I first learned this practice in a tele-workshop with Robert Silverstone, who since the early 1990’s has been recognized as a leading thinker in making profits while working to improve the global environment, and the conscious performance of business.
The goal is to choose one word that… represents our deepest self and where we want to go in the New Year, then focus on that word as our guiding principle for the year. And, we do not need to keep the word for the whole year–life brings change and so we change as well. I do recommend keeping a word choice for at least a month.
Two years ago I chose the word power. My focus was to empower my deepest goals, intentions and desires. I used the HGCYSI? definition of power: knowing what I want in a relaxed manner. Over the next year I found myself speaking up more, asking for what I wanted, saying no to what I did not want; generally having more time and energy to do “my stuff.” Even now looking back I feel more expansive thinking about it.
This year, 2014, my word is grounded–my way of settling into my new skills and way of living. I use my watchword mostly when I am confused about a direction to go. It helps me to connect with my truest self and get away from my programs.
For 2015 I am still pondering. At times I feel POWERFUL and want to choose a word to inspire me to kick-butt and crank forward. Other moments, I feel more like settling into myself in quietude. Here’s an abbreviated version of Robert’s process from his tele-workshop. We spent three-30 minute workshops plus work time in between, and insightful coaching from Robert to select our words.
Here’s the choosing process:
- In a quiet place where you will not be disturbed for 15-30 minutes, sit up straight, feet flat on the floor, and relax back into your chair. Turn off electronic devices.
- Take 3 breaths, DEEP breaths, slow breaths. Try to make each breath deeper than that last. I find it helps me relax and focus if I close my eyes.
- Still trying to breathe deeply, ask yourself, “What one word do I WANT to focus on for 2105?”
- Watch as a bunch of words come and go.
- Ask yourself again, “What ONE WORD do I want to focus on for 2015?”
- Write down a few of the words that crossed through. Do any of them really resonate with your heart? Underline those words.
- Take another deep breath, read your list again. Then put it away.
- Repeat this exercise over the next day or two until you find a word you love.
- Choose a word with a positive focus, something you want to move toward
- Eschew words that represent things you want to move away from–focusing on them may keep you stuck in that place.
In the next post on Wednesday, New Year’s Eve day, I will share ideas for using your word, and the word I have chosen.
We all want to learn and grow and I have found the best way is to build small step upon small step so I don’t get overwhelmed. Choosing one word is really useful for me and I hope for you too!
Please share! Does this exercise sound interesting? Useful? Looking back at 2014, is there a word you could use to describe your growth for the year?
For guidelines on maximizing the benefit of your word, see Part 2.
We’d love to hear, so please leave a comment below or send me an email!