Monday Musings 10 January: What’s your word of the year?

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Perhaps, if you were lucky, 2020 passed by in a blur of WFH Zoom meetings (shirt on top, pyjamas on the bottom), quarantinis, doomscrolling, unmuting and heightened anxiety. 

In 2021, we slowly relearnt how to communicate face-to-face and may even have attempted to shimmy back into a pair of pre-COVID expansion jeans. We rolled up our sleeves for our jabs and perhaps, ever so cautiously, stopped panic buying wine every time the President called a family meeting. 

In 2022, so far, as the list of countries finally seeing reason continues to increase (hello Mauritius, Seychelles, Thailand and France) and the number of airlines resuming normal service grows as well, the sun is shining again on the travel front. 

So, how would you describe the last 644 days? 

Fully indulging my wordsmith self, I looked at some of the words the world has used to describe our recent reality. 

The word for 2020: 

Exhausting. Lost. Chaotic. The Washington Post. 

Black lives matter. Blursday. Flatten the curve. Pod. Remote learning. A selection of 20 phrases that defined 2020 from The New York Times. 

Arianna Huffington chose resilience

Not even the wordsmiths at Oxford Languages could choose a single word for their annual Word of the Year campaign in 2020. They settled on a phrase: “Words of an Unprecedented Year.” 

My absolute favourite from a nine-year-old genius: 

“Like looking both ways before crossing the street and then getting hit by a submarine.” 

— Clarke Smith, 9, Beverly Hills, Michigan.  Shared on The Washington Post. 

The word for 2021: 

In Grammarly’s list of the most memorable words and sayings of 2021, they named vaxxed (also Oxford Languages’ word of the year), variant, languishing, it’s the … for me and bones day amongst others. 

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These 25 words were added to the dictionary in 2021: Dine-and-dasher, TBH, hygge, dad joke and dad bod, and even fluffernutter (!) to name but a few non-pandemic words. 

The word for 2022: 

What do you want it to be? 

What’s your word for 2022? 

Here at Big Ambitions, we’re big advocates of being intentional. Early last year we came up with a company vision board, setting our intentions professionally and personally. We relooked at this company vision in October. We were delighted that despite all the punches the universe threw at us, we had accomplished – or were actively working on – many of the intentions we had set months before. 

Did you know that the most successful people don’t set goals? Yes, they set intentions instead.  

Jennifer Cohen remarks in the above article link on Forbes: “Intentions, however, come from a growth mindset, and they set the standard for how you live and act, regardless of whether or not you achieve a set goal. The big difference here is that intentions are rooted in values, not external outcomes, and they keep your attention in the present, not the future. While accomplishing goals every day may not be feasible, intentions are flexible and ever-changing, leaving you plenty of freedom to re-evaluate.” 

Here’s how one word can change your life in 2022 and how to get started. 

We have the beauty – the gift – of a blank page. A new year. So instead of waiting for 2022 to happen to us – for someone/something/some variant to come along and scribble on our fresh new page or even crumple it up – why don’t we take a firm hold of our new page, proudly, intentionally, and write our word of the year on it instead. 

Let’s make it a year of intention. Happy New Year! 

Mindful Musings 

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Marketing Musings 

What’s your talk trigger? We often think word-of-mouth marketing happens naturally, by chance, or perhaps we’ve tried to force it by launching some gimmicky, almost too good to be true marketing promo in the hopes it will get tongues wagging. But what if we could trigger it? 

Here in the Big Ambitions virtual office, we love the award-winning Entrepreneurs on Fire podcasts. In this one, Jay Baer, shares how to grow your business (yup, for free) through word of mouth. Baer details a six-step process brands can use to create talk triggers to get people talking about your brand. 

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Baer shares that smart organisations are “purposefully crafting differentiators that get customers to tell authentic, visceral, trusted stories about the business and its products or services; stories that create new customers through referrals and recommendations. Studies have shown that nearly 20 per cent of all purchases are a result of word of mouth. And yet, few result from an actual strategy for creating the right environment for sustained word of mouth.” 

Keen to get people talking? These are the four essential requirements of a talk trigger (not a gimmick, stunt or slogan): 

  • Must be remarkable – think of triggering phrases such as “You’ll never believe XYZ.” 
  • Must be relevant – will your customer care? Will it make a difference in their lives? 
  • Must be reasonable – it needs to be impressive but believable. Don’t overpromise or hype it up so much that consumers won’t trust it. 
  • Must be repeatable – it needs to be accessible to everyone. Forget complicated Ts&Cs.

If you’re eager to get started, give the podcast a listen. 

What the world was musing over this past week 

Monday Musings 10 January: What's your word of the year? 4

Here’s the rest you need, Sleeping Beauty 

Sleep and rest are not the same things. Here are the seven types of rest you need to be a better human this year. 

Monday Musings 10 January: What's your word of the year? 5

Looking into the crystal ball 

What we can agree on is that 2022 will continue to be unpredictable. Here are the ideas and arguments that will define the next 12 months

Monday Musings 10 January: What's your word of the year? 6

Your attention didn’t collapse. It was stolen. 

Are social media, emails and doomsday news headlines holding your mind hostage? Here’s how to reclaim your attention

Monday Musings 10 January: What's your word of the year? 7

The best holiday destinations for the year 

Conde Nast Traveller has once again compiled its annual list of destinations set to make their mark in 2022

Monday Musings 10 January: What's your word of the year? 8

Forgot where you parked your car? 

Now is it a case of making more decisions or less, we wonder? BMW has unveiled its first colour changing car

Monday Musings 10 January: What's your word of the year? 9

Need to get one thing done? 

Here’s a 1-minute strategy to help you do what’s most important today, setting you up for success for the rest of the day and week.