My 2017 Word of the Year: It Will Make You Think AND Act!
Definition: Done on purpose; deliberate. Synonyms Include: deliberate (as in practice), calculated, conscious, intended, planned, meant, studied, willful, knowing, purposeful, premeditated, preplanned.
It’s interesting that, when you reduce it down, my 2017 Word of the Year has a curious connection to the endeavors of ’15 and ’16. Its definition has been a principal ingredient of DRIVEN’s progress, and of my personal journey from distressed to empowered over the past 2 years. When I took a step back last month and had a real broad-angled look at my place in the business community, I smiled in gratitude at the good fortune and keen intuition which led me to that moment. I had been acting with intention, and I was getting results.
“Intentional”, my Word of the Year going forward, has been my unspoken co-pilot through the turbulent trajectory of life and career. This began when I started incorporating six good habits into my daily routine in early ‘15. These habits were Intentionally devised to preserve my health and wellness….mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I’ve adhered to them dutifully each day, right up to the present, which is something I couldn’t have accomplished without conscious and deliberate Intent. Here’s some insight into what followed.
About 5 months into my new habitual approach to life, DRIVEN delivered the pivotal webinar Ditching Workplace Distractions, which was designed to take a thoughtful look at the factors which tend to choke off career-impacting work. Of course, as DRIVEN’s best student, I took Intentional steps to begin blocking out distractions during my workday. At the tail-end of that summer, DRIVEN dove into Personal Energy Management, and committed to promoting deliberate practices for keeping our career energy tanks full. It was around this time that Intention had permeated my pursuits, officially becoming part of the equation, although at the time this may have been “unintentional”.
With distraction management and energy enhancement now in full test mode, I began following the advice of author and time management expert Laura Vanderkam. The Time Log was now part of my strategy, and before long, I started using it as my scheduling AND accountability tool. Blocking out time right on my schedule has since been a game changer. These chunks of “me time” have allowed my long-term planning and network management to germinate, and I can literally see the origins and unfolding of my personal progress.
A Whole Year of Intention
Just like Dorothy looking for happiness, my Word of the Year has been right here in my own backyard from the start. I’ve been making Intentional decisions for the last 2 years, while giving advice and training to other DRIVEN professionals to do the same. And alas, my active commitment in 2017 is to acknowledge it by taking the word Intentional to a whole new level! This “Year of Intention” will also witness me adding three more Intentional practices into my repertoire. Professionals take note, and feel free to not simply do as I say, but to do as I do:
-I will consciously choose my words, for two important reasons. Firstly, it will confine my thinking to the anabolic region of the brain (no more saying “I’m busy”, “I’m sorry” or “I should”, while remembering to often say “At-a girl”). Secondly, in the post-fact era that we now live in, it’s important that I Intentionally say what I mean, do what I say, and give people every authentic reason to trust me.
-I will be proactive in setting boundaries and saying “No” when it makes sense to, since my time and energy are best spent on endeavors that bring me closer to my goals. When I say “Yes” to something because I feel obligated to, it depletes my energy, causing me to show up in a negative state of mind.
-Enjoyment of life must remain at the center of my Intentions. Mindfulness equals Intentional practice, whether it be enjoying the study and act of meditation (conscious of breath and sound), or feeling the fullness of sensation as I chop an onion, or even smelling that first waft of garlic as it browns in the pan. Suddenly, it’s the deliciousness of everyday that truly is spectacular. Let’s deliberately and actively keep it that way.
And on a note of kismet, my word of 2017 will now become one of DRIVEN’s signature workshop topics! Look for Intentional Productivity to go live and virtual this winter.