Did you know one word can change your life? It may seem crazy, but I swear it’s true. Let me tell you how.
As I experienced a personal and career transformation throughout 2017, I began reading and following the works of Jon Gordon. Mr. Gordon is a renowned author and speaker who touches on topics centered on leadership, culture and teamwork.
As I poured over his works, I came across a book written by him and his friends Jimmy Page and Dan Britton titled, “One Word That Will Change Your Life.” That’s a pretty bold hook and makes you think that a universal word is all we need to transform our life.
However, the topic is a little more nuanced. The authors found one word could be a driving force for people each year. No detailed goals. No wish lists. Just one word. But, that word should be different for everyone. It should be personal to you and help guide your values and beliefs.
I’ve written about my desire for a simple life before. By focusing on what truly adds value to my life, I’ve been able to clear the clutter from my mind and focus on progress NOT perfection. My list of goals is simple and focused, with action items and check points for me to stay on track. This helps me prioritize what matters to me personally.
Despite still having a list of goals, I have also chosen my “one word” for 2019, and my word this year is “Service.” The simple power of this word will have an impact on six dimensions of my life – mental, physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and financial. Simply put, the one word “sticks” for me in a lot of areas.
“Service” may mean something different to everyone. For myself in 2019, I want to be able to give more of myself and my time to others. Service to me means giving back through my time adjunct teaching, mentoring and speaking. This hits the emotional, relational and physical dimensions.
Service also means donating funds to causes in which I believe, many involving my son’s school or my parish, St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church. This fulfills the financial, spiritual and mental dimensions.
The financial freedom my wife Megan and I have recently gained has allowed us to begin to give our time and money more generously. My goal is to multiply the time and money we are able to give this year. Giving to others fills me with a sense of purpose and better aligns my every day actions with my core values and beliefs.
It’s easy to pick your one word. You must first have clarity and focus in your decision. You are moving toward the future rather than swearing off the past. Then, deciding on the word is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
- Identify the person you want to become
- Identify the characteristics of that person
- Pick a word that helps you become that desired person
Before you embark on this journey, a subtle warning: Don’t be surprised if living out your “one word” feels unnatural and awkward at first. Remember, the reason you want to focus on this word might be due to the fact that this characteristic may not currently be present in your day-to-day life.
Give it some thought. Also, give yourself time and stay with it. It’s as easy as following the above steps and then deciding on your one word for 2019. By focusing on one word and setting realistic goals in 2019, you will begin to believe in yourself like never before. You will be on your way to becoming the best version of yourself and your life will be changed before you know it.