What’s your word of the year?

Written By Dennis

February 16, 2021

So, what word will shape and drive your behaviour in 2021?

I am not a big believer in creating New Year’s resolutions as I find they can become a source of stress.

I observe folks focusing efforts on making reality fit the resolution as opposed to the resolution fitting reality.

Studies have shown that the ability to adapt to various circumstances as opposed to being dogmatic is positively associated with mental wellbeing. And this flexibility is associated with a greater chance of sticking to resolutions.

I am a big believer though in having a word that will be a “theme” to shape and drive behaviour.

Thoughts shape words, words shape behaviours, behaviour shapes actions, and actions shapes outcomes.

Knowing that – be careful of your words because they will eventually shape your destiny.

This is why I encourage my clients (and you!) to come up with just one word that resonates and becomes the mantra that shapes your thoughts, words, and actions for the next 12 months and beyond.

In the resilience and wellbeing work I do within the change management space; I have seen how much power words hold in self-talk and in public interactions.

The words you say to yourself and with other people has a powerful impact on your emotional wellbeing, productivity, career, and relationships.

I have been doing much reflection on my own word as I continue to focus on achieving mastery in providing support for personal, workplace and community wellbeing and success. My word is “agility.”

This word came to me from reflecting on mine and other people’s reactions to change and challenge – at an emotional, physical, intellectual, and interpersonal level.

As I have said many times, I strongly believe that the ability of a person to be able to bounce through and thrive through change is just so critical. It is a life skill.

I see people doing the same thing and expecting a different result – even though they know that they need to something different and they tell me so. They lack agility!

My sense is that emotional agility is just so fundamental – the ability to accept and understand the consequences of where you are, thinking through your choices, and then taking action.

The “taking action” part is where the agility comes in.

It doesn’t help (in fact it detracts), when you know that you need to do something differently, and actually know what you need to do differently but cannot bring yourself to do it!

I recall many years ago – consulting to a well-known Australian manufacturing and marketing company, (during the era of three-piece suits), listening to their CEO tell the audience that the key to their success did not depend on how big or small they were but rather how agile.

How prophetic those words were as that company now no longer exists – I guess they weren’t agile enough!

Agility. I would like you to consider whether that could be a word for you to help you achieve the joy, focus, productivity, and the love that this life is all about.

If this word applies to you, ask yourself “how agile am I in understanding and positively responding to change and challenge in my life?”

I just think it underpins our ability to achieve personal joy, focus, productivity and energy.

So, what is your word? More importantly once it comes to you, how will you use it? Will your behaviours and actions encompass the word that you have identified for yourself?

And don’t forget, once you’ve identified it…spread the word!

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