It’s coming up to a new calendar year. A great time for planning.

When you plan for your upcoming year, you can be ably guided by your Impact Purpose. That defining statement that summarizes the impact you want to have with your business. I’ve covered the process for clarifying your Impact Purpose in other articles, so I won’t focus on that here.

With your Impact Purpose, it clarifies the ‘what’, but not the ‘how’.

Here’s a simple and powerful tool you can use to guide your ‘how’ in the coming year.

You may have heard of the ‘word of the year’. It’s an aspirational word that encompasses the feeling of how you want to move into and through the year. It captures an elegant idea, the essence of something significant for you. It becomes the catalyst for a deep shift in your way of being.

A meaningful word that really engages your power is about both you and others, how you treat yourself and others, including your clients, your employees, and your suppliers. A meaningful word helps you delineate the ‘how’ of your everyday actions.

In my own past, I’ve used words like, ‘courage’, ‘abundance’, and ‘connect’. To help remind me, I’ve printed the words on index cards and even had a bracelet made one year.

These words have proven to be a powerful guide when I am in the weeds and forget who I am and what I want to achieve. So why not just choose a word of the year for 2019?

Because I’ve changed. I no longer plan my year on an annual basis. I’ve found that annual planning is not nearly as effective as planning for 12 week periods. In those 12 weeks, I can maintain high energy. I can stay highly motivated. I can get a TON done. And at the end, I can celebrate my accomplishments.

With a longer time frame, like a year or more, all of those things fade. The year’s end seems far away, with lots of time to get things done.

Truth? The year’s end will sneak up on you, and you may find that you didn’t accomplish nearly as much as you’d planned.

Using the 12 week time frame has been a powerful shift in planning for me. And I needed an aspirational ‘how’ to match it.

So in this coming year, I’ll be choosing a word of the quarter instead. A word that summarizes the feeling of how I want to move through my 12 weeks.

We all need inspiration for our aspirations.

You can be inspired by adopting this practice yourself, and really kick up serious and impactful change in your first quarter of 2019.

Ursula Jorch is a speaker, business coach and consultant who helps entrepreneurs grow a successful business that makes a difference in the world. A 21-year successful entrepreneur herself, Ursula helps you define the difference you want to make in the world and develop strategy and marketing so you have ever-expanding impact.

Find Ursula on her podcast, Work Alchemy: The Impact Interviews where she interviews impactful entrepreneurs and leaders like Seth Godin and Marianne Williamson, and at WorkAlchemy.com for free resources for you and your business.