Three Powerful Words for a Gutsy 2013

A couple of days ago I began drafting a blog post called “13 Goals for a Gutsy 2013” with intentions of sharing my goals for the New Year.

As I began brainstorming and thinking about what I’d like to accomplish in 2013, I realized that developing a list of goals for the year, simply because the calendar says it’s time to do so, is silly.

In fact, the more I thought about it, I came to an important realization:

The goals I planned on writing about for the year were very tactical-for example, learn more about SEO, guest blog, run a sub-30 minute 5K and so on. While tactics are important, I want my vision for the year to be strategic. (If you like this idea, click to tweet it).

Before I continue, don’t get me wrong; I LOVE setting goals. So much so that I set them on a weekly basis in my Start Your Week Right Sunday posts and on a monthly basis in my monthly check-ins. I will continue to do this each week and month to hold myself accountable for those tactical goals.

But for the year, I’ve selected three words that I’d like to guide me through 2013:

1. Passion: Every day, I’m learning more and more about myself and my goals, discovering new interests and honing in on the things I’m most passionate about. In 2013, I want to take those interests and skills to the next level. But even more than choosing to do what I’m passionate about, I want to fully immerse myself in whatever groups, projects or situations I’m a part of, and bring a sense of zest and excitement to whatever I am asked or choose to do. I’m changing the way I think about what the word passionate means. This year, I’m looking at it as a positive personality trait; if someone were asked to describe me in one word, being described as a passionate person would be an honor.

2. Simplify: This word came to me yesterday morning as I threw a pair of heels, lunch, a bottle of water and my iPad into my overflowing work bag and lugged it into the passenger seat of my car. I simply have too much stuff; too much physical, digital and emotional “stuff”, filling my brain to the brim. When my mind is cluttered, I can’t be creative or strategic. In 2013, I plan to simplify, both physically and emotionally, whether that means cleaning out my closet, doing a social media purge, or even something as easy as purchasing a new work bag to force myself to downsize.

3. Balance: I tend to be a very “all or nothing” type of person. For example, when I decided to start running, instead of starting slow with one or two runs a week, I threw my entire self into my goal and ultimately ran two long distance races in one year. While this trait has served me well, it can get a bit exhausting. I’m not trying to achieve a perfect state of balance; I recognize that life (and work) require give and take. However, by selecting this word, I’d like to be aware of how much time and effort I put into what I do to ensure that I’m using my time effectively, whether that means spending more time with family and friends or working toward my career and blog goals.

As I was sharing these three words with Stephanie, a good friend of mine, she made a wonderful point:

Passion is a great word and simplicity is very important. You have one word driving you forward and another to encourage pulling back, which leads to balance.”

I loved the eloquent way she described my three choice words for the year; she was able to see a connection between the words that I hadn’t yet discovered.

Admittedly, I felt a sense of relief when I discovered that I didn’t NEED to create a list of goals just for the sake of contributing something to the thousands of other goal/resolution blog posts out there this week. In fact, writing this post made me even more excited for 2013 because now I have three strong and powerful words to guide me through the year.

I hope 2013 is your most wonderful, successful and happy year yet. Happy New Year!

What about you? Do you believe in setting goals or making resolutions for the New Year? If so, I’d love to see them! Share your goals or words in the comments below.

  • brilliant! Interestingly, I wanted to set a goal of writing in my blog more. I started it this past summer and then life got crazy with moving into a new house and getting married. So, I wanted to get back into it, researching more topics that I wanted to share with people that I am “passionate” about. And I struggled with also needing to find “simplicity” in my life this year. Feeling torn between the two, I like your statement above about finding the “balance”. I think I will work on that – finding balance 🙂

  • I love the idea of choosing a word or words to represent your year. I think you’d approve the one I choose – bravery!

    You seem like such a motivated person who knows how to go after what she wants; I’m sure your 2013 will be great!

  • I do set New Year’s goals because I just like the feeling of a fresh new year. There really isn’t anything like it! So much possibility! 🙂 I also set monthly goals and I check in with myself on a monthly/bimonthly basis to see how I’m progressing with my goals and make plans to achieve what I set out.

    I knew my big plans for 2013 were to be all-around healthier and to be smarter with my money. So I chose a theme (do the work) that will give me the motivation and inspiration to remember how I felt when I started 2013 and how I want to feel when 2013 ends. From there, I came up with a list of resolutions and yes, they are very specific (even down to the amount of weight I want to lose) but it works for me. It gives me something tangible to work towards, something I can easily say “Yes, I did that,” or “No, I didn’t.”

    I’m just a big fan of goal-setting all around and I love New Year’s goals a whole lot! 🙂

  • Meg

    Passion, simplicity, balance — all ideas with which I can relate! For twenty-somethings, especially, balance seems to be the end-goal — that elusive state of being we hope to reach. It’s tough, definitely, but doable. And I like the idea of setting strategic goals rather than dreaming up some “resolutions” I will ultimately break!

  • I really love the way you’ve decided to approach 2013! I think it is so pointless to sit and make a long list of goals and resolutions just because a new year has rolled around. Like you said, it’s normal to make goals on a weekly basis anyway, just to keep yourself on track. I think the words you chose for 2013 are powerful, and will help you achieve very effective results. The one that stood out to me the most was ‘balance’. I need some of that, too!

  • Mine are Clarity, Thrive and Gentleness. I need to get clear about what Im about and how I can help others in order to turn that into a thriving business and financial situation and along the journey I need to be gentle with myself and those close to me.

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  • Love it! I just don’t think I could do it. I need something measurable. 15 books, so many miles etc. I have a feeling I don’t have the discipline to dutifully and consciously be aware of words or phrases every day for an entire year. I’d wake up in June and think “crap!” I haven’t been doing anything “simply” for months! My ultimate goal though, is to be able to do this. So, more power to you!

    • Jessica Lawlor

      I definitely need measurable goals too…and that’s why I set them each week or month. I find that my goals and dreams change over time, so setting them for the entire year simply isn’t working for me anymore.

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