Hello 2018, I am so glad you are here, I have plans baby, big plans. So what will be the word that acts as my contextual beacon for the year…..
Before I reveal 2018's word, let me tell you more about the purpose of having a word that acts as a theme for the year, the why you should have one and then how to get one.
Why have a one-word Theme or Contextual Beacon for the year?
The purpose of having a one-word theme is because it acts like a guide throughout the year. I personally find it helps balance out the often-conflicting areas of deep focus and opportunity grabbing. Think of it like MACRO structure for the year and then you can have MICRO flexibility, allow you to respond to opportunities or challenges that arise during the course of a year
A one-word theme helps balance out the often-conflicting areas of deep focus and opportunity grabbing
When I first heard about it, it made complete sense to me. It also seemed a better fit than New Year's Resolutions or having SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound) goals. To me they always felt a bit constraining for a whole year, when an opportunity or challenge would come along they were no longer relevant. Nothing against SMART Goals, I still use them to define success and if they work for you - got for it!
Its best to get this out of the way, now that you understand the 'why' for having a theme. You should really call it a contextual beacon, rather than a theme, as that is way more funner! (Hat tip to Dr Jason Fox*)
Contextual beacon is way funner than theme
* I would suggest going straight to this site (http://www.drjasonfox.com) and consuming everything that is there, subscribe to the muse letter and purchase everything he creates, he is SOOOO smart and also a bit hilarious.
How do you get a one word contextual beacon to guide you all to yourself?
I can see you see the value, so let's see how you can get one all of your own.
The outcome we are after here is a word that is inspiring for you, but instantly understandable for everyone else. Having an obscure reference to a Lord of Rings Character, will require too much explanation and it will be harder for your posse to help you keep focused, if it's a bit too tricky to remember the word, let alone, it's meaning. The only explanation should be around how that might apply in your context,
Your word needs to be both inspiring and instantly understandable
Here are Jason's quick tips about chosing a word wisely:
1. You're not just choosing a word. You're choosing a bundle of attributes, principles, and behaviours to aspire to.
2. Resist choosing your first word. It's probably boring or common. Explore the words near to the first word that comes to you. They're probably much more memorable and compelling.
3. Give people your word. Make sure your word will serve you in your social ecology. Choose a word your friends and colleagues will actually use and hold you to.
I have a word, but it's a bit dull
You have a word, but it is bit dull - fancy it up by trying to relate it to one of the following:
Is there an archetype that it applies here?, e.g. pioneer (my word for 2016), pirate, or an animal that has the characteristics you are looking for - maybe a Bengal tiger. Think of something that works for you and is inspiring and memorable.
Add an Image
You can make you contextual beacon more powerful by adding an image. Vision trumps every other sense (Brain Rules John Medina)
What is the 2018 word CMM has chosen to act as her contextual beacon this year?
How very exciting!
My contextual beacon for 2018 is…..
** Environmental friendly glitter of course
Last year I learnt the power of embracing my quirky way of working, 'stormchaser'. I found the year was comforting (in that I wasn't distracted by the 'you should be doing it this way' thoughts), expansive and productive. In fact, despite having some pretty significant health challenges that left me in hospital for 4 weeks, it was my best year yet!
What I did realise is that while a lot of great stuff was happening, I wasn't sharing all the amazing stuff that I get to play around in. So, this year is about spreading the good stuff like glitter - spread that shit everywhere. It is also about adding that extra touch, that extra bit of flourish to already existing side hustles, so they shine bright like.. well.. glitter.
What is guiding you in 2018?
If you are ready to start or scale a side hustle and want some guidance, even if it's on your contextual theme for 2018, hit me up for a free 15 min convo, by emailing me on Christina@incahoots.com.au.
Christina Morgan-Meldrum (CMM) is an author, speaker, curator, podcaster and helps people start and grow side hustles, especially creatives and musicians, by unearthing what's possible and working with you to make it happen.
She has cultivated the ability to walk into any industry, see what is not seen, distil what is complicated, and simplify the chaos. This skill has been forged in a deliberate and concentrated way for over 20 years, through Personal Coaching and working in Organisational Change Management (before it was even a discipline). She is currently working at TAFE on the SMS program as well as exploring many, many side hustles of her own.
Christina fills her time, coaching people on their side hustles, blogging, podcasting - Quirky & Chenille (Christina is Quirky), learning the piano, while working on Change Management gigs. If you are looking for her, she is likely at her spiritual home JB Hi-Fi or exploring stationery stores or artisan markets.