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The One Word Resolution (2017 Edition)

Why make a big, long resolution this year when one word might do the trick?


At the end of each year, I try to identify one word that can serve to center me as a look at the year ahead. It’s a word I can commit to over the coming year in order to stay focused and working toward a singular purpose.  

In 2013, the word was momentum. In 2014 it was possibility. In 2015 it was execution and in 2016 it was risk.

As I look ahead to 2017, I see a lot of things on the horizon. Big goals that involve big growth – both personally and professionally. If I want to be able to accomplish these goals, I really will need to be focused with ruthless prioritization. And therein lies my one-word resolution for 2017:


Not in a Machiavellian-power-grab sense of the word. I’ve chosen ruthless because it embodies the way in which I will need to make decisions in the coming year.

Ruthless means setting aside the fun-to-do things in order to focus on the must-do things. Presentation skills workshops and instructional design are some things that I find fun, but are these the best ways for me to be spending my time in 2017 or should I be more focused on strategy and business development?


Ruthless means turning away opportunities that I could do and that lead to marginal improvements in my skills and abilities so that I have more time to focus on opportunities that push me forward in leaps and bounds. Do I try to make the case for me to attend a conference like DevLearn next year or do I spend my time finding stretch assignments that give me greater exposure to senior leadership?

This new “ruthless” approach may even be apparent in my blog over the next year as I look to follow the advice that bloggers are given every day (and which I’ve rarely heeded): don’t use 10 words to write about something when 5 words will do. Over the next year, I’ll be working on ruthlessly editing my posts to make them as clean and crisp as possible.

How about you? Is there one word (or maybe a phrase) that you’d like to commit to in the next year? Let’s hear it in the Comment section.

Thank you so much for reading my posts this year. I’ll be taking a break from Train Like A Champion from now until the new year. Have a very wonderful holiday season!!



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