What’s your one-word for 2011?

January is a time for new beginnings and as 2010 came to a close I started thinking about the things I wanted to work on in 2011. I thought about how I can improve my life and add to my own happiness. I started out by making my usual three resolutions–save more money, lost those last five pounds and cut back on my Starbucks consumption–but as I have had those same three resolutions for the last five years with little success it felt futile to try yet again. I resolved to forgo resolutions this year.

A week into the new year I was once again mulling over how I can make the most out of the upcoming year. Resolutions, I realized, can also be about self-awareness and development. Just as I was thinking about this I was challenged by some of my favorite women friends and colleagues in the Student Affairs Twitter community to consider developing a “one-word resolution” for the year.

I have read a few blog posts about the power of a one word resolution. A couple of interesting ones can be found at http://christinekane.com/blog/you-say-you-want-a-resolution%e2%80%a6/ and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gretchen-rubin/balanced-life-choose-one-_b_791909.html After reading articles like these more I became more intrigued.

I decided to find a word that would be the focus of my year. It’s a simple way to take something as important as improvement, development and personal progress and narrow it down to a one-word goal.

I watched the tweets that several of my female colleagues posted while attending the Women’s Leadership Institute (#wli2010). One of the invited speakers at WLI was author Sally Hogshead who shared her ideas based on her book “Fascinate: Your Seven Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation” I was sent a signed copy of her book after WLI by a mentor who attended the conference and was really impressed by the self-assessment and ideas presented in this book. Hogshead believes that maximizing certain triggers “…can boost relationships with customers, employees, and friends. Fascination is ultimately an instinctive drive that catalyzes countless behaviors,” (http://www.amazon.com/Fascinate-Your-Triggers-Persuasion-Captivation/dp/0061714704/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1)

In my role as a recruiter for my department and as the current President of a regional housing association I believe that we have the opportunity attract and engage with talented professionals in a variety of settings. During these interactions it is imperative to make the most of my time with each person. I seek to maximize each interaction and use those moments to showcase my institution (in my recruiting role) and our association (in my role as President of GLACUHO).

By using my two primary Fascination triggers “Power” and “Lust” I have learned how I am perceived by others and how my actions can either engage others or push them away. This will help me to become a better employee and representative of the groups I am a part of.

Therefore, I have selected my one-word resolution as “Fascinate.” It is a reminder to use my own talents to enhance my performance at work, as the regional association President, as well as in my personal life.

I have always been blessed to have a strong group of female friends in my field around the country who have served as mentors. Amber (@amberagd) picked “Spirit.” Read more about it at http://ambergarrisonduncan.wordpress.com/ Julie (@jpkirchmeier) selected “Ignite,” Niki (@nikirudolph) picked “Next,” and Deb (@dschmidtrogers) decided “Belief” was the word for her.

Others picked words that spoke to their hope and focus for the year–Engage, Discover, Possibility, Challenge, Explore, Fearless, Next, Wonder. These words embody their resolutions and are fantastic reminders that the New Year isn’t just about cutting things out from your life. It is also about being the best version of you and finding one word to sum up your goal for the next 365 days.

While we all have good intentions to succeed at our resolutions it is helpful to have a tangible reminder of your aspirations. When Teri Bump (@tbump) tweeted about the “Word of the Year” necklaces that Lisa Leonard creates I knew we had found a way to ensure that we stay focused on our goals.

Her description of these necklaces read: “2011 is here! We are working together to chose ‘one little word’ for the new year. Hope, strength, patience, laugh, explore…what will your word be this year? Choose something meaningful that captures your heart! The perfect reminder to live each day well! (lisaleonardonline.com)

Many of us purchased these necklaces as a gentle reminder of our goal for 2011.
With 11 months to go I wish my friends and colleagues luck as we embark on another year of self-discovery and reflection. Feel free to follow the discussion on Twitter by following the hashtag #oneword2011.

What’s your one word for 2011?

About annmarieklotz

I write about all things education, personal & professional development and growth. Once is a question, twice is a discussion and three times is a blog post! Born and raised in Detroit Michigan but currently calling the Pacific Northwest home. I work at Oregon State University and belong to a fantastic community of higher ed professionals around the globe! Lover of theater and the arts. Live your best life!
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