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What's Your Guiding Word?

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Last year was the first year I chose a word instead of setting a plethora of goals or resolutions. It was about choosing a primary focus for the next 52 weeks of my life. Sure, I still set personal and professional goals, but having that guiding word made a huge difference. It allowed me to step back and look at the big picture.

  • What do I want to feel this year?
  • What kind of experiences do I want to have?
  • What results, effects or changes do I want to see?

I want you to start things off a little differently this year.

Instead of setting goals or declaring resolutions first, I want you to choose one word for this next chapter of your life. Not two words or five, just the one.

This word should sum up everything that you want to create for yourself moving forward... whether your goals range from financial to relationships to career, or you just want to focus on one life area, pick a word the embodies the essence of your focus.

For example, this past year I chose the word "abundance."

It initially stemmed from the goal that I wanted to have my best year financially -- but I came to realize that the word embodied so much more. It embodied the life I wanted to have, an abundant one. One where I experienced abundance in income, love, creativity, experiences, memories and laughter.

I wanted to have the richest year of my life!

Not only that, but "abundance" is a word that carries a great deal of positive, uplifting and inspiring energy. Doesn't it? It's better than just "profit" or "security."

Coming up with a guiding word isn't always easy and should involve some thought and consideration. (Unless you choose to steal mine, which by all means, please do if it resonates!) While it's always okay to make changes, it's better to have a word that speaks to you so deeply that you stay inspired by its presence in your life. One that, as your goals and dreams begin to come to fruition, you sit back, smile and say it out loud to yourself.

Choosing Your Guiding Word

While we haven't talked about specifics of your goals, you already know the kind of life you want to create. Even if you think you don't, you do, I promise. It may be buried deep below the "have to do" and "should be doing" lists that are crowding your mind.

Start by Making a Word List

What are all the things you want to do, be or have in this next chapter of your life? Simply list out everything that comes to mind. Take your time with this, maybe even carry the list around with you for a week or so, so that you're certain to get everything down. And don't leave anything out! If it's something you desire, then it deserves a spot on the list. Absolutely no over thinking or talking yourself out of anything.

Look for Common Themes or Ideas -- Uncover Your Word

Comb back through your list and begin to mark or highlight related items. Don't just put fitness with fitness and career with career, look beyond the obvious for items that have a general mood, essence or idea behind them.

Maybe you wrote down the words fit, soccer, active and tone. Perhaps you also wrote down happy, accomplished and successful. Think about what trait these items have in common. Maybe it's energetic, healthy, powerful? A good word for you may be "vibrant."

Maybe you wrote down the words husband, best friend and communication. Perhaps you also wrote down speaker, writing and mastermind. What do these items have in common? What is the general essence? A good word in this case might be "connection."

Remember, it doesn't have to cover everything perfectly, but think about what's really motivating to you right now. Do you want more abundance, to have a richer life? Do you want more connection, through self expression as well as your work and relationships? Do you want more energy, to feel alive and powerful?

Place Your Word in Prominent Places!

Once you have your word, be sure to place it next to your work computer or space, create a vision board with images and words that represent what that word means for you and your life. It's important to have a daily reminder of what it is you're working to create. The more visual, the better.

Take Action Now!

  1. Go through the steps above and select your word for 2013.
  2. Come back here and share it with me in the comments below! If you need help selecting a word, let me know below and we'll figure it out together.

Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique. Here she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help young women build passion-based businesses. Click here to download her free guide, "The Unexpected Trick to Transforming Your Life With ONE Single Question."

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