New Year’s resolutions don’t seem to really work for me. Instead of a heavy lift with multiple goals that lack direction or the detailed mechanics of ‘how to’, I find that focusing on one word for the year fits how I think and delivers the many micro-successes needed to keep the ball rolling without losing my way. It’s as if the year is filtered through one word as I marinate within in it for the year.
For example: In 2013, my word was ABUNDANCE. My whole life expanded and grew beyond my wildest expectations. In 2014, my word was ENJOY. I picked this word because I instinctively knew I wanted to enjoy life more. Honestly, I had no idea how challenging this word would be for me. By the third month, I found myself realizing how diligent I am at working and getting things done, but how void my life was in really enjoying all the moments and tasks. To enjoy the day-to-day moments seemed quite foreign to me and I had much to learn in this area.
Subtitle: Why Choosing a Single Word Works …For Me
By choosing a single word, it allows me the opportunity to examine all the areas of my life and how that word impacts them. What kind of changes would I need to consider, for instance, to enjoy my work more …my friendships, my family time, my financial abundance, my health?
Choosing a single word, and committing to it does require one significant step …that you acknowledge your word daily, if not more frequently at first. In time, it becomes the qualifier for all decisions, ensuring that above all, your actions are in line with and contribute to the overall goal.
If you had to view the scope of your day each morning through the lens of your chosen word, how would it influence your approach to that day? Sticking with my word, enjoy, would it impact your gratitude for the chance to enjoy ten minutes chatting with your kids on the drive to school? Would it alter your enthusiasm to get some difficult task accomplished because it will free up more time to enjoy a quick lunch with a friend more? Would focusing on marketing for your business for an hour expand your bottom line and create the ability to enjoy the financial abundance you desire? And if so, what one small step or action could you take that day that would support that goal?
Over time, you’ll also begin to notice what actions you take —or not— that negatively impact your overall goal, allowing for an even stronger course-correction through a series of smaller actions.
We know that taking small successful steps can literally change our brains and create new habits that support keeping the promises we make to ourselves, and over time, creates changes emotionally that can’t help but fuel our larger goals.
It’s not about taking huge steps, but more so, emotionally connecting to what success would look and feel like, and then breaking it down to small, often ignored daily efforts that can help you get there.
Who knows? On any given day maybe the word ‘enjoy’ might simply mean the feeling you get when your spouse smiles lovingly because you took the trash out without a nudge. In my book, that’s a very big win.