Just One Word.
For the last two weeks we had a house guest. Every year, our friend who is a tennis fan, comes to stay with us and attend the Australian Open. While he was here, he organised a dinner for a group of eight one Saturday night at a restaurant on the banks of the Yarra River. Packed with diners and with an excited atmosphere as only a warm summer Melbourne evening can provide, we enjoyed a lovely meal and a few glasses of wine. At one stage, someone asked, “what is your new year’s resolution?” and we all admitted that we “don’t do resolutions because we can never keep them!”
So I asked a different question.
“What word would you like to describe 2016 to be?”
Silence ensured. People reflected. They looked down at their drinks in their hands and pondered. Then, they answered.
We went around the table and we said our word and why this word had meaning to us personally. It was a strange realisation to have our friends vocalise their word out in public and aligned with their aspirations for the year. They were all in their 40s and had experienced different opportunities and challenges in the last twelve months from personal and career setbacks and now were looking for 2016 to be a new beginning of some sort.
What I loved about the ‘one word to describe 2016’ is that it gives you a direction but doesn’t dictate how you’re going to achieve it. If anything, whatever you do, whatever activity you undertake – it is with that one direction in mind.
So what was my word?
My word was FOCUS.
2015 was very much a year of exploration and learning. I’ve always been naturally curious and a constant learner. At times, I have felt that this attribute has made me scattered. Ideas excite me. Once I get an idea in my head, I have to go out and explore it and create something out of it. This has led me into new directions, meeting new people whom I would otherwise have never met and learned things which I would never have known. I like to take people on that journey too. Whoever wants to join me, is most welcome to come along. However, if I continued this into 2016 I was going to be missing one thing – focus.
So this year, I decided my word to be ‘focus’. Knowing now what I have learned in the new year, I ask myself:
- Does this activity or task add any value to me personally?
- Will it help me towards OR take me away from achieving my goals?
I’ve modified my activities on social media slightly for the last month and now will scrutinise the activities carefully. Much of the time I have to temper my own excitement and enthusiasm because they take me down new routes which by themselves, can be new projects and business ideas.
So focussing will be a way to distill these ideas.
What Have I Been Focussing On?
For the last few months, I’ve been working away on different products and services that I offer to my clients.
I’ve thought of ways to change my website and have a more ‘content marketing’ approach like we see many people do for their own businesses. I’ve had some great conversations with members of my own ‘collaboration network’ about different approaches as well as listen to many podcasts about how to improve my website, build my email database and do all the things that content marketers do.
It’s a lot of work, there’s a lot of challenges but wow, what a learning curve – and that requires focus.
As a result I’ve modified this website slightly to include the different products and services for my different clients. I have clients who are in corporate Learning and Development teams as well as people (in their 40s, 50s) who are in the process of career transition and wanting support and assistance into building their personal networks and social presence to find new work.
As a result the services I offer around social learning, social tools and workplace collaboration are varied.
You can see them here in a table I created in What We Do.
So what’s your word for 2016? I’d be interested to find out so feel free to share!