The Impact of "Just One Word"

focus values vision Dec 31, 2020

I am super excited to re-share a guest blog from my best friend in the world -- my wife Barbara, who published her first book this past year.  I know you'll enjoy this piece as much as I did.  It's especially appropriate for this time of year as you set plans for 2021.

A few years ago I traded my mile-long list of resolutions for one word. And from that one word, I created goals aligned with it. The key was that "word" had to inspire me and make me come alive by just thinking about it.

I went from feeling guilty for not keeping my resolutions to following through my goals while encouraging myself, even when I occasionally got off track.

I found by sharing and putting it 'out there', it created intention and almost instant movement. I lived into the feeling of it. I put it on my vision board, phone, mirror and in my car. I also found a local artist/potter that put my word on a coffee cup. (see pic below =)

Personalized mugs made by Amy Kovats Pottery in Fredericksburg, VA.

One year I chose 'joy', another year 'peace', last year it was 'bold'. And it's been fun to look back to see what I created!

So I'm already giving thought to my word for 2018, it will be 'welcome'. I want to get to the place where I welcome life and all that it has to offer.  Whether it's change, relationships, opportunities, or challenges.

If you were to pick one word for this coming year, what would it be?

If you already have a word and are ready to own it, hit reply, I'd love to know!

Make it a wonderful holiday season, and remember while you're out there doing amazing things for others, do something amazing for yourself! For no particular reason, just because. ;)

Keep living boldly,

P.S. Here a quick 5-step guide to help you as you’re choosing your word.
  1. Write the word you’re thinking of choosing for this coming year.
  2. Why do you think this is a great word for you?
  3. List 10 things you could create if you lived this word daily.
  4. What obstacles have kept you from living this word up until now?
  5. List 5 goals you’d like to accomplish this year, based on the work you picked.
If you want to get even more detailed, I encourage you to check out the blog and tool developed by singer and business coach Christine Kane called The Word-of-the-Year Discovery Tool --   Let me know what you think.
Please excuse any grammar, misspellings. Even though I double and triple check, I still miss some errors. I am clear on what my strengths are, editing is definitely not on that list!

Photo credit of image of Barbara goes towards Christina Jenkins Photography.


You can find my wife, Barbara Valentine Gustavson online at   She is a coach, speaker, amazing wife and mother, and author of the book Permission to Be Bold.   I can't think of anyone who can add more value to you and your team than her.

Thanks for reading.


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