Did you make resolutions a few weeks ago? Were they the same ones you made last year and the year before? You know, lose weight, exercise more, get out of debt, get organized. I use to make some of those, too, and, if truth be told, probably still do.
For the past several years, though, I’ve tried something new. I’ve picked a word to reflect on and act on for the year. I started this practice in my yoga class. At the first session of the year, Kathy, our instructor passes around a basket with words and we draw one. A couple of years ago I selected “openness.” Pat, the woman next to me picked “love,” and I thought that was a much better word. I asked if I could draw again, and Kathy told me that I didn’t pick the word, it had picked me. OK, so openness it was. I took the paper home and taped it to the top of the computer screen where I looked at it each day. Something really magical happened. I began to look at opportunities in both my business and personal life in a whole new light.
So at yoga class on Saturday, it was time to draw this year’s word. Knowing how powerful the word as an intention was for me in the past, I had already selected a word for 2010. That word was “challenge.” I wanted to challenge myself each day, whether that was challenges I sought out or those that came to me. I put the word challenge on a post-it by my computer.
The word that I drew in yoga class was “enjoy,” and I look at it as a perfect complement to challenge. I tend to get highly focused on something and need to see it to completion, easily neglecting the joy of the journey. With both these words, I see a great 2010 ahead for me.
Another thought on resolutions: Often we tend to try to correct those things that are weaknesses in ourselves. This year instead try to focus on your strengths and build on them. Some good resources for learning your strengths and how to capitalize on them are Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton; StrengthsFinder 2.0: A New and Upgraded Edition of the Online Test from Gallup’s Now, Discover Your Strengths by Tom Rath; and Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance by Marcus Buckingham.
One way you could put this into practice is when you find a weakness, look for a way for someone else to handle it. Here’s just one example: hire a bookkeeper instead of struggling to do your own books, if that’s not one of your strengths. Your time will be spent more productively on those tasks at which you excel, and you’ll make enough money doing those tasks at which you are better. A bonus is that someone else is able to put her strengths to work. Remember you have power in your strengths.
Please share your thoughts on selecting a word or building your strengths.
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