Monday, January 1, 2018

Using Three Words to Anchor Your Year

In Search of Goal Setting Words for 2018

"The process of setting intentions and joyfully reflecting on them is how, over time, we transform extrinsic into intrinsic motivations, and thereby sustain the energy and purpose to live true to our best aspirations." 
Thupten Jinpa, Two Exercises for Turning Intention into Motivation.
Starting in 2014, I began picking three words to remind me of my goals for the year.  Chris Brogan gave me the idea.  Here are his words for 2018.  

To my surprise, I started picking yearly words even before Brogan did.  My coach, Christine Kane, had encouraged us to pick one word. Here is her tool for finding the right word. 

In 2014, I picked:  Robin, launch, and wealth.  Click on the link for an explanation of why I chose those words. 

In 2015, I picked:  Well-being, manifestation, and love. 

In 2016, I must have completely forgotten about the goal-setting exercise in the midst of my hectic transition to Qatar.

In 2017, it took me awhile to decide on the words that resonated that year.  But, I settled on "not even afraid" after I heard it first in French. It recognized my desire to be politically active in a post-Trump world. 

This year, the words were very easy to find: "good to go."  In December, I completed a number of medical tests that revealed I am a very healthy 63-year old woman.  My devotion to exercise over the past two years has paid off in medically measurable ways, even if my clothes still fit the same way.  Ok, so good to go on swimming, training, and leading an active life. 

As importantly, I had continued to build a social network of smart, talented, and interesting friends, most of whom are women.  This is life as an expat.  People come by luck into your life and then leave.  You have to make conscious choices to keep building a network of supportive and loving friends. 

My Doha Book Club friends are especially precious to me.  But, I have also joined a group called Qatar Road Trips that has let me play with an adventurous group of men and woman. 

I am losing my dear friend and exercise buddy, Heidi, but Andrea is now interested in learning how to lift weights.  So, that could be a seamless transition (even if losing Heidi is a loss of a piece of my heart). Andrea is fluent in Arabic after taking a year-long military training course. She teaches English in the QU Foundation Program.  She is an enthusiastic training partner.

My original group of friends, "The Infidels" (not my choice of names), has also seen gains and losses.  Steve, my Kiwi friend, bolted for home. But, we replaced him with another Kiwi, Keith. My Greek friend, Iaonnis, joined us.  Canadian friends, Easton and Georgina, bring "cool" to the group, especially if we can encourage them to dance. I will lose Jessica, my travel buddy, this summer at her contract's end.  Recently, we added a linguistic professor from Greece, Irene, to the group.  She is just so cool, too, and someone I would never have met if I had stayed in the U.S.  She came to the Christmas party I held two weeks ago, where I fit 16 people into my one bedroom beach house apartment for a sit down dinner.  (It was a Christmas miracle.) Soon, I will have dinner with an Italian woman who wants to use mediation to resolve employment disputes in Qatar.  So, good to go on the social network front.

One of my supervisors just popped into my office reassuring me that I should expect a contract renewal.  They appreciate the contributions I make to student learning, scholarship, and community service.  I plan to complete three law review articles this year and help organize two major conferences in the spring semester.  So, good to go professionally.

Another big category is financial, of course.  Now that I am completely settled in, I am focusing on saving money.  I have put myself on a strict budget that I began after my profligate, regret-free, summer in Bangkok.  So, good to go. 

And, finally, travel.  I hope to go to Japan this summer with a stop in Vietnam, where I might get a teaching gig.  If I stay strong and healthy, I will be literally "good to go." 

What three words work for you in the coming year to remind you of your projects, plans, goals, and aspirations? 

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