Who are you? What makes you tick? What do you like to do? If you can take these questions and refine them down into keywords, you’ll have a powerful tool for goal setting. These keywords can be described as “you-words“… words that describe you.
Let me give you an example. I’ll use myself as the guinea pig… What words describe me…
I work in the computer field…. Computers
I like to watch racing… Racing
I like to blog… Blogger
I belong to an organization called Toastmasters… Toastmaster
As you can see, keywords give us a quick and easy way to describe ourselves. If I were to tell you just the keywords above, you would start to form a picture of who I am. A very simple concept.
A great way to visualize this is to take the new Web 2.0 concept of tagging and form a tag cloud of your keywords or tags. Here is an example of what a tag cloud looks like, with some of my examples.
A great exercise is to take a few minutes and download the You-Word Tag Cloud Creator. Print it out on a heavyweight sheet of paper. Grab a pencil or pen and a countdown timer (an egg timer works great). Write your name in the middle box, set the time for five minutes, and start filling in the blanks with words that describe you. You can use multiple word terms too.
There are different thickness lines on the diagram. If the word is a major part of your life put it on one of the thicker lines. Use the thinner lines for the more mundane words. Fill in the lines until the timer goes off. Now you’ll have an easy to reference look at your “You-Words”.
Now that you have your tag cloud it’s pretty easy to see a vocabulary of yourself. This tool is quick and easy and since it is timed, it forces your mind to come up with descriptive words.
Later this week we’ll take these words and plug them into some other diagrams that will help us set goals and create a vision of who we are. Stay tuned.