How to Set Business Goals With Just One Word

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There is a trend that has been growing in popularity over the past few years in the realm of goal setting. It involves creating just one word to guide your life (or your business) during the course of the entire year. Yes, that's right. You simply choose one word and make that your focus for the year. This approach to goal setting eliminates some of the tools and complicated processes that often come with goal setting. It helps you avoid falling into "analysis paralysis" that comes from being overwhelmed with all there is to do in order to achieve your goal.

How It Works

In their book, "One Word That Will Change Your Life," Dan Britton, Jon Gordon and Jimmy Page explain that goal setting with one word helps us to simplify our lives in a way that can be life-changing. The authors say this is a sticky tactic that can be more effective than resolutions which are often forgotten, or goals that are often overwhelming, because it creates clarity, power and passion in all dimensions of your life.

The thought behind this trend is that by taking away the pressure of formulating structured goals and the associated activities, you can be hyper-focused on living out one theme for the year in your life and business.

How To Choose Your Word

Reflect. Choosing your one word for your business starts with reflection on what you want from the New Year for your business. What do you want to do? What do you want to happen? What you need? What do you need to change? Jot down some thoughts about where you want to take your small business over the next year.

Brainstorm. Once you have your vision, take some time to brainstorm all possible words that describe the end result you're working towards. For example, let's say you want to focus on growing your client base this year. You want to encourage repeat business and develop deeper customer relationships that result in increased loyalty and word of mouth referrals. Some words that describe what you envision include: loyalty, sales, upsell, profit, relationships, service, value, referrals, focus, connections, grow.

Choose. The last step is choosing the one word that has the most meaning for your small business. Going back to our example, you may determine that the word LOYALTY encompasses what you hope to accomplish since you intend to be loyal to your clients by providing them with exceptional products/services, value and customer service, and hope to generate additional loyalty from them in the form of repeat business and referrals.

So, What Now?

Now you focus on your one word, making it a recurring theme during the year. When you are faced with a decision or a challenge in your business, consider which path will get you closer to the end result you envisioned when you chose your word.

Some people find it helpful to create a vision board or post the word around the office as a reminder of what you're working toward. You can also bring your team into the process, getting their input on the word you have chosen and having them create their own to focus on in their career. You can make this a year-long activity in your business that can boost morale and connection among your team.

You can also join an online community such as One Word 365 or My One Word. Through these websites, you can connect with others who have chosen the same word for support and encouragement. You can also stay connected to the communities by using and following hashtags #OneWord365 and #MyOneWord on Twitter.