This Year Try a One-Word Resolution


What if one word could change your life? Resolutions made and given up is a familiar tale. Many see short-lived change, or no change at all, after making resolutions. Yet we continue to do the same thing year in and year out. Admittedly, goals (even the SMART kind) have never been my jam, so I’ve never bothered with traditional resolutions for the New Year. I want to grow and change, but outlining goals has never proven successful for me. Instead of detailed goals, I need a shift in focus. I need one word that I can bring everything back to. If you, too, have found goal-setting to be ineffective, consider joining me in choosing a focus word this year.

Why Just One Word?

Picking one word helps to establish new habits and new patterns of thinking instead of driving toward a specific outcome. The idea is a perspective shift, which will be sustainable and lead to tangible results. If you choose the focus word “health” or “wellbeing,” and you keep that word central throughout the year, you are bound to see improvements. You may see weight loss, gain muscle tone, improved biometric numbers, or any combination of those things depending on what steps you take.

I have found honing in on one word is far less overwhelming for me. There is no pressure to perform, and I don’t get discouraged.

If you didn’t think of your focus word last week? No harm, no foul. But if you set a specific weight loss goal, that resolution won’t be forgiving. Now you have even more weight to lose, and the door just opened for feelings of defeat to start creeping in. With a focus word, simply make small efforts to keep your word top of mind. It is easier to maintain positive thinking and get back on track when you’re attentive to the process rather than the outcome.

Write resolutions in a notepad or journal to remember them.

How Does It Work?

Spend time thinking carefully about which word you are going to choose. What do you care enough about to make a focal point for a full year? Do you have the tools and support you need to make progress in this area, or can you get what you need?

Once you choose a word, make sure you can’t forget about it.

A few ideas to help:

  • Create a background for your phone that includes your word.
  • Make a word sign to display at your home or office.
  • Use a journal to keep track of your progress.
  • Write song lyrics, scripture, and other quotes in places you’ll see often.
  • Try to make a habit of asking yourself if your decisions and actions support your focus word.
  • Share your word with your inner circle so you can be held accountable.

Can one word change your life? In my experience, absolutely. Give it a try this year and see what you think, and comment with your word of choice!


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