Can't Make Your Resolutions Stick? Try This Instead

Last year you may recall I created a daily word-prompt challenge to inspire myself (and HLH readers) to take one small step each day to help us achieve our 2015 goals.

My reason for starting the challenge was to provide daily (actionable) inspiration to help us overcome mental blocks and to provide us with the motivation to make your resolutions stick for the year.

The HLH community really engaged with the challenge and my blog following grew considerably from when I began. However, 92 days in (approximately 3 months later) the time commitment became too much to bear with first trimester exhaustion and new coaching clients to serve.

At the start of the year I set lofty goals and made resolutions for myself but eventually (like most resolutions) I found the inspiration for my goals beginning to wane. Although I advocate goal setting and have mentored clients to focus on taking small consistent steps every day to achieve success, my life became bogged down with endless to-dos and I couldn’t keep up. 

That’s why this year I’ve chosen a personal WORD OF THE YEAR to act as my guidepost to drive inspired action and have officially declared 2016 as my first non-resolution year.

With a newborn at home, this feels like something I can actually do.

Tired of making new year's resolutions that don't stick? If you're tired of doing the same thing each year and not seeing the results you want or can feel yourself losing the motivation for your goal, try this instead. 

WHY CHOOSING A WORD IS MORE EFFECTIVE THAN MAKING RESOLUTIONS

If you’re not familiar with this popular ritual amongst fellow creative soul seekers, choosing a word has many benefits and can set the tone for the kind of year you wish to create. It’s the ultimate navigation system directing you closer to the life you want to live.

Take weight loss for instance. Choosing a single word to concentrate on, such as: discipline or determination can elicit better decision-making, drive focus and provide more encouragement. Compare that to setting a goal to lose 15 pounds this year. Which is more inspiring?

Declaring a word as your overarching theme makes life intentional as you strive to exercise your word daily and embody its energy to create meaningful change in your life. It's a powerful & reflective end-of-year practice to keep you inspired and motivated for the impending year.


HOW TO CHOOSE A WORD AND THE KEY QUESTION I ASKED MYSELF

This is my first official year for choosing a word. I’ve tried to do this in the past but nothing resonated and I didn’t see noticeable change. It’s important to connect with your word so if you choose one and it doesn’t sit well, visit Thesaurus.com and scroll through its synonyms until you feel a pull towards one that instinctively feels right.

You might feel inclined to choose more than one word depending on your goals, however, I recommend choosing one specific word to maintain focus because it can be too distracting if you've got multiple words to bring into play.

Some people recommend that you journal or meditate to help you find your word then reflect and ponder it for a few days before deciding if you want to commit. Some even start this process as early as September to ensure their word resonates.

While they are all great suggestions, you don’t need an elaborate process to find YOUR word; especially if it will prevent you from choosing one because you can’t find the time or your enthusiasm fades waiting for the “perfect” word to find you.

My process was simple.

I asked myself one question then drew an oracle card from my angel deck and interpreted the message I received to help me decide on my word. I asked:

What’s the one thing I need to focus on this year to help me reach my goals and get me noticed online? 

To know the answer to this question, it's important to understand your vision. In my case, I want to increase my online presence, earn a living from my blog and create work-life balance while making a meaningful contribution in the world (in a nutshell).

It was clear to me that I was playing small in 2015 and needed to step up my game in order to create the creatively fulfilling life I want to live.


WHAT'S MY 2016 PERSONAL WORD OF THE YEAR?

POWER.

Yes, power.

Honestly, I was afraid of this word. It felt masculine and too “powerful”. I was intimidated which nearly caused me to change it to EMPOWERED. Not to diminish empowered because it's powerful & incredible in its own right, but as my personal beacon for 2016, it felt safe, comfortable and much less transformative.

As an overarching theme for my year, I needed something that would inspire real change and growth. I knew it was time to step up to the power of power in 2016—and yes—that scares the hell out of me.

But, if it doesn't scare you, it won't change you, right?


WHAT DOES A YEAR OF POWER PUT INTO PRACTICE LOOK LIKE FOR ME? 

It's the power to:

  • control my own life & destiny
  • say no
  • say yes
  • be confident and release the need to always be liked
  • let go of limiting beliefs and old protection mechanisms that no longer serve my highest good
  • be successful even if others feel threatened
  • believe in myself and manifest my desires (even when it sounds impractical)
  • stop living by societal expectations and start living by my own
  • forgive and forgive some more
  • show up and stand in the ring (Thank you Brené Brown)
  • make money that supports a freedom lifestyle (without justification)
  • have the courage to be who I am—unapologetically (and in all of my sensitive glory)
  • express my gifts & talent to serve others and make a positive change in the world.

AN AFFIRMATION TO SUPPORT MY WORD OF THE YEAR

I am safe when I stand in my power. When I am powerful I am aligned with my purpose and showered with loving and Divine guidance.


MATERIALIZING YOUR WORD OF THE YEAR

As I've alluded to earlier, I was afraid to be seen in 2015 (a persistent theme my whole life). I blogged quietly, I shirked away from opportunities to talk about my business (unless it was with other coaches and bloggers) and I excused the poor manners of folks who would insensitively imply that the 16 hour days I was working to build HLH wasn’t real work.


The key to materializing your word-of-the-year is to put it into practice.

Ask yourself:

How would my life transform if I embodied the energy of my word and applied its vibration to everything I do? How would my life be different one year from today?

List the actions you can take to put your word into practice.

In my case I can:

  • Host online / in-person workshops
  • Network with other entrepreneurs
  • Have my work published on bigger blogging sites
  • Be confident and unapologetic about the work I do 
  • Be expressive and show vulnerability 
  • Step outside my comfort zone. Be seen. Do things that scare me
  • Write about topics I want to write about in spite of my fear of being judged, criticized or rejected
  • Release the need to people please.

HOW TO STAY CONNECTED TO YOUR WORD THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

To keep your word alive and visible, you can:

  • create a word-graphic in Canva or photoshop then print it and put it somewhere you'll see it every day
  • design your own desktop wallpaper with your word as the focal point
  • purchase/make a piece of custom jewelry with your word as the charm
  • write it on a sticky note placing it on your bathroom mirror to reflect on it daily
  • set an intention every morning | ex: how can I exercise [blank] today?
  • form an accountability group to report changes, milestones and goals you've accomplished
  • frame it
  • create a vision board
  • set an alert each day/week/month to evaluate your progress.

What other ways can you think of? Get creative!


Hopefully this post inspires you and helps get your year off to a great start.

Answer the questions in this post and choose a word that really energizes you. If not, come back to it later or take time to journal and reflect for a few days. You shouldn't feel any pressure during this activity or you might settle on a word that won't provoke change or give you the results you're looking for.

I’m feeling very enthusiastic about the year ahead. I’m excited to see the opportunities and possibilities that arise as I live with my word all year long. 

I will provide you with a mid-year update to report new insights and awareness I gain from this exercise.

Feel free to join me by checking back to update us on your progress, too.


BEFORE YOU GO, TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:

  • How does this post inspire you to make your new year's resolutions stick in 2016?

  • Do you have a word of the year? If so, what is it?

  • What's one thing you can do today to bring your word into play?