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So I just have to ask…how’s that New Year’s resolution going?

Maybe you intentionally did not make one because you know from years past how that story ends.

You might have read how I wasn’t big on New Year’s resolutions and evidence proves the rest of you aren’t either. A small piece of the pie (only 8 percent) achieve their resolutions, and the rest of us are by now mourning the loss of good intentions or finishing off that piece of pie we promised to ignore.

Still we set our sights on the prize at the beginning of each year and knowingly set ourselves up to make it 1/12 of the way there if we’re lucky. Part of the problem starts before we even get going. We load ourselves up with a laundry list of priorities.

Did you know? “The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next five hundred years. Only in the 1900s did we pluralize the term and start talking about priorities. Illogically, we reasoned that by changing the word we could bend reality. Somehow we would now be able to have multiple ‘first’ things. This gave the impression of many things being the priority but actually meant nothing was.” – Greg McKeown, Essentialism

If your priority list looks more like your to do’s then how can you ever expect to check off everything on both?

 

Keep it simple
A common thread stitched through my mindfulness journey is simplicity. It’s about being present and focusing just on the moment while curbing the circling mind chatter. I think revisiting simple for New Year’s resolutions just might be the golden ticket. After all, when did simple ever let you down?

The old resolution approach is you commit to losing 10 pounds for example. You step on the scale and after a month or so fail to see progress toward that magic number. To you, your resolution is broken much like the Christmas ornament you find behind the couch weeks after the holiday trimmings are put up for hibernation.

That resolution recipe just isn’t turning out. Instead, there’s a groundswell shift happening to one-ingredient resolutions. The idea is simple. You pick just one word, and that one word is the single priority, the theme, a lens to look at all decisions through for the next 365 days. It’s your mantra and the headline you’ll write at the end of 2017.

The sweet secret is a word cannot be broken like a Christmas ornament. It’s a reminder of who you want to be instead of what you regret.

If you want to pick your one word, first think about who you want to be in 2017. What’s most important? Next, make a list of relevant words and see which speaks to you the loudest. Don’t fret about nailing down that perfect word because one word can easily incorporate others depending on how you shape it in your mind.

 

Take your word with you

  • It’s the sticky note on your computer screen when deciding what to take on and what to pass up.
  • It’s the temperature check when planning out your week or deciding where to spend your money.
  • It’s your latest Pinterest board peppered with scripty quotes, natural-lit photography and “how to” posts to keep you inspired and on course.
  • It’s the motivation when life gets squirrelly to keep your eyes on the one thing you’ve crowned as the priority.
It’s your owner’s manual for the year ahead.

CONNECT
In setting my intentions for 2017, I recognize the house of cards I’ve built as I figure out where my calling, passion and quest for balance can live harmoniously. CONNECT is the glue that will keep the important pieces together to make the entire structure shine with stability and charm. The pieces that are not load bearing will fall through the cracks leaving what is ideally the life I feel called to live.

This year I will connect with my…

  • Husband. With bustling youngsters and even younger business ventures, he tends to draw the short end. We owe it to each other even if it requires a calendar reminder and a backup babysitter.
  • Littles. We will go on one unexpected, adventure per month for more chances to savor these sweet moments that go by too fast.
  • Dream. This part of my story is ever evolving, and while I hope 2017 illuminates clarity, connecting with the journey is more important than reaching a destination.
  • German roots. Plans are in the works for a long overdue trip back across the pond but this time with first-time visitors (husband and kids).
  • And last, but not least…Myself. I’m grateful for discovering a powerful tool that is easily available at a moment’s notice. Here it goes: I check in with whatever is happening or how I’m feeling in that very moment, and I immediately feel more grounded, less distracted and more often more content.

There’s more to my mindfulness kick just waiting to be explored and new places to go with it. Maybe that means dropping in for regular yoga classes or signing up for a marathon that I haven’t seen the likes of since 2011. Maybe it’s impromptu adventures or themed girls’ nights. Whatever shape those moments take, I have a feeling 2017 is going to shine and I can’t wait to take it all in.

 

Here are other one-word themes that made my short list. Maybe one strikes a chord with you.

Appreciate.   Conquer.   Create.   Explore.   Faith.   Health.   Savor.   Simplify.   Soar.

If you need help picking, head over to my pals at Bold Dish and download this free one word resolution worksheet.

What’s your one word for 2017? I’d love to hear from you!

COMMENTS
  • One word is so hard! My word (for today) is simplify- if I pick that one, a lot of my others are included. I am so excited for you!

    • Thanks, Julie! Simplify is one I go back to frequently when I am mindful about my choices (and when cleaning out closets and drawers). Truly appreciate all your support!

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