Personal Focus in a Word for 2015


I read on Mitch Joel’s blog about the concept of 3 words in a year that Chris Brogan started and Mitch and others have made into a tradition. I tried this out last year and decided to go with a single word instead of three – “Transformation”. I must say that this helped me a lot by being my compass in everything that i did and I grew more than I had ever did. You can find my post at the start of the year and my self-appraisal at the end of the year.

So, it is time to pick the focus word for 2015. 

And the word is “Habits“. I would like to create new habits and replace some old habits with new one’s – one’s that work. It is now scientifically proven that “Will Power” is like any other muscle and that we need to exercise it as we need to exercise any other muscle and that it is a limited resource that we can run out of if used a lot. 

This is probably the reason why it is difficult for us to do the right thing all the time. Each time we think about something and make a decision, we are using some amount of our will power.

The research has also indicated that it is exactly what habits are capable of short circuiting – if we are in the habit of exercising, we don’t expend any energy on the decision to exercise; if we are in the habit of being respectful and considerate of others, we don’t expend any energy on doing so; if we are in the habit of reading or writing, we don’t expend any energy on doing so and it becomes easier for us to do what we want to do without much difficulty and conserve the energy or will power to tackle more difficult and far reaching decisions that we need to make, decisions that we are not required to make routinely.

Charles Duhigg in his book – “The Power of Habit” talks about how to build a new habit or replace an existing one. He breaks down every habit into three key components: 

  • Identify the Cue
  • Do the Routine 
  • Enjoy the Reward

Most of us concentrate on the routine, when it is critical to concentrate on all three aspects in order to be able to build new habits or replace old one’s. 

When I say that i want to build habits, I would like to do them in the following dimensions of my life: 

Physical Dimension: 

Exercising and drinking enough water is key for a healthy body. So, I want to build both of these into habits. 

Intellectual Dimension: 

Being open to new thoughts and ideas is critical for us to remain intellectually stimulated. I want to build a habit that allows me to continue to read/listen/meet with interesting people who can open my minds to new possibilities. 

Emotional Dimension: 

Listening well and being empathetic is critical in any relationship – personal or professional. It is also key to be fully immerse yourself in one thing at a time so that you can bring your whole self into that situation. These are the habits i want to build – being fully present, listening well and being empathetic. 

Financial Dimension: 

I want to build habits around investing and financial management, ie, taking care of all the financial incomes and expenses time and completing the investments that are planned. 

Spiritual Dimension: 

I want to build a habit of meditating, self-reflection and reading spiritual texts and practicing some of what they teach us. Being helpful, supporting the needy, etc. 

Some might think that these are just too many goals that i have set for myself and that it would be really difficult for one to achieve all of these. This is where the single word comes into being. I am not focusing on every goal all the time but focusing on the one word, every single moment in the context of the moment. 

So, 2015 is going to be the year of “Habits” for me. What about you? What goals are you setting for yourself?