Do you use focus words or phrases as your symbolic north star to guide your efforts through another year of life?
I asked this question inside a few Facebook groups last week, including the Red Edge Mastermind Facebook. The responses were quite a few and gave me a bit of insight.
I wasn’t sure what kind of response I would get so was quite happy to have 145 people at the time of writing. I’ll share a few of the responses received later on in the article as well as how I have the concept of focus words has empowered me to excel at a personal and professional level.
Interestingly, the results were fairly equal. Before conducting the poll, I predicted more of an 80/20 split with the majority using a focused word or phrase. My prediction was based on knowing many who connect with me are business leaders along with recognizing the concept of a focus word continues to trend.
- Yes, I use a focus word – 47%
- No, I don’t use a focus word – 53%
“ONE WORD THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE”
Choosing a focus word or phrase is entirely personal. It has to connect with you, create a feeling, and elicit a response. A focus word/phrase is designed to motivate and encourage, create focus and clarity, along with empowering to take action.
Empowering to action.
That is the reason for having a focus word/phrase.
In the book, “One Word That Will Change Your Life,” Jon Gordon and along with Dan Britton and Jimmy Page expand on the power of one word.
“87% of us make New Year’s Resolution every year. Although these resolutions are meant to be good and well-intentioned solutions, unfortunately they are built on a flawed assumption of more effort, willpower and goal setting. We set to-do goals instead of to-be goals. Success is measured by what we accomplish instead of who we become.
“Something needed to change. In 1999 we discovered the solution to failed resolutions and unrealized goals. Instead of trying to develop more willpower we found a simple way to live more powerfully. Instead of creating goals and resolutions we found a single word that would be the driving force for the year. No goals. No resolutions. Just One Word! We simply developed a One Word theme for the year. It became a One Word Vision for everything and it changed our lives.”
ONE WORD VISION
Jon Gordon’s focus on a “One Word Vision” changed their lives. It can also change yours as it has changed mine. But it’s not just because it’s one word. It’s what you intentionally allow that one word to do for you.
I’m very intentional with words and have also found success with focusing on words, though I focus more on phrases to be my guiding North Star than singular words. The power is in how we apply them.
Here are the words I have focused on the last few years.
2017 – “I Promise I Will Create a New Story!” had been a focused phrase for a few years at this point.
2018 – This was the year of the birth of my “Personal Promise” which continues to be used as an overall guide for all I do in life:
“The Story I Most Consistently Create Will Be The Story To Most Consistently Come True. I Will Intentionally Create A Beautiful, Powerful, And Wonderful Story of Love And GREATNESS!”
2019 – “I Will Be Intentional!”
2020 – I intentionally chose (see what I did there!) at the start of 2020 to keep my focus on “Being Intentional” which allowed me to make an intentional shift when the pandemic hit, “Expand into Opportunities rather than Shrink into Limitations!”
2021 – “I Promise to Empower GREATNESS in Myself and Others!”
HOW WORDS EMPOWER YOU
Many of you have shared how words have been impactful in your life. Here’s just a few of them.
“Transform/Transformation” was a keyword for several as was the word “Focus”. Other singular words included, “Forward”, “Progress”, Elevate”, “Unstoppable”, and “Embrace”. The word “Intentional” was also, well, very intentional for several.
Others, like me, focused on phrases. MH said, “The work is worth it”. CM is focusing on “Trust the Journey”. BS referenced a quote from John Ortberg, “Habits eat Willpower for Lunch”.
Tm dived in deeper: “I will keep an overarching theme of priorities, and the next few monthly themes could be percolate & pursue (extracting & personalizing via good stuff I’ve broken down, from so much deeper learning), create & relate, investigate & integrate (I hope to be back at more courses next fall if all goes well, out of double delay). Then I will see what the next phase/season or quarter holds for developing themes for new goals & details.”
Then, with a penchant for seeing life through a bit of prose such as I do, TM put her final thoughts into poetry.
Feeling a bit behind
but I don’t mind.
The goal is not about control.
It’s about a fulfilled soul.
AD shared how the Natasha Bedingfield song “Unwritten!” became a theme song for him and his girls during “those incredibly tough years.” Check out these lyrics; they just may connect for you.
Drench yourself in words unspoken.
Live your life with arms wide open.
Today is where your book begins.
DREAM BIG – WORK HARD
All of this was just the starting point. As I said earlier, “choosing a focus word or phrase is entirely personal. It must connect with you, create a feeling, and elicit a response. A focus word/phrase is designed to motivate and encourage, create focus and clarity, along with empowering to take action.”
Now, what will you do with it???
Have a great Monday! Thanks for letting me share!
p.s. Take 13 minutes today to focus on creating your one word/phrase.
PERSONAL PROMISE PROCLAMATION
The Story You Most Consistently Create Will be The Story To Most Consistently Come True In Your Life. Promise To Intentionally Create A Beautiful, Powerful, Wonderful Story Of Greatness!
RED EDGE MENTORING – STORY | STRATEGY | SERVICE
Empowering You To Be More Intentional In The Story You Create to Lead Yourself And The Strategy You Create to Guide Your Company And Serve Your Customers And Clients.