“Mind your Language” is a great piece of advice, truly mind it. Think about it; about the effect it has on you and those around you as you use it. As a self-confessed word-nerd it’s one of my passions that my clients really ‘get’ how important the words and phrases are they choose and then use. If you already have a sense you could be more influential, engaging and inspiring to other people, then changing and updating your ‘script’ transforms the way you connect with people.
A few years ago, I read an article by John La Valle and John is, I believe, a true word-nerd. A real wizard with the use of language and the difference it makes. He wrote an article about changing our New Year’s Resolutions and swapping them for New Year’s Evolutions.
When someone asks me “Kay, are you making any New Year’s Resolutions?” I take John’s advice and tell them “yes, but I make New Year’s Evolutions”.
Think about the word Resolution: it means ‘a firm decision to do or not to do something. The action of solving a problem, dispute or contentious matter.’
When you pull it apart, re-solution becomes a solution, redone. You know when you say it there’s a bit of resistance there. Something you should be doing as opposed to something you want to do. Something you’ve tried to do before and are trying to do again.
It’s so common to make a resolution to eat less, exercise more, spend less, save more, work less, be with family more – or sometimes the opposite! You get the idea.
Now think about the word Evolution. When you think of planning and committing to New Year’s Evolutions, there’s a different feel, a different energy about them with that word. ‘Evolution means the gradual development of something. Current senses stem from a notion of ‘opening out’ and ‘unfolding’ giving a rise to a general sense of development’. Open yourself up to who you are now and what you want, now.
Now with the word Evolution there’s a more forward motion to it, more of a sense of ‘ok, for where I am now and for how I’ve developed now and what I want in my life now, this is what I want for my life in 2016’.
Try putting down 5 New Year’s Evolutions for yourself and before you do, take a moment with these 5 steps to think about how you are ‘opening out’, ‘unfolding’ and ‘developing’.
1. Think about how your life was 2 years ago – then about what’s going on now and how things have evolved for you.
2. What are the major changes that have happened? There will be some major changes; it’s one of the few things we can guarantee in life, that things change. We choose how we respond to those changes.
3. Next, consider what’s happening in each of these areas of your life – home/ relationships/career/finances and ask yourself ‘what do I want to have more of and less of in these areas now?’
4. Here’s where your ‘New Year’s Evolutions’ start to form. From where you are now, for the person you are now, for what you’re doing now.
5. Put down the following words and then finish the sentence at least 5 times ‘For what I want now, in 2016 I will…’.
So, with two letters tweaked your Resolutions have become your 2016 Evolutions. Even if you don’t think you’ve changed much, around you the landscape will have: industry, market and colleagues will have. That changes you anyway. How have you evolved though, that’s the question?
Let’s make it your time to shine, in your own way. When would now be a better time to go for Promotion, Recognition and Rewards?
Here’s a helpful, immediate Gift for you. Q is for Questions – A downloadable PDF of a chapter from my # 1 best-selling book The A to Z of Being Understood.
Use the chapter to lead conversations, to be more compelling when you first meet someone and – crucially – connect with colleagues, clients, customers by the power of your confident questions.