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I don’t believe in resolutions. There. I said it. I think by saying on January 1, you’re going to do X this year, you set yourself up for failure right away. If you google “percentage of people who give up their resolutions” you will find varying answers, but they will all fall somewhere in between 8 and 20% of people will SUCCEED at their resolutions. That means that 80-92% will fail. Well, that’s a sad statistic. LOL! There’s a trend in recent years of choosing a “word of the year”. THIS is a much more positive approach to the idea of a resolution without it being so black and white.
Choose a focus word for the year instead.
The idea behind a word of the year is to ponder what you want to focus on during the year. It is not meant to achieve anything specific. Choosing a word helps bring you back to what you want to center on for 2019. When you feel like you are straying from your goals, procrastinating, not getting anything accomplished….go back to your Word. Think about why you chose it and get back to working with your focus on that.
Some examples. Instead of the New Year’s resolution, “I’m going to join a gym and get fit this year.” You could choose ‘Health’ or ‘Movement’ or any number of other words for the year. If you feel like you need to eat better, exercise more, get your weight under control, all of these can relate to this one word. Indeed, joining a gym could be one way to achieve that. But, so could standing more throughout the day if you have a desk-job. By choosing a word to focus on, you’re allowing yourself more freedom to meet your goals in different ways. And to grow and adapt throughout the year. This is a much more realistic approach than setting a resolution. And sets you up for positive approach and you are more apt to come back to your goals and work toward them.
My friend Rachel wrote a great “Word of the Year” post! The one thing that truly spoke to me was her point that a year can start on any date. A year is simply 365 days. Just because January 1 is the start of a calendar year, doesn’t mean you have failed life if you don’t have your goals set or your Word chosen by January 1. Just like your birthday (you don’t get a year older on January 1, you get a year older on your birthdate), you can choose when YOUR year begins.
Evolution of My Word of the Year
Last year was the first time I chose a focus word. It was the word “Cultivate”. And the interesting thing is that I chose it for one reason and by the end of the year, it had evolved (along with me) to mean something different than my initial thoughts. BUT. It served me well all year long to bring me back to what I truly wanted to focus on in 2018, which was knowledge and growth.
For 2019, I had a hard time narrowing it down to just a single word. So I chose a phrase that encompasses the IDEA of the words I was drawn to when thinking about how I wanted my year to go. Last year, I was all about learning how to build a business and figuring out where I wanted to go and grow. This year, I want to put all of that knowledge to use designing and building my business. I want to take the vision that I cultivated in 2018, and “Be the Architect” that designs and constructs that vision into reality in 2019.
I felt there’s no better day to introduce my 2019 word/phrase of the year than January 18th, National Thesaurus Day! When choosing your word for phrase for the year, I encourage you to use thesaurus.com to really get your focus word down to what you TRULY mean and want to work on. These are all the words I went through and thought about for this year:
Design* | Construct | Chart | Blueprint* | Plot | Craft | Devise | Mastermind | Savvy | Artful | Entrench | Intensify | Develop | Materialize | Emerge | Manifest | Evolve | Establish | Originate | Dawn | Strengthen | Intensify
Design and Blueprint lead me to Architect. And I really liked the idea of being the PERSON to design and build. To remind myself that I am in control of where I go and what I do. I have a bad habit of “blaming the Universe” for things. I hide it well by saying, “There is a reason for everything.” And to some extent, I do believe spiritually there are forces at work, but. I also believe in total free will. And we have the ability to put as much effort into something as we like. Give 110%, you get 110%. Give 85%, you get 85%. So by putting myself in charge of my year, I remind myself of that. It’s a circular argument. Just go with me here, ok? LOL!
If you have already chosen your Word of the Year, let’s hear it! Tell us in the comments what you’re focusing on in 2019. If you haven’t chosen yet, then today is THE DAY to visit thesaurus.com and start pondering.