Keep it simple with one word goals

Posted by on Jan 6, 2012 in Get your goals | 29 comments

Setting goals is important to progress and achievement yet many of us find it difficult to follow through on long term goals. We feel inspired and determined when setting goals, and feel frustrated and defeated when our goals are challenged or abandoned.

I was recently inspired by a new-to-me concept for reaching my goals and I love it because of its simplicity- choosing one word to define the progress I want to make.

I can focus on one word that reflects my desired progress.

I can easily assess my options by asking myself, “does this choice apply to my goal word?”

I thought about my goals for the coming year, and one word that inspires my goals- RELEASE.

let it go

My goals are the road map that guides my purpose, but I make less progress when I attach my emotional, physical and mental well-being solely to the achievement of my goals.

While goals shape my attention and focus, I choose to delight in the day-to-day experience of life. Living presently and positively requires mindful action coupled with detachment from the results of my actions.

I make more progress when I quiet my mind and live fully in each moment. I am able to pay attention to my thoughts, feelings and motivations, and this allows me to make good choices.

When I compare myself to others: RELEASE

When I take on too much: RELEASE

When I get caught up in someone else’s drama: RELEASE

When I let mistakes interrupt progress: RELEASE

When I fear change: RELEASE

When I am dealing with a difficult person in my life: RELEASE

When I get stuck in negative thinking: RELEASE

When complaining guides my perception of situations: RELEASE

When I’m taking life too seriously: RELEASE

By releasing my attachments to and my assumptions about these challenges, I can focus instead on solutions and progress. I can focus on taking positive and productive steps towards achieving my goals.

Best of all, I can enjoy every day a little bit more when my success is not based on the final result, but simply doing the best I can with what I have today.

I love your comments! What word describes your goals for the year?

Image courtesy of Destinys Agent


  1. Your message… Wow Chrysta!

    I just found your blog while leaving a comment on Ashvini’s blog. This was a very inspiring post! And your one goal is so encompassing and empowering!

    You really hit it out of the park! I too loved your image of the balloon being released!

    Very rare does such a simple image convey so much! As I read your list, I could relate to so many of them! Great post Chrysta!

    Thanks for sharing it!

  2. My goal: openness. Openness to new people, possibilities, opportunities, change.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Angela!

      I love openness as a goal word. I find I must be open to the world around me if I want to live my best life.

      I am closed when I focus on only one outcome, when I experience my life through with a limited perception, and when I try to avoid or refuse change. Closing myself off often leaves me feeling disappointed, judgmental, and frustrated.

      Being open, on the other hand, allows me to embrace new ideas, discover creative solutions, and live life on life’s terms.

      What a fantastic goal word and thank you for sharing it with me!


  3. Ah Chrysta, when I read what your one word was I immediate thought of Deeone. Then I move on down the page and see his comment. Oh yeah, you two can definitely relate to this one.

    The first word that popped into my mind was motivation but I’m always motivated so I instantly thought of “action”. So I’m motivated to take action, how’s that! :-)

    I have been goals for this year so that fits me to a tea. I love this and I love that you chose release. I have no doubt you’ll stick with that one too for all you intend to do for this year and some of the obstacles you’ve already conquered.

    I’m excited for you and what this year holds in store for us all. Here’s to the best one ever.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Adrienne! Seeing your name in my comments always brings a huge smile to my face.

      I was thinking of Deeone when I was writing this, and I knew he’d be excited about my word. I am so blessed with such wonderful, encouraging and inspiring friends!

      Like you, I’m always motivated. Perhaps sometimes too motivated for my own good this was the reason behind choosing RELEASE as my one word goal for 2012.

      Your goal of ACTION is great, too, because motivation is not enough if we are not following through. ACTION brings to mind productivity, progress and results, and I have no doubt you will have plenty of all three this year!

      It’s going to be a great year for us both, and we will continue the good work we did in 2011! May your year be full of joy, health and ACTION! :)


    • I thought of Deeone as well Adrienne and looks like our great minds are meshing again on our one word goal – ACTION. It’s definitely my word this year.

