New Year’s resolutions suck. There, I said it.
I’ve never liked the concept. To me, it feels like every time I think about setting one, the little devil on my shoulder is mocking me saying ‘yeh right!’.
Ultimately I hate anything that feels like a set up for failure and I especially hate New Year’s resolutions as they seem to stem from a month of indulgence and celebration which feels like, come January, we are supposed to somehow feel guilty about.
I’ve written about New Year’s resolutions before and my last post on this had a much more positive spin and I still maintain the truth in that original post. The focus there was more on supporting healthy habits but as time has gone on I think it is all too easy to feel overwhelmed. Three years on, I feel I need an updated post on where I am now. Let’s put less pressure on ourselves and redefine our goals into something much more attainable and ultimately make us feel better about ourselves.
Having a goal is superb. It’s a really good thing. I think sometimes, with the pressure of Veganuary (all diets welcome here) and dry January it is no wonder people feel January is one of the most depressing months of the year.
In an effort to reverse this mindset, I recently came across a new way of looking at New Year’s resolutions and spoiler alert I think it’s brilliant.
Instead of a defined goal pick a word for the year.
Now this isn’t a new idea – some of my research has sent me as far back as 2010, but many resources cite Jon Gordon’s book ‘One Word that will change your life‘, so of course that got added to the Audible wishlist immediately. What I love about this idea aside from there being far less pressure and the whole ‘doomed to fail’ mindset, this actually makes it a lot easier to keep focus and intention in our lives for the year ahead.
My word this year is Challenge. This was literally the first word that sprung to mind and straight away it resonated with what I was working on there and then. I wanted to explore this idea of pushing myself out of my comfort zone, trying new things, and not shying away from experiences that seem daunting. I am keen to explore growth as I approach my 40th year on this planet and ‘challenge’ seemed a good way to accomplish that.
If your 2023 resolutions feel like something you decided to do after one too many glasses of fizz on December 31st 2022, and the guilt weighs heavy as you catch yourself eyeing those brand new running trainers that still lay sat in the box, this may be a far simpler way of achieving your goals.
Perhaps through reading this you already know your word and you are all set to fulfil every possible meaning. Great! Although, chances are you may need to do a little bit of mind mapping and journalling to figure out your word-of-the-year.
No worries – I gotchu!
HAVE A THINK BUT WRITE WHAT COMES
Take some time out to reflect. These journal prompts may help you discover your word naturally. Try not to overthink this, just let the pen scrawl over the page.
- What went well in 2022?
- What didn’t go so well in 2022?
- What excites me?
- Where could I improve?
- When am I at my happiest?
- How does my job make me feel?
- How are my relationships with those around me?
- How is my health and mental wellbeing?
This is probably a lot to think about. Feel free to pick three questions from the list above that you feel you could answer the easiest, and see what comes up. Then close your book and sit in quiet contemplation and see if a word makes itself known but don’t put much pressure on yourself to have the perfect word. Try to discover one naturally when you are in a relaxed and peaceful environment.
DIG OUT THE DICTIONARY
Well, you don’t have to go down that route, but have a think about some positive words.
I’ve made a list of words that resonate with me, feel free to choose one from here if you like:
Joy, Acceptance, Honesty, Creativity, Generosity, Growth, Restoration, Indulgence, Sociable, Nourishing, Thrive, Organisation, Success, Transformation
Still stuck? Google!
I HAVE MY WORD – NOW WHAT?
Now you chill. Well not quite, but there is no point in finding your word to then go all out to make sure that every activity you do moving forward now has to fit into the meaning of your chosen word. Again, let’s take a step back and make this an enjoyable journey.
The point of this exercise is to ease off the gas pedal and make resolutions worthy of sticking to and that means chill a bit. For me, I have my word ‘Challenge’ and I try to do something ‘challenging’ every week. I have signed up to an intense handstanding class that I love but every Friday I get my butt kicked for a relentless 60 minutes. My ultimate intention with this is to eventually have a smooth press into handstand, but having this as my specific goal would have felt frustrating and I would have probably ditched my efforts by now, because progress to this goal is slow and steady. Instead, having the word ‘challenge’ means every Friday I feel I fulfill the meaning of this word and then some, leaving me feeling success and not failure.
Aside from my weekly inversion trauma (said with love), I find myself exploring new ways I can challenge myself on a daily basis. Perhaps it’s an attempt at souffle (this week it’s Mary Berry’s Earl Grey tea loaf), or even running the bleep test one sunny afternoon. I have a keen interest to further my yoga learning so perhaps that’s the next bauble I’ll hang on my challenge tree. Whatever it is, I find myself finding ways to incorporate my word into my life without having to force anything.
Writing this blog post in itself was a challenge. Like many others, I spin a lot of plates and I think my last post was something embarrassing like September 2020 – shudder. Time just slips away. So carving out time to get this post out there was tough – but yay! It’s a tick for my word-of-the-year!
I STILL NEED HELP STAYING ON TRACK
I hear you people. Some of us still need that extra layer of accountability and I have got you covered there as well. I am an old fashioned munchkin and love a weekly planner. The smart chaps at Clever Fox have a superb innovative planner that helps me stay on track with my daily and weekly goals. I love the weekly planner but they have a variety of different options to suit you. There is space for a vision board and easy layouts to map out your goals. Trigg also do an excellent planner that includes inspirational quotes and productivity maps to help you reflect and review your goals more mindfully.
Also get your friends involved. Having a cheerleader is often all you need to just keep going.
SHARING IS CARING
So tell me, what is your word? I’d love to know and the reasons behind your chosen word. Feel free to reach out on my socials or the contact button below to let me know if this post helped you as much as this idea has helped me!
Happy word Hunting!
All my love
The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and in no way represents any form of medical or physical advice. By making use of this content, you are participating at your own risk. You should consult a doctor or physician before attempting any form of exercise or poses to ensure you do not injure yourself as a result. By making use of this website, you agree that Sida Yoga accepts no liability whatsoever for any damages or injuries howsoever caused.