While I am not a fan of resolutions, I am a believer in always trying to improve, and the idea of picking a one word resolution to help me focus my choices for the year. It’s easier than setting goals in every area of life which we may need to change because the world changes on us suddenly.
We don’t need a special day whether it’s a Monday or New Year’s to make changes in our lives, BUT the marker of a New Year provides us with a measurable time frame for progress and that’s why it can feel so powerful. What we measure we change!
The idea of picking a single word for the year works by providing an emotional connection to our goals, while allowing for flexibility.
Example: If your goal is to run a marathon then you break your leg, it’s going to be very hard to succeed…but if your word is DETERMINATION then you’ll be more inspired to continue finding ways to be active so you can jump back into training when you recover.
Words have power. Even a single word alone can have great meaning when used correctly. Allow yourself to be open to the possibilities of what that word is in your life.
Why I’m Tired of Traditional Goals
Anyone else tired?
Every day I’m working to make myself, my life, my home, and my job better…I don’t have the energy to keep setting massive goals. I start to feel weighed down by the MUST of the lists that are created from having a S.M.A.R.T. goal for every area of life.
Not to say that I think goals are bad, it’s just that now I need something different. I need less pressure and more guidance for making choices each day to create the life I want.
Which is why I’ve wholeheartedly embraced choosing a single word to guide my year.
What a One Word Resolution Can Do For You
In 2023, scrap that long list of goals that you’ll probably forget in a matter of a few weeks! Instead, pick one word to focus on every day.
That one word will become the compass that directs your actions, decisions, and next steps in life. It takes intentionality and commitment, but if you allow the word to integrate with your life, it will shape your entire year and also you.
A one word resolution will set you in the right direction by adding more focus and awareness to your intentions.
It might feel like just one word, but that one word can be incredibly powerful to use for your new year’s resolution.
How to Select Your One Word Resolution
Ali Edwards really started this movement and does have a great creative class if you want to check it out – I think she explains the concept so well:
“celebrating progress rather than perfection, about the power of focusing on a single word and the impact that can have in your life, about how many little moments make up the patterns of our lives, about thinking of your future self as you make decisions today, about how your own journey is important, about how to step back into the story of your own life as an active participant, about learning what you most need from yourself, and about the power of coming back again and again to your original intentions as a means of reflection and forward movement.”
Maybe you are still thriving on goals and that’s FABULOUS or maybe you are looking for something different this year and if that’s the case here are a few things to help you get focused.
- Journal on how you want to feel
- Pull out some of those words and look them up
- Do they resonate with you
- Does a specific word excite you
- Can you find a bracelet, a wall hanging or something else to keep you focused on it all year
Example One Word Resolutions
A few words I’ve used in the past:
At first blush I’d say this word only worked for a bit, but that’s not entirely true. It helped me to continue attempting meditation in small and big ways all year long. It helped me to find ways to slow down, to enjoy the current moment and to know that everything is working out.
However since I didn’t always feel like I could do something actively about my word it began to feel limiting and I realized then I was adopting another word: Courage.
This word served me well for the entire year! It allowed me to say no to things that weren’t going to serve my long term vision and to be open to things I might have dismissed in the past. It kept me focused when I was truly in entrepreneur mode and I was blown away by all I accomplished.
Your “Word of the Year” is not microwaveable — i.e., Choose the word, set a timer, and “bing!” — you manifest! Your word is meant to teach you about you. It will often teach you about how you block your attraction and thwart your creative powers. It sometimes teaches you in paradox. – Christine Kane
I wanted something to express these ideas:
- Doing just a bit more than asked
- Being thoughtful of others
- Being kind to myself
- Letting go of criticism (or handling it better!)
- Continuing to eat and run intuitively
Then I laid down last night, opened my favorite book from Louise Hay and found this:
Deep at the center of my being there is an infinite well of love. I now allow this love to flow to the surface – It fills my heart, my body, my mind, my consciousness, my very being and radiates out from in in all directions and returns to me multiplied.
The more love I use and give, the more I have to give – the supply is endless.
I love myself; therefore, I take loving care of my body. I lovingly feed it nourishing foods and beverages. I lovingly groom it and dress, and my body lovingly responds to me with vibrant health and energy.
I love myself; therefore, I provide for myself a comfortable home, one that fills all my needs and is a pleasure to be in. I fill the rooms with the vibration of love so that all who enter, myself included, will feel this love and be nourished by it.
I love myself; therefore, I work at a job that I truly enjoy doing, one that uses my creative talents and abilities, working with and for people whom I love and who love me, and earning a good income.
I love myself; therefore, I behave and think in a loving way to all people – for I know that that which I give out returns to me multiplied. I only attract loving people in my world, for they are a mirror of what I am.
I love myself; therefore, I live totally in the now, experiencing each moment as good and knowing that my future is bright and joyous and secure – for I am a beloved child of the Universe, and the Universe loving takes care of me now and forever.
I never would have chosen it without reading this passage because it brings to mind Hallmark moments and while that too is great, this is bigger.
I want to spend more time doing my happy dance, which is a bizarre little ditty I picked up from a friend I’ve known since kindergarten. Of course I look silly doing it, but couldn’t care less when something is wonderful enough to warrant the dance.
I want to spend more time jamming out in the car with the windows rolled down, wind in my hair and strangers wondering what awesome song I’m listening to (hint could be Blake Shelton or Outkast!).I want to spend more time remembering my motto “I don’t know these people” which usually eliminates my concerns over looking silly!
“Do a loony-goony dance
‘Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain’t been there before.”
― Shel Silverstein,
I want to spend more time in the embrace of my husband, slow dancing on a random Tuesday night.
I want to spend more time flowing through the day rather than pushing.
I want to spend more time spinning with glee like a child always amazed at the world.
I want to choose work that lights me up for all the right reasons.
Other One Word Resolution Ideas
Here’s a list of words that can help you brainstorm and find the right one for you:
What To Do After I Pick a One Word Resolution
Once you’ve picked the word for you, fully embrace it. Set up reminders all over your house, maybe even make it your phone’s home screen or wallpaper.
You could even find some artwork that reminds you of its meaning or put up sticky notes with the word around your home or work.
Remind yourself positively about your one word and a regular basis by maybe using it as a mantra, prayer, or maybe even song. Find what works for you and then embrace that word entirely.
In the past I have:
- Purchased a bracelet with the word engraved on it
- Bought a small sign that I placed near my desk with the word
- Looked for the word throughout the year as my little symbol that I’m on track
- Spend time journaling on what the word means to you and how you want to embody it
- Write a note at the top of your planner each week with how you are going to live the word that week
- Continue to make sure it feels good! Like I said, one year I realized mid-way I needed a different word and that’s ok too.
Need some additional mental training?
Checkout these posts:
- Stop the negative voice on your next run
- Stop shoulding all over yourself – no more goals for other people
- Why mantras work so well