Each year, I choose a one-word theme that becomes my guide throughout the entire year. Something magical happens in choosing just one word: the word helps guide my decisions and also activates the “law of attraction.” It’s as if all that resonates with my intent with the word comes to me effortlessly.
In 2008, I chose “FOCUS” as my one-word theme, and I mainly focused on establishing myself as a trusted go-to source for Facebook marketing and a leader in social media. I attracted a vast range of opportunities, interviews and joint ventures. (My favorite acronym for “focus” is, “Follow One Course Until Successful!“) To achieve success in a specific field, I believe it’s important not to dilute your efforts with too many extraneous ventures, interests, and web links in your bio/social profiles, for example, and to keep much of the content you share online directly related to your field of expertise. (Of course, we need to also mix in personal elements too!)
In 2009, my theme was “INFLUENCE“ and, whew, was that ever a landmark year!! My mantra was, “Who and what am I allowing to influence me?” Early in the year, I made a difficult personal decision that had been troubling me for several years prior; my primary relationship was no longer influencing me in a manner that supported my highest good. By choosing a different path and beginning a deeper spiritual journey, the floodgates opened up. Ultimately, I created one of the most successful years of my life by living into my deepest truth.
The greatest gift you can give anyone, is the example of your own life working. ~Orin
2010 – The impact of Team!
This year, my word has been “TEAM.” I’d gotten to the point where I had as many as seven VAs (Virtual Assistants) and a local intern. But, I discovered that I’m not that great at managing more than a few people, and spent much of my time doing just that: managing my team vs. focusing on my strengths and passions. I also simply prefer to be able to meet with team members in person vs. virtually.
So, when I chose TEAM as my 2010 theme, what I ended up doing is firing my entire virtual team and enlisted the help of a local recruiter. Previously, I would hire people because I liked them and wasn’t that thorough in writing out job descriptions and carefully matching skills. Working with a recruiter is one of the best things I’ve done for my business! She helped me create the ad (which we placed on Craigslist), screen about 200 applicants, short-list and interview four, then set up in-person meetings with me.
I’m delighted to say my two local assistants, Lori and Susan, are exceptional and an integral part of my successes in 2010. Lori is my Executive Assistant whose official title is “Client Happiness Director.” And Susan is a wonderful Administrative and Personal Assistant. I also have many other part-time team members who I work with on an as-needed basis for specific projects.
2011 – Bring it on!
For the past several years, my one-word theme has come to me easily. As early as mid-November, I begin to meditate and ruminate on what would serve my highest good for the following year. This year has been very challenging to settle on my next word. I kept circling back to the word “COMMITMENT” but was concerned that it would be misconstrued or taken out of context. (Ha, as if I could control that aspect!).
How ironic I struggled to commit to “Commitment” – would I lose face if I publicly committed to something and later dropped the ball? Could I completely trust myself to follow through on all commitments? (See the piece below by Dr. Chérie Carter-Scott for more on this).
In any case, because I had such difficulty choosing “Commitment” as my word, I knew I had to.
My 2011 theme of Commitment means:
- First, commitment to myself and my truth. A willingness to share more of me and not allow any limiting beliefs or concerns about others’ opinions to hold me back.
- Commitment to my daily self-care routine, no exceptions. I’m blessed to have an amazing trainer and am committed to my regime whether I meet with her or not, whether I’m at home or on the road.
- I’m committed to helping more leaders in their own emotional, spiritual, personal and professional growth – to all of us uniting to make a bigger difference on the planet together through social media… no matter how scared I might get at times for “putting myself ‘out there’.”
- Commitment to keeping my word 100% of the time – if I say I’m going to do something, you can count on me to follow through every time. (On that note, in early January, I’ll be relaunching my social media consultant training program Mentor With Mari v2.0 which was a huge hit in 2009).
- Even simple things like when I buy a book*, I commit to reading it vs. skimming it now and then.
- Commitment to asking for help when I need it and then receiving help graciously.
- I commit to bringing my “A game” to all that I do… even more so than before! And to sharing more abundantly my experience, wisdom and guidance to mentor others’ success.
- I will set realistic goals and achieve each one, such as:
- I commit to publishing two blog posts per week (I’d like to publish more, but know I can manage two. I have so much content on my hard drive for blog posts, I think I’m all set for the first several months of 2011!). Be sure to also subscribe to SocialMediaExaminer.com – I’ll continue with my guest blog posts there (I have a very large post on Facebook business apps coming out tomorrow!)
- I’m also writing two books in 2011 which will both be published by John Wiley & Sons. One will be on the topic of relationship marketing; it’ll be my seventh published book, but my first ever solo-authored book which I’m very excited about! Plus, I’m co-authoring v2 of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day with Chris Treadaway. I commit to doing all I can to make each one a bestseller!
I look forward to sharing many more goals with you on my journey! The above is what my friend, Darren Hardy, calls a “PDA: Public Display of Accountability!”
*On the subject of buying books, I’m a big fan of SUCCESS Magazine’s book summaries product!
What happens when we commit?
Commitment is what turns dreams into realities. Your choice is what you want, and your commitment is what allows you to have it. This is the process: 1) You look to see what you want. 2) You choose it. 3) You commit to it.
Commitment makes choice real. Commitment means: “This is going to happen, and I am going to be the one who causes it to happen.” It means doing what you say you will do and having what you want, no matter what the obstacles.
You can commit to anything: a person, a job, a way of life, losing 10 pounds, or a way to spend your weekend. It doesn’t matter what you commit to. What matters is the relationship you develop with yourself by committing to what you want. For people who have a strong investment in not getting what they want, Commitment is extremely uncomfortable and sometimes painful. The painful part is letting go of the attachment to not getting what you want.
You may need to read that last paragraph several times – I certainly did the first time I came across this piece!
I’m committed to making 2011 the absolute best year of my life so far, in all ways and to teaching and touching the lives of as many people as I possibly can. (And, this may resonate with some – 2011 is the final year before the big shift in vibration in 2012 that has been talked about for so many years. Because of this, I feel that 2011 is a very symbolic year).
Providence moves too
You may also be familiar with this wonderful piece by William Murray; it’s so true that “Providence moves too” when we truly commit ourselves.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: ‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!’
— William Hutchinson Murray (1913-1996), The Scottish Himalayan Expedition
What’s your word?
Now it’s your turn. What one-word theme deeply resonates with you and inspires you? And, what will you commit to in 2011? Please share in the comments below, I’d love to know. Of course, you don’t have to choose just one word (Chris Brogan has an annual ritual of choosing three words) and certainly it’s important to also have a vision, mission and “SMART” goals too!
- My Theme For 2009: Influence
- My Theme For 2010: TEAM!
- The Spirituality of Social Media – businessesgrow.com
- Choose a Theme for Next Year – Maybe Even Just One Word. (happiness-project.com)