Deciding on your New Year's resolutions can be just as challenging as sticking to them throughout the year. Deep down, you know if you pick too many, you won't have the willpower to see them through. But on the other hand, there may be several areas of your life you want to improve on, so you may feel the desire to choose multiple resolutions to see a significant change in your life.
Luckily for you, there's a new way to decide on next year's resolutions. In a blog post from author Nicole Dean, she explains the idea of a one-word New Year's resolution.
According to Dean, picking one word allows you to zero in on one big idea or concept that's important to you. You decide what one thing, if applied to every area of your life, will have the most impact and bring the most positive changes into your life. Then you work to apply that word to every area situation and task you find yourself in.
Let's look at how it works in practice.
This was my word for 2016. It helped me write two ebooks and hundreds of articles. "Creative" also inspired me to create multiple drawings, paintings and beautiful graphics. It helped me make my house a more beautiful place to be. It's helped me create new recipes and exercise routines to keep my health and wellness on track.
Focusing on the word "create" impacted other areas of my life as well. It helped me find more creative solutions to my problems, become a more entertaining parent and a better spouse. It helped me use those boring in-between times to find fresh ideas and activities. And it helped me find creative new ways to teach and inspire other people.
The idea of the one-word resolution is a commitment to focus. You are essentially deciding to focus on just one thing, but it's possible to make focusing your resolution. If you pick "focus" as your one-word, you are choosing to give all your attention to whatever you're doing at any given time. You are fully deciding to stop multi-tasking, eliminate distractions and immerse yourself in the current moment.
This isn't surprising. They're both big goals that will render even bigger results, but the base of those goals can be vague at times. Instead, your one-word resolution could be something simple such as, "move." By choosing move, you simply have to remember to keep moving, every day and as often as you can during the day. Walk, bike, hike, dance, stretch or try something new. Get up and stretch your legs. Do some yoga twists while you're sitting. Do some house work or chase your child, but ultimately, just keep moving.
Feeling and expressing gratitude is one of the most important things we can do to make our lives better and happier. Choosing the word, "appreciate" as your word for the year will initiate a goal to keep a daily gratitude journal or to volunteer regularly to remind yourself how fortunate you are. You can also begin each day with a prayer or meditation expressing thanks for everything you have. One-word resolutions often lead to new, positive habits. And the best part is you don't have to make the habit part of your resolution, because it will develop naturally as you stick to your goals.
In his book The One Thing: The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results, author Gary Keller encourages us to ask ourselves:
"What is the one thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?"
This is an informative question to ask yourself while trying to identify your words for 2017. When we focus in on the most important things in our lives, we actually achieve more, not less. When we identify our top priority, it's easier to eliminate the petty and we're able to do the most important things exceptionally well. What better gift could you give yourself in the upcoming year than that?