What One Word Do You Need to Embrace in the Year Ahead?

It’s a big thing on the internet, picking one word to guide your life and leadership in the year ahead . For me, one word is a lot more do-able than a laundry list of resolutions that fade within weeks. Resolutions are pressure . Words? More specifically one word for the year ahead? That feels more like a lighthouse in the dark.Do you want to lose weight? Go to the gym more? Get promoted? Start a business? Close your business? Those are all great goals that can translate into resolutions but one critical thing is missing. These are all WHAT goals. What do you want to do? What do you want your results to be?A single word can set the tone for who you want and need to BE regardless of what you want to do. It always comes down to your way of being. The what, your goals and aspirations matter, they do, but your mindset is what will get you through the rough times.Selecting one word for the year? It’s all about who you are no matter what. When things are going your way or not, you are still this. It is still present within you and there for you as a resource to call on any time you need it. Your word (or words) can help you find your way forward even when things are tough.A few times over the past decade, I’ve picked a word to set the tone for the year ahead. I’m not going to lie and say that it guided my every move, but it did serve as a reminder for who I want to be and how I want to live my life. In fact, for the past several years, it’s been one word, embrace .Embrace is still key for me in both my life and personal leadership. However, I’ve spent time in recent weeks looking towards a new decade. The look forward was predicated on a look back , reflecting on my past. As a part of that process, a new word has emerged for 2020, and that’s flow .

Why Flow?

Ease came to mind, but I don’t expect things to be easy, they rarely are. My mind moved from ease to flow. As my word of the year, flow is about going with the flow, finding flow, and creating flow from places of resistance.Is something difficult? What would flow be like? Feel like? Where can I create some flow? What am I doing that’s blocking flow within me?Someone making me irate? Breathe and flow. Why let them steal my joy?Holding back? Got to go all in to find the flow and dive deeper into the creative process.If there’s a word that can keep me in action, filled with ease and embracing an open mind and open heart, it’s flow.

What’s Your Word for 2020? Not sure? Here’s Some Advice:

I loved a recent piece from Gary Gruber pondering what word he should pick for the year ahead. I firmly believe that no matter what word you choose, it’s a starting place and an intention. You’re not going to make custom t-shirts, and business cards with your word emblazoned on it. You should feel it within you, that’s what matters.

Here’s my advice for finding your word for 2020:

  • Think about what you want more of in your life.
  • Consider what you’re resisting.
  • Who do you need to be? What do you need to call forth within yourself?
  • If your word isn’t giving you the energy you need, pick another one that does.
  • Don’t stress that you need to get it right. Whichever one resonates with you in this moment is the right one.
  • If the one you land on doesn’t work for you in practice, change it.
  • What if you picked more than one? People play with one word but there are no written rules that say you can’t have two or three.
  • Let yourself go from the pressure to pick the perfect word, and one will emerge. You’ll see.
  • I invite you to join me if you need more flow too. I’d also love to hear the words that resonate with you. What do you need more of in your life? What word will set the tone for your year ahead?

Related: A Shining Leadership Lesson from Kobe Bryant’s Dad