Leadership: Choosing a ‘Word of the Year’

word of the year

On January 1, people around the world made New Year’s resolutions: a goal or declaration to accomplish a specific goal, or abstain from a certain habit.

This did not include Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — and hasn’t for the past few years.

Instead of making a New Year’s resolution, the philanthropist explained in a recent LinkedIn post that she chooses a word of the year — “that encapsulates my aspirations for the twelve months ahead,” she said.

She explained, “In 2016, my word of the year was gentle, which, for me, functioned as a reminder to go easy on myself, to fight the pull of perfectionism, and to encourage others around me to do the same. The next year, my word was spacious, which encouraged me to make room for the things that matter. Last year, my word was grace.”

This may very well be a smart alternative to New Year’s resolutions, when you consider the fact that according to The Atlantic, “just 8 percent of people achieve what they set out to do in their resolutions.”

So, as you kick-start the New Year at your health club, consider choosing a word of the year to serve as a guide for the next 12 months. Even if you do have a New Year’s resolution, choosing a word of the year in congruent with that resolution could lead to increased success.

As Gates explained, “That’s the power of a well-chosen word of the year. It makes the year better — and it helps me be better, too.”

Rachel Zabonick is editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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