At the beginning of each year we all make resolutions. This usually looks like a long list of goals we want to accomplish throughout the next year. I am a very goal-oriented person and I thankfully stay very focused, but setting a list of specific goals to accomplish over a whole year and KEEPING them is no easy task.
I was a freshman in college when I first learned about the concept of “My One Word” –– selecting one word to focus on for the upcoming year. I loved the idea of choosing one word to remember and work on rather than a list of items that probably would change or wouldn’t get completed anyways (that can be pretty discouraging).
So now, rather than starting off the year with a list of items, I choose a word.
This word is the cornerstone and guide to all of my short term goals throughout the year. It defines the direction I want to see myself heading and the areas of my life I want to improve.
Choosing a word to define a whole year is no easy task either! I always joke about how I go through 3-4 words before I finally find the one that sticks out to me. Though it never fails, the one word I’m supposed to have reveals itself and it makes complete and total sense.
When choosing a word, I usually map out the tangible goals I have for the short-term and long-term future and see what I need to develop in myself in order to hit them. What is the recurring theme? What applies to most, if not all, of them?
I knew I wanted to spend the next year growing. But growing in what? I wanted to develop new relationships, create mentoring opportunities and gain mentors for myself, and learn new skills and further develop the ones I already have.
The word I finally landed on was CULTIVATE.
Cultivate is defined as:
How perfect is this?! Not only does it represent my desire to grow, but my favorite part about the word is that it’s intentional. It’s not just waiting for something to develop. It’s going out and chasing it.
It’s accepting the invitation to get coffee with a new friend. It’s budgeting to afford the workshop filled with like-minded entrepreneurs. It’s actively enrolling in the online course to develop new skills. It’s keeping up with the people you’ve met along the way.
It’s exactly what I envision for me in 2018.
Of course I will be setting quarterly, short-term goals with a long-term vision in mind, but having this word be the encouraging cornerstone of my decisions will keep me focused on what I actually want to accomplish –– without getting overwhelmed!
I am encouraged to see how this word is already making an impact on my life and I am excited to watch the cultivated relationships, skills, businesses, and opportunities unfold in 2018.
I love hearing my friends’ words for the year! I am very passionate about setting goals and this one is so easy to keep, there’s no reason not to do it! I spent the early part of the year asking my closest friends what their words were and (constantly) reminding them to choose one. What can I say? Goals are a lot easier to keep when you aren’t the only one 🙂
I would love to hear what you have planned for this year and if you have a word that encompasses it all –– leave it in a comment below!
I’m Dakota, a Wilmington, NC-based photographer Helping engaged couples feel comfortable in front of the camera and creative businesses grow with purposeful brand imagery.
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