity of moving her to full-time care, along with my responsibilities as wife/partner/friend to husband David, who’s recent diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s has began to impact our daily lives in surprising (often hilarious) ways.
As I write this I am living in the most imperfect house ever. Even as a young person working three jobs, I never let my surroundings get this … chaotic. But as I end the year with time to organize and purge, I know that accepting this imperfection in order to focus on the best priorities for family, work and myself has been the right decision and that this acceptance will allow me to embrace whatever comes next.
Which brings me to my word for 2019. At first, I thought the word was going to be patience, but when I looked up its meaning and history, I discovered it was connected to suffering and submission, and that’s not right. So I’ve settled on the simplest of words … “BE”.
Throughout the year I want to truly BE in the moment I’m in, not in the anxious worry or preparation for what’s next. Each and every second I spend as The Phone Lady is amazing, an unexpected blessing, yet I often rush past it, on to the next project and deadline. And with husband David, I allow my worry to take me too far into the future, adding unnecessary anxiety to our days and limiting our moments of joy.
This will be a challenge for sure … but I’ve always loved a good challenge! I look forward to sharing my experience with you next December.
By the way, what’s your “one word”? Please share in the comment section below. And … Happy New Year!