No New Year resolutions! Just “one word” for 2017.

Happy New Year!

It’s that time of year when everyone asks – “What’s your new years resolution?”

Resolutions are great if they work for you, and if they do, I wish you much luck and happiness throughout the year. However, if you are like the majority of people who can say with absolute certainty that they have never kept one resolution going throughout an entire year, then let’s take a minute to reflect.

I confess, I have never kept a resolution the entire year through, and I don’t know anyone else who has either (sorry friends and family, but you know it’s true!) I was not creative when coming up with them either; it was the usual declarations –

  • “Eat better”
  • “Exercise more”
  • “Read more”…etc.

When I realized such broad resolutions wouldn’t work for me, I tried to create New Years goals instead, i.e. more specific resolutions, and the result was a little bit better –

  • “20 minutes of mediation a day”
  • “10 minutes of stretches a day”
  • “Read for 20 minutes before going to sleep”…etc.

The danger of course was that if I didn’t do it every day, there was an onset of guilt and defeat every single day!

Then one day, a new friend and I were discussing the concept of New Years resolutions, and she said: “I’m not making resolutions, I’m using a word of the year”, and somewhat stunned and slightly confused I asked –

“One word?”

“Yup, just one word.”

“Well how does that work?”

“You choose a word that resonates with you and you live your life by that one word throughout the year…so whenever you have indecision, or are at a crossroads, the one word will lead you to the answer.

Last year, my word was adventure. I wanted to try to overcome the fear of taking chances so whenever I had the choice to do something a little risky, I repeated “adventure” and dived in . I traveled almost every month, I took every opportunity to meet people, attended more events, and took more chances than I ever have before.”

That was it. I was sold. One word, I mean how hard can that be?

The “Word of the year” concept is a simplification of the new years resolution that actually works. There are now many sites that espouse the value of “One Word” such as One Word 365 “One word. 365 days. A changed life.” or My One Word “Change your life with one word.” and while these might seem like lofty goals – I mean, how can you change your life with one word? – I can tell you, it really does make a difference.

If you want to give it a shot there are three rules that help make it work

  1. The word must resonate for you personally. It doesn’t have to be complex or over the top but make sure it means something to you.
  1. Set parameters around the word. What are the situations you want to change? Where will it make a difference to you?
  1. Share the word with your friends and family. This is a sure fire way to be held accountable, not slip back into old habits, and to adhere to your one word.

For example:

You feel like you are always saying yes to people and doing what they want you to do.

  1. The word that resonates for you is “No”.
  2. The parameter might be to say “no” to all the things you don’t want to do, the things you previously said yes to because you had a fear of missing out, or because you felt guilty, or disappointed someone if you didn’t do it…
  3. You tell your family and friends that you are going to start saying yes to only the things you actually want to do, so you can reduce the resentment you feel when you say “Yes” all the time!

Now when someone says “do you want to come over for dinner?” and you really want to go to the new Star Wars movie, or watch the new episode of Walking Dead you say “no”. If someone asks you to come over for brunch, but it’s the only morning you have to yourself, to sleep in, or to finally relax with a coffee and the newspaper or twitter updates, you say “no”. And repeat! Simple right?

My word this year is “Create”.

  1. Context: I have created complete freedom by going nomad for 2017, and I want to spend the year creating value as an entrepreneur, and a freelancer.
  2. My parameters are that everyday I will create something, i.e. write. If there is a choice to make, I will choose whatever creates more value.
  3. And now I have shared this word with you and I hope you will all hold me accountable.

Bring on 2017!!

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