By North Star, I mean a shining light that guides you along the journey. A light that acts as a reference point and keeps you from getting lost when you stray from the path of your intentions.
These days, we don’t follow an actual star. We follow a vision, a mission, or — at the turn of each new year — a word of the year.
If you haven’t selected a word to act as your beacon during the coming year, I’d like to point you to Christine Kane’s in-depth Word of the Year Discovery Tool. It’s free, and walks you through the process of settling on a word.
I actually have three words this year; I had three words last year, too.
Why three? It’s something I learned from Chris Brogan, who talks about using three words to triangulate what you want for the New Year. If three words sounds cool, or if you’re curious, read more about Chris, his words, and his method here.
My words last year were HEAL, FORWARD, and PLENTY. Did they work? Well, in 2018, I had some healing in terms of my back, which has been giving me fits since my early 20s.
I had LOTS of forward movement, much of which I attribute to my new coach, Alina Vincent. I’ve made more progress in the last six months with Alina than over the last three years on my own.
As for plenty … well … I’m not sure where that applies, except for maybe plenty of support, which my husband and kids gave and continue to give as I pursue the business of my dreams.
Here’s a pic of me with my fam. Aren’t they amazing?!?
The Gregoire Family (me, my husband, and my three kids)
Before I share my three words for 2019, I want to share a tip about how to use them, another thing I learned from Chris Brogan.
The thing is … if you choose a word and continue on with your life as usual, then the choosing means nothing. You’ll forget about that word just as quickly as you might forget about that fruitcake you “won” in the community raffle.
We have to USE our words. We have to keep them in front of us all the time. We have to be reminded of them, and ponder them daily.
Here’s how I keep my eyes on my words.
First, at the start of each week, I write the three words at the top of my weekly planning page so I’ll see it multiple times each day as I check in with what’s next on the schedule.
Second, I look at those words when thinking about my upcoming programs and promotions. And I keep them in mind when planning out my blog posts and email messages.
Third, I also turn to those words when faced with decisions that make me uncomfortable. Oftentimes, when I hold a decision up against my words, the choice quickly becomes clear, just as a fogged up car window clears immediately when you crack it open while cruising down the road singing a Tom Petty tune.
Now, my three words for 2019.
My original choice for this concept — what I want to be, do, and have in 2019 — was simplicity. A wise soul challenged that choice, asking me if I could be more specific. The word simplicity is everywhere these days. And it can mean a whole lot of different things. I get it.
Then I thought about what I really want. I want to buy less stuff. I want to own less stuff. I want to carry less weight (literally and metaphorically). I want less exhaustion. Less work. I want to deliver less content to my clients, because their readers want to read less.
In 2019, I want to be all about LESS. Less is more. That’s what I want.
Light is a little harder to explain. For the last few years, I’ve been struggling with my purpose.
My inner voices tell me all sorts things, things that conflict. I can feel that conflict in my body. It’s a weight in my middle abdomen. I feel it, but I’m not sure how to get rid of it.
In a recent vision board workshop, the theme of “light” came up several times. It really jumped out at me off the screen. And off my paper.
I had a eureka moment!
I understood that I am a source of light, and I am here to bring that light to others. I am here to bring light, love, hope, and laughter.
It’s clear to me now. Stoking that fire and shining its light is all that matters.
I chose WRITE as my third word because I love to write. And writing is the primary way I bring light to others. And I have SO. MANY. IDEAS!
Although I’m good at writing, what gets me into flow is writing content like this. Blog content. Content to connect with one single reader at a time.
If you’re reading this, I’m touching you in some way. You have a viewport into my mind in a way that you could never replicate in person because, in person, the masks and worries and inner criticisms are loud. They drown out the real me. They keep me small and quiet.
But here … here on the page … this is me.
Do you sweat the small stuff? Do you want your online presence to inspire trust and confidence? Do you grit your teeth when others don't care enough about YOUR web experience? Are you all about creating an excellent website and excellent content that makes it easy for people to get to know, like, and trust you and buy your stuff?
I think we might be soul mates. And I'd love for you to join my tribe.
When you do, I'll alert you to new blog posts, new programs and products, and new ways for you to create excellent, frictionless, online experiences that lead more people to YES! I promise to be relevant and real, and to send only thoughtful content and advice.
Renae Gregoire is a content mentor and clarity expert changing the world one outstanding leader at a time. The coaches, consultants, and experts she works with have big visions for creating transformational change--if only they could create that content! Her work typically involves a blend of strategy and wordsmithing, with a heavy focus on the reader's perspective. Renae is also the creator of the Blog Post Inspiration Deck, the Blog Your Brilliance online program, and the Content Coaching Club.