How Do I Choose a Focus Word?
What in the world is a Focus Word?
A Focus Word is something that inspires you when you feel like giving up, shakes you back to reality when you start to feel sorry for yourself. A focus word keeps you on track when you feel like the world is beating you up.
It goes on your vision board and on post it notes on your mirror and an index card on your dashboard.
It’s not a goal or a social media strategy. It is front of mind each day and a thought or mantra that seeps from your soul. A focus word is for you and can be an intimate part of your planning process. It guides your weekly, monthly and quarterly planning.
Your focus word summarizes not only what you accomplish it, but how you will accomplish it with a whole lot of why you are accomplishing what you set out to accomplish.
How do you choose a focus word?
- Grab some paper and set aside some time this week because choosing a focus word is an exercise in self-awareness and reflection. I encourage you to stop and ask yourselves a few of these questions, then reflect, pray, meditate, and journal your answers.
Of course I’m going to relate this to strategic planning and your mission, vision and values. As you sat down to plan your quarter (or month or year), what themes came to mind?
Picture yourself sitting down to write one of those “this is what I did all year” letters that sometimes go in Christmas cards. What will you write about what you’ve accomplished? Is it personal or business?
What mistakes do you want to avoid in 2021?
What one thing MUST happen this year?
Is this year going to be life-changing or are you looking forward to a more moderate pace?
What did you want to accomplish last year but didn’t? Why didn’t you accomplish that?
How big is the gap between what you want, and where you are?
- Based on your answers, what words come to life? Which are repeated? Which words caught in your heart? Make a list – sort them, group them, give them a category name – anything that helps you to think more deeply about the words themselves.
- Meditate, pray, and or journal over the list of words and begin narrowing them down.
- Repeat step three until you reach your one word.
Here’s a tip: use https://www.wordclouds.com/ to see which words proximately displayed in your writing. See if a word resonates based on your answers to the questions above.
Now that you have your word, how will you apply it to everyday life?
- Place it in your vision board.
- Put it on a post it note in your mirror.
- Put a calendar reminder of your word at the beginning or end of each week.
- Decorate an index card and place it on your dash
- Write it on the back of your business card and place it in your wallet
- Place it on your screen saver.
- Use the word in affirmations and prayer
- Put the word in your Trello board and in your journal
My word last year was Renew. This year, my word is EARN. I think I’m going to create a vision board around this and really let my imagination go. I’m such a to do person that I rarely give myself time to really dream. And while the beginning of the year might seem like the perfect time of year to choose a focus word, the fact is you can choose a word any time. You can switch out words or put the words into an entire category or theme. I love rules and structure but this is NOT one of those times where rules should, well, rule.
What’s YOUR Word?
I’d love to know more about your word! Join us in the Facebook Group to share YOUR focus word.
Don’t Miss Out on the Strategic Planning Podcast Series!
In this series, I go over Mission, Vision, And Values and all the strategic planning categories I use in my business – get the sneak peek!
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