I stopped making New Year’s resolutions several years ago. By their very nature, they create unnecessary stress and angst and set us up for failure rather than success.
Towards the end of each year I still spend some time reflecting on the year that was and considering how I want to live my life in the year ahead. But rather than setting myself New Year’s resolutions, I choose a single word.
That’s right, just one word that will influence and direct my year ahead. It sounds simple, but I can assure you it’s an incredibly powerful tool. In 2015 my word was ‘purposeful’; I wanted to live my life with purpose and to ensure that every significant decision and action was considered and on purpose. In a year where I had ambitious professional and business goals, the word served me well and contributed to a sense of accomplishment at having achieved my goals and lived my life with purpose.
Next year’s word – ‘nurture’ – has a very different sentiment. After a year of hard work, big decisions and building foundations for the future, my new word will help me to stay focussed on nurturing the things that I have built and that are important to me; my relationships, my health and wellbeing, my business and my personal goals.
Here are some tips to help you come up with your new year’s word:
- Ask yourself what you want to be different in 2016? Reflect on the current year and whether there are elements that you want more or less of – maybe you want to be more carefree, or more focussed, or even just more fun!
- Consider what commitments you already have for next year. If you know that you are starting a new job, will be studying, or have a personal goal you are striving for, think about what sentiment will help to keep you focussed on what’s important to you.
- Think about what word resonates most with you. You might start with a list of words, so gradually refine the list down until you find the word that resonates most with the life that you want to be living in 2016.
Once you’ve got your word, write it down and put it in places that are highly visible as a constant reminder. Mine goes on the fridge, on the computer monitor in my office and in my wallet. Before you know it, the word will be imprinted in your mind and will start to influence and direct you towards the New Year that you want.