What’s the good word for 2018?

Welcome to 2018 from That Conference!

Now that the holidays are behind us, we finished 2017 strong, and we’re getting back to work and into the swing of things, it’s high time we take a look forward to the coming year and beyond.

The “Word of the Year” concept is not new, but it’s an idea that seems to have swelled up in the public consciousness this year. I used to think of the “Word of the Year” as a retrospective concept — a word to summarize the year that was. Selecting a word to summarize the past year is still a thing that’s done.

But here at That Conference, we spend a lot more time looking forward than backward. One of the most powerful new memes for me at the end of 2017 was determining your word of the year for 2018.

When you write your history, that word is your 2018 chapter title.

The point of selecting a word for 2018 is to come up with a soft goal. A general answer to “what should I focus on?” Coming up with the word of the year doesn’t select the sole focus for the year; it names the most important. Similar to the Agile Manifesto, you’re saying “I value this over this.”

And the word could be anything: “Family”, “career”, “kids”, “wife”, “health”, “reading”, “React”, “Erlang”, “haggis”. Whatever it is that you want 2018 to be about in your life. When you write your history, that word is your 2018 chapter title.

Once you pick a word, that may be all there is to it. Like all other resolutions, however, there are other steps you could take. Share your word with the people around you, because sharing increases the chance you will be accountable to yourself and your values.

Let your word shape your actions and decisions on a day to day basis. When given a choice, think of the best representation of your word of the year and ask yourself, “Does my word apply? How can I act best in accordance with my values?”

If you want to take your word of the year to the next level, take some time and write down a plan. How are you going to live that word in the coming year? Month by month, how are you going to leap over that bar you set for yourself?

How can I act best in accordance with my values?

So I’m not letting myself off the hook here. I’m accountable, too. My word of the year is “Giving”, and I’m still working out how I’m going to live up to it, but you better believe that I’m going to carry that word in my heart and when decisions come up, I’ll be leaning that way.

One of the ways I’ll be definitely giving back to my community is by continuing to write for this publication, and by contributing to the planning and execution of That Conference 2018. For those of you who haven’t planned out your year, let me break it down for you:

  • If one of your goals is to increase your organization’s visibility, consider sponsoring That Conference. Call for Sponsors is already open!
  • If one of your goals is to speak more in your community, our Call for Speakers opens February 1st. Start polishing up your abstracts!
  • If your goal is to meet more developers and companies in person, remember to get your ticket to That Conference starting April 11th this year, and plan to get there the weekend before to participate in pre-conference activities on August 4th and 5th in preparation for three days of great talks, open spaces, and awesome people to meet and hang with from August 6th to 8th for That Conference 2018.

Before you do any of that, though… What’s the good word? Share this story and your word on twitter @ThatConference with the hashtag #MyWord2018. And get to living it!

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