personal development

Choosing a Guiding Word for 2018

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I chose a word this year to act as my guide. Whenever I feel like I'm drifting with no solid place to land, this word is my compass to redirect and show me where to go. If I'm caught in a dilemma and don't know what answer to choose, my word will decide it for me. 'll ask: what answer will bring me closer to my guiding word? And a choice will be made. My word for the year is Connection.

I've asked the people I mentor to choose their guiding word. It's easy to say: Just pick one! But I've discovered some people are stumped with the process of finding their word. To make it easier, I'll outline the process I used. 

Divide a blank sheet of paper by drawing a line vertically in the middle. On the top left write 'Do Not Want' and on the Top Right write 'Do Want.'

First, I got clarity of what I really didn't want any longer. To do that, list at least 5 situations on the left side of the paper that you no longer want to experience. These have to be really stressful things you've been experiencing that you really want to get rid of in your life. Some examples:

I don't want to be in debt.
I don't want to be overweight.
I don't want to get mad and shout at my kids.

These are very general. Please use your own specific 'don't wants.' To the right of each item in you list, write the feeling that is attached to the situation that you no longer want to experience. Example:

I don't want to be in debt. - stressed out and anxious
I don't want to be overweight. - unattractive and unconfident
i don't want to get mad and shout at my kids, - guilty, ashamed, I'm a bad mom

Close your eyes and see yourself in all those situations. Sit with the feeling. When I did this I used essential oils to bring it up to the surface more. Feels bad, right? Crazy thing is is that you most likely have been letting the energy of those thoughts and feelings course through your body on an auto setting without being aware. It's easy to let our 'don't wants' rule our lives without question. Your guiding word will help put a stop to that.

Next up, fold your sheet of paper in half so your 'Do Want' side is face up and you can write on it. Write at least 5 things/situations that you DO want to experience. Examples:

I want my marriage to be respectful and peaceful.
I want to laugh with my kids more.
I want to lose weight. 

If you notice, these aren't SMART goals. Meaning that you're not being specific with them and attaching a certain date or number such as 'I want to lose 10 lbs. in 3 months.' SMART goals are the recommended way to plan for a goal but we're choosing our guiding word today so we're not focused on execution; we're focused on the feeling we want in our life.

Next up - you probably guessed it! Write how you'll feel when those situations unfold. Example:

I want my marriage to be respectful and peaceful. - loved, supported, part of a team
I want to laugh more with my kids. - lighthearted, loving, good mom, fun
I want to lose weight. - beautiful, worthy, vibrant, healthy

Now it's time to close your eyes and sit in that version of you. I used an essential oil to get clarity. Really feel into her. Who is she? What attributes does she have to have in order to feel this way? Who is she? What does she exude in order to feel these positive feelings on a daily basis? Take ownership. The life you want to live always starts with you. 

Open your eyes, and on the back of your paper, list, in brainstorm fashion, all the words that came to mind as you imagined yourself as the person in the "I want" column.

From that list of words, choose your word! You can take some time to process all of it, meditate on it, really get connected to the word that you choose. 

This process has served me well and helped me come up with my word for 2018, which is, again, CONNECTION. 

I'm so glad you connected with me on here! If you found the post to be valuable please drop a comment! I would love to hear from you. <3