27 September 2023

Picking a word to guide the year ahead

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Jane Benston* discusses how picking one work to guide her through 2022 supported her personal growth and unveils her word for 2023.

One little fact about me that you probably already know is that I love creating space and time to set goals and build a plan.

Setting aside specific time to create an annual, high level plan, and a more specific 90 day plan is non-negotiable with me and I’m completely lost and unproductive if I don’t create my weekly success plan.

Clarity is power. And focus is magic.

In recent years I’ve included picking a word for the year to guide me.

This one word has set an overall intention that guides me throughout the year and supports my growth.

Last year, after a few years of isolation and separation my word of the year was CONNECTION.

My word CONNECTION helped me to push through my introverted tendency and embrace more opportunities to connect.

I joined a book club, built stronger online relationships, attended in person events even when it felt hard or inconvenient, I prioritised precious time with family and committed to reconnecting with myself, my health and truly understanding who I am and what I want in life.

It influenced my day to day decisions, the action I took, where I invested my time and energy, how I wanted to feel and ultimately supported me to have a year where I felt truly connected.

So after much reflection, I’ve decided on my word for this year which is… ASK

  • Ask for support
  • Ask for what I want
  • Ask help to find solutions and help to problem solve
  • Ask – AKA – delegate to my team
  • Ask for feedback

And in the process I will…

  • Let go of my fierce independence and the need to prove that I am capable and recognise when my ego gets in the way.
  • Embrace vulnerability and step into being 100 per cent ok with being a learner who is willing to do it messy and likely to make mistakes.
  • Become a person who seeks feedback … without being self critical or beating myself up when areas of improvement are identified.

I’m excited about how my 2023 word will influence my year… while also feeling challenged and stretched by what it will require of me.

And that’s the point.

The word I choose each year is designed to disrupt the status quo and support me to stretch and grow.

*Jane Benston helps mid-career professional women design their career, activate their authentic leadership style and accelerate their success. She can be contacted at janebenston.com.

This article first appeared at janebenston.com.

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