Everyone knows their birth date and most people can also tell you their birthstone or astrological sign. If you asked someone what their birthday word for the year might be, how many people do you think would know? Would you know?
For the past several years on my birthday I will pick a word that will be my theme for the next one year. I try to pick a word that speaks to me, a word which embodies my aspirations to serve me and my purposes.
I try to think of the word often throughout the year and use it as a guide to keep me on course or get me back on track. I may use it for inspiration or as a symbol for a goal. I make it personal, something that actually evokes a feeling as well as a meaning.
Two years ago when my life was turned upside down I picked TRANSFORMATION. I knew that my life had irrevocably changed, forever, through circumstances outside of my control. I reasoned that what was left was the only thing I could control.
I endeavored to change things up even more, to open up my life up to new possibilities. Transformation became my battle cry as much as a description of a type of action. I started a blog.
Last year my birthday word became RELAUNCH. The direction I had taken was different, even exciting, but wasn’t getting me the results I wanted. I became open to more focus and clarity. A friend introduced me to the world of podcasting.
I took Cliff Ravenscraft’s A-to-Z podcasting course. I started a podcast 4 weeks later. I started attending events at Dan Miller’s sanctuary, of the 48Days franchise in Franklin, TN – Innovate48, Coaching with Excellence and Coaching Mastery. I have since joined his Master Mind group.
Within the last year I have narrowed my focus, re-branded my message, re-tooled my website and re-launched as a coach for burned out physicians and other professionals. Last years RELAUNCH birthday word served me well.
Recently, I was hiking and climbing in Sedona, AZ during the week of my birthday and I was thinking about this next year’s birthday word. I knew I would be facing some large hurdles within the next year. As I was hiking up a steep trail it hit me – CLIMB. This would be my next birthday word.
When I am hiking up a steep mountain where the terrain is unfamiliar, sometimes there is a tendency to want to turn back when the day gets long and the summit still seems illusive. But, then I look back at where I came from and see how much progress I have made so I continue to CLIMB.
During this next year if a task in front of me looks daunting I will remember CLIMB. If I get to a point where I feel like throwing in the towel I’ll think CLIMB. Instead of stopping to consider how much left there is to do I will promise myself to continue the CLIMB.
I encourage you to come up with your own birthday word, to serve as inspiration and motivation. If there is more than four months to your next birthday, go ahead and pick one now and then another on your birthday. If it is less than four months to your next birthday think about what word you will choose and adopt it on or before your birthday for the next year.
Think of your word frequently and use it daily to your advantage. Let it set the tone for your year. Make it an annual gift to yourself which will truly keep on giving.
What words do you use to inspire and motivate you? What one word would embody your goals, philosophy, mission or aspirations for the next year?