Norton: What is the one word you will live by this year? (column) |

Norton: What is the one word you will live by this year? (column)

Michael Norton
Valley Voices

“One word.” Just one word.

As I was preparing to write this column, I was inspired by something my friend Tom Ziglar had shared with me. Tom shared with me his “one word” for the year. He shared that for the past few years, he picks just one word and focuses on that word throughout the year. I will share his one word with you later in this column. Trust me, it’s worth the wait.

To add a little more value, I thought I would ask four other friends of mine and business leaders whom I respect and admire and who have served as mentors to me over the years what their own “one word” might be.

Our own Tricia Swenson, the video host and producer for the Vail Daily, had selected “choose” as her “one word.” Tricia says, “We all have the ability to choose. We can choose how we react, choose how to adjust and choose how we view our circumstances. Choosing, and realizing we have the power of choice and the ability to choose, is something that needs to be exercised and practiced.”

David Mattson, CEO at Sandler Training, chose “behavior” as his “one word.” Teaching the importance of behaviors is a core element of Sandler’s training, as they really focus on behavior, attitude and technique. When I asked David why he chose “behavior,” he said, “Without behavior, nothing happens. We can dream, and we can practice, but until we act or behave, nothing actually happens. We all know people who are always getting ready to get ready but who never really take action. If we become a behaviorist and do what it takes to succeed, then success happens.”

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Karl Watson, chief operating officer at Summit Materials, chose another word that I love: “persevere.” Having known Karl for several years now, I can tell you that he is a guy who knows what it means to “persevere.” This is Karl’s “one word” because he said, “Courage and strength alone are great attributes. So are wisdom and knowledge, faith and hope. But whether we are in good times or in bad times, it is the endurance to persevere that can elevate us to a higher plateau, even when we are doing great.

“It will also be the attitude of perseverance that will help us to improve in areas where we need to develop when we find ourselves in difficult or challenging times.”

Here is Tom Ziglar’s word. Tom is the CEO of the Zig Ziglar Corp. Tom chose “transformation.” Tom calls it the trinity of transformation and he says it this way: “Transformation happens when desire ignites hope and is fueled by grit.” People often have goals and dreams. We all desire something in this life. We desire to change or transform something about ourselves or in our life. Every one of us has desires, and we all have hope for something. But until we have the grit to see it through, true transformation will not happen.

Lastly, I am so happy and proud to share what my good friend Lissa Versteegh had to say about her “one word.” Lissa is the senior vice president of sales strategy and development at Randstad USA. Her word is “authentic.” She shared, “With all the changes in life and in the world, we must stay true to ourselves. And when we do, we will make the right judgments and decisions.” That is gold, brilliant.

Now, when we look at these words in summary and in one snapshot, we see where making the right choices and choosing the right behaviors, and then diligently getting after those behaviors with the attitude of perseverance, we will meet with transformation in our personal and professional lives. And when we add staying true to ourselves, striving to be authentic in all that we do, we will choose, behave, persevere and transform the authentic lives we were meant to live.

Knowing that many of you will ask, my own “one word” is “loveandforgiveness.” I know it is really not one word, but if you think about it for a minute, it truly is “one word.”

So how about you? What is your “one word” for 2018? I would really love it if you would send me an email with your “one word” and why you have chosen that word at And when we can choose a positive, strong, encouraging and authentic word to live by, it really will be a better-than-good year.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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