      Last year, I was in “soaking” mode – going to conferences and learning HOW to do what I wanted to do. Well, this year it’s time to put everything I’ve learned into practice and DO it big!

      Chrysta, I love this idea and embrace your word as well – RELEASE!

      Talk soon,

      • Thank you for your awesome comment, Kesha! I’m happy we’re stalking each other!

        I love “soaking” as a one word goal. I tend towards action, and soaking is just what I need sometimes. As is release, obviously. :) I look forward to seeing you do it big this year- awww yeah!

        What conferences did you attend last year? Any worth noting/recommending? I love checking out conferences.

        Thanks again for your comment. Looking forward to next time. Have a grateful day!


        • I went to SheCon and got to meet Guy Kawasaki so that was cool. Went to an Atlanta blogging retreat (small group of bloggers), headed to Type A Social Media/Blogging conference which was the bomb-diggity!

          Then I went to NAMS (niche affiliate marketing) and it was well worth the time and money! I went to Blogging While Brown in LA which was cool. Lastly, I went to Show Me Blog here in St. Louis, another social media and blogging conference.

          So this year, I’m going to Blogher (NY in aug), NAMS again in August, and Show Me Blog again as it’s here at home. Though Type A was a blast and I loved it, I’m using more of my vaca this year for personal travel so I had to pick and choose more carefully this year :-)

          • Kesha,

            Wow! I’m so impressed with your awesome motivation and progress! Go, you!

            Thanks for sharing more about the conferences you attended last year, I will be checking them out.

            I was thinking about going to BlogHer in NY this year and then my dog recently became very ill and the vet bills may keep me from attending BlogHer this year. However I am starting a blog-related savings plan so I can have funds dedicated to blogging growth and development. If I don’t make BlogHer this year, I will be there next year!

            Thanks for your reply! Have an awesome day!


  4. That’s a great way to look at your to do’s. My New Year’s resolution this year is kind of along those lines… Do Your Best. It’s a mantra I intend to keep with me when: I’m feeling self-doubt, I’m hitting a road block, I haven’t accomplished all I wanted to, etc.

    PS. I hope you pup is feeling better : )

    • Thanks for your awesome comment! I love “do your best” as a personal mantra, because truly my best is all I can do and it hasn’t let me down yet. :)

      Thanks for inquiring about my furbaby- he seems to be feeling better!

      Have a grateful day!


  5. Thanks for your post. It has inspired me to revisit the goals I set out for this year. I think I can give them more clarity and definition. Thanks.

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Lynda!

      I enjoy revisiting my goals throughout the year; it helps me live a mindful and purposeful life. The best goals are the ones I adjust as needed and as my situation changes.

      Have a grateful day!


  6. Great post! I’m definitely with Thoreau and want to simplify my life in all areas! My word for 2012 is authenticity which means I’m going to have to reorganize and reprioritize, so that I regain my focus which has been somewhat scattered this last year.

    • Thanks for your comment, Sandra! I love to simplify life wherever possible- it helps live a great life every day!

      I love your word for 2012- authenticity is where it’s at! When I think of authenticity I think of being true to myself and doing what’s right.

      Thanks again for stopping by! Have a grateful day!


  7. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!! Chrysta, You had to have known I would LOVE this post, didn’t you? 😀

    I loved the idea of it… I loved the list… I loved the image with the post, but most of all I loved that use of the word… RELEASE!

    I hope there wasn’t any restriction on what type of word we could choose, because that word is one that I share with you. I’ve learned and made it an art of mine that I’ve come to practice in my life daily.

    Bad mood comes…Release. Displeasure because I’m not where I’d like to be with the book… Release. I’m sure you get the point by now, and understand completely. 😀

    It’s a powerful word! Isn’t it? :) It’s one of my faves… well, next to Awesomeness; which this post is filled with!

