I have a new favorite word.

It happens every so often; I hear someone use a word I haven't thought about before, or haven't made use of, or just haven't heard at all. Last summer it was "skookum" (slang: excellent, spot on), once it was "bizarre", I picked up "reckon" and "heaps" in New Zealand -- as a side note, I am very interested in the idea of words as souvenirs. This time it is a bit of business-speak which I had previously ranked among the likes of "synergy" and other buzzwords.


It was used in a blog and suddenly a previously inaccessible word was part of my everyday vocabulary. I love this word. I throw it around all the time. I used it at least twice today. I'm planning a camp at Crowsnest Lake Bible Camp and I want the campers to be given "some super actionable things" to take home with them. I have been thinking about my future and am setting out some "actionable steps" towards my goals. Convoluted plans are "not very actionable", which is akin to saying "that's a nice idea but it will never happen".

Lately I've been working on being less of a talker and more of a doer. Too much of the time I allow fear or perceived difficulty keep me back from things; I can talk about them, but doing them is another matter altogether. However, the tables are beginning to turn, and words like "actionable" are part of the process. How could I not do something when it is described as actionable?

All actionable means is "capable of being acted on", but it has proved to be useful and helpful. It reminds me to break things down into manageable steps. I'll give you some examples.

Two actionable steps towards getting my Masters of Library and Information Sciences:
  • Contact people in admissions and financial advising at Athabasca University
  • Apply for a degree-completion program

Two actionable steps towards being healthier:
  • Don't buy junk food in the evening
  • Have breakfast

Two actionable steps towards not being a hermit:
  • Talk to someone today I didn't talk to yesterday
  •  Keep track of mail and reply to it

Two actionable steps to developing my writing:
  • Journal at least three pages every day, about anything
  • Keep up a semi-regular blog

See? So simple! Actionable takes a goal from being lofty and unattainable to being the destination on a straightforward path, and I've got a map.

Another side note: if you'd like a copy of the little haiku zine I wrote about last post, you can have one. I still have heaps of copies.