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Posts Tagged ‘resolutions’

Words, Resolutions and Intentions

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

2015Some of you know that I pick a word to guide and inspire me through the year, to serve as a focus or intention as I face each day. I started this practice back in 2005 or 2006 and have shared this story before. At that time, I was actively practicing yoga and in a class, Kathy, the owner of our studio, passed a basket with words. I chose one, openness, and I didn’t really like it. After all, the woman next to me picked love, which I thought was so much better. I asked to draw a new word and Kathy told me the word had picked me and I was to go with it. I put the paper with the word “Openness” on the computer where I could see it every day. I was not sure what would happen, but I just started seeing all kinds of things around me. I guess I was “open.”

Since that time I have had lots of different words to guide me through the year, including abundance, challenge, joy, consciousness and last year’s word “Trust.” I wanted to trust that I would make the right decisions, that I would not second-guess my decisions, that the chances I took would work out. And, yes, I could see a difference in how my choices played out.

For me, this was a better idea than making a New Year’s Resolution. So, why did I make the switch from resolutions to an intention? It came down to the kind of person I wanted to be, not all the stuff I wanted to do or have. Sure, I could have the same resolutions everyone else made: lose weight, get organized, exercise more, the list goes on. But that did not work because I was still “being” the same person. I had to make a choice to “be” a different person. That is what has made the difference, focusing on being.

So here we are, a week into 2015, and I have been thinking of my “word.” I started by listing a group of words I found appealing: bounty, mindfulness, connections, persistence, gratitude, harmony, possibilities, thrive, awareness, exploration. And, while they resonated, they did not resonate enough. Next, what I did was think about what it is I wanted in my life and my business, and the answer I kept coming back to was to fully experience what was in front of me, whether that was a person, an experience, an activity, a challenge. It was about being present; it was about being connected; it was about being committed; and it was much more. So I just ruminated on “fully experience.” Actually, you could say I slept on it. When I awoke on Monday morning, the word “engaged” just came to me. That was it. I wanted to be or feel engaged. I went to the dictionary and found the following definition: “to establish a meaningful contact or connection with.” Meaning and connection.

Have you picked a word to guide you for the year? If you have not, give it a chance. You just need to think of the quality or direction that you want your year to take. Need some help getting started. Think about what you might have resolved to do and ask yourself what quality is necessary for that? Or try a search online for character qualities and go from there. Lots of people immediately come up with a word that resonates with them. Others need a bit more time. My best advice is think of a word, mull it over, and if it keeps showing up, that’s the one.

Once you come up with your word or intention, what do you do with it? Here are three tips:

  1. Write it down where you can see it. I put mine on a sticky note and attach it to my computer where I’ll see it every day.
  2. Share it with someone else, especially if the person will hold you accountable. Over the years I have shared mine with some of my mastermind partners or family members, and we talked about why we chose the words we did.
  3. Do something that lets you take action on your intention.

What word did you end with? And, if you picked a word last year, how did that make a difference? Share your word below to make that commitment and see what you can create in 2015!

 

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Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://www.creativeartsprofessional.com.

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Instead of Resolutions

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

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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