    How I’ve come to use it mostly though is as such; anything that doesn’t promote or produce any evidence, brings satisfaction, or doesn’t cause me personal growth; I must release it!

    Let me say it one more time, just in case it’s unclear… LOVED this post! 😀

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Deeone!

      When I started considering my word for 2012 and release came to mind, of course I thought of you. Several other words also came up during my thought process and I kept coming back to “release”.

      After enthusiastically and emphatically challenging myself in 2011, I’m ready to continue my progress and growth in 2012 with minimized struggle. Of course any struggle I experience comes from my own attitudes and beliefs and that is why release was the perfect word for me today. It’s such a beautiful concept because I know with release I will make as much progress and even more than I can pushing against resistance instead of releasing what’s causing it.

      I would love to share this word with you!

      Thank you for being a source of joy, inspiration, smiles and release in my life!


  8. I love that line, “My goals are the road map that guides my purpose”

    Goals are scary to me. They set you up for things that you could possibly fall way short on. Or give expectations that others may now hold you to.

    I like how you put it. Certainly less scary that way.


    • Thanks for your comment, Bryce!

      I, too, often fear being too specific about goals- what if I miss out on another opportunity because I’m too focused on my goal, or what if I fail? Still, if I want growth and progress I must live life with purpose! I like to think of goals as my purpose, and purpose is a gentler idea than goals.

      I do have goals, however, and I continue to learn and grow by practicing setting goals and letting go of the result! I set goals to provide focus and direction to my path, and I remain mindful of where I’m at along the way and remain open to stopping for rest or taking an alternate route as needed. Above all I focus treating myself with compassion and love, whatever happens!

      I appreciate your thoughts on this. Have a grateful day!


  9. I like the idea of focusing on just one word. You can cram a lot of meaning and significance into one simple concept, and that can make it a really good mantra or object of meditation.

    “Release” is a very nice choice as well. I will try meditating on this tonight. Thanks a bunch for the suggestion!

    • Thanks for your comment, Steven! I’m so happy you stopped by my blog.

      I love the idea of focusing on just one word because it’s easy to remember and apply in even the most stressful situations.

      I would love to hear how your “release” meditation goes tonight. I’ve successfully released myself from something holding me back several times this year.

      Have a grateful day!


  10. I love your word choice. I really loved reading the areas of your life this word can impact.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! I had several words in mind and I found I kept coming back to release. Sometimes I make so much more progress when I let go.

      Have a grateful day!


  11. Thanks for linking up with us! Happy New Year!


    • Thanks for organizing the link up, Meghan! I look forward to meeting you at BlissDom!

      Have a grateful day!


  12. Chrysta, aloha. Like you, I am keeping it simple with a 1 word goal. though many are using 3 words or 1 Business goal and 1 life goal, my 1 word is a FIT for what I want. And that, Chrysta, is my word for 2012–FIT.

    FIT means FIT


    It also means that what I do will be a FIT with what I wanted to achieve.

    Wishing you much success as you Release throughout 2012.

    Enjoy a terrific weekend. Until next time, aloha. Janet

    • That is a great word! Very unique. I do like the one regarding comparisons. Definitely something to release when you are engulfed in cyber world.

      • Thanks for stopping by; I’m grateful for your comment!

        I can easily get stuck in the rut of comparing myself to others- especially online when someone else’s blogging success seems so obvious to me. The truth is I’m only seeing a small portion of their life, and even if they had everything I wanted I’m the only one that can make it happen for me. I have more to gain by focusing on myself and letting go of comparing myself to others.

        Have a grateful day!


    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Janet! I love that your word for 2012 will provide you the focus to FIT your actions with your goals- very clever!

      FIT is a great word, and one that I continue to encourage in my life. Right now I have a note on my monitor that says, “Just for today I will love myself enough to make healthy choices.” I can’t say I am following through perfectly, but having that note there does allow me to be mindful of the choices I make.

      Best wishes to you as you create a FIT life! Have a grateful day!


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