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Just ONE Word

We got off to a rocky start as a country. I can't begin to know your personal circumstances, but I do know that focusing on your vision for the year, guided by a word that will act as your North Star is going to make a big difference.

 Did you know that in Japan, kakisome, “first year writing,” is a tradition of writing that one guiding word as a Kanji (calligraphy) character to start off the year?

Your word will provide an anchor for you when making decisions about what you want more of and less of in your life this year.

It will start as an intention and it will be a quality you will embody and express through goals and actions.

My 2020 word was “courage.” When I chose it, I was thinking about the courage I wanted as I stepped into my leadership role as president of ICF- CT; the courage to be more authentic in everything I said and did, and courageous in writing more and especially, in what I revealed.

Turns out, during 2020 I needed to be brave in many more ways than that! The social issues that were roiling our country hit me hard and I had to look at the issues, my complicity and passivity in the face of the overwhelming evidence that I’d been avoiding - because I could. I leaned into bravery there. And I summoned courage every time I showed up authentically and actively for family, clients, myself, and my fellow citizens in the midst of all the uncertainties and scares. I have a long list of how practicing courage helped me grow, my business grow, and has influenced my communities through showing up in new ways.

Your word of the year can be a powerful engine for growth, if you let it.

How to choose your word:

A word is a word is a word is - just a word - unless its meaning resonates with you.

For some of you, your word will pop up instantly and feel “right.” For others, you’ll need to sit and reflect a bit. It helps to find a quiet moment and write your answers to the following questions. Want to see an example? Scroll to the bottom to to see my answers to these questions for 2021– shortened for your reading pleasure.

✍️ Who do you want to be in the coming year? “I want to be a person / parent / professional who…" What quality do you need more of to make that happen?

✍️ Reflecting on the last year, what kept showing up as something you wanted to improve, do differently or practice more?

✍️ Which of your responses to this past year’s (and current) challenges were effective, positive and life-enhancing and which weren’t? What word (s) are the opposite of that.

✍️ What quality do you want MORE of in your life that would make the greatest impact?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you may see a theme, a word may come to you. If it doesn’t, check out this list to see what matches the gist of what you’ve written above.

My word for 2021 is... Focus. What's yours?

Judy Garfinkel helps you clarify "what's next." Her expertise in building confidence and resilience supports personal growth and the ability to navigate career and work transitions – especially now! She also crafts bespoke resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and bios that open doors for her clients and land jobs. Judy is President of the International Coaching Federation - Connecticut Chapter, where she leads 200+ member coaches.

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