Do you make resolutions for the New Year? How does that usually work out for you? If you find yourself giving up after 1, 2 or 3 weeks, you’re not alone. Too often, people just quit.
The numbers are brutal. In fact, every New Year, about 87% of adults create New Year’s resolutions, but by the end of January, two-thirds of those more than 206 million people have failed to stick to their convictions.
This is profound. People set out to transform their lives, but it doesn’t take long for them to decide it’s not worth the effort.
One reason people give up on their well-intentioned goals is they often set “to-do” goals instead of “to-be” goals. A “to-do” goals is something like “to lose 30 lbs. in 3 months,” or “exercise for 30 minutes every day,” or “eat more fruits and vegetables.” It might be a business goal, like “get a promotion” or “increase sales by 20%.”
A “to-be” goal, on the other hand, may be to set out to be healthier. That’s because these objectives describe the person you want to become, not the tasks you want to complete. The language is slightly different, but powerful. It’s “be a healthy person who makes healthy food and exercise choices” or “be admired and respected by my colleagues.”
Part of the problem is “to-do” goals put the focus on changing the thinking in your heads, which in turn, you use to develop action plans to change your habits. But in order for a resolution to really work, you need to change what’s in your heart first.
This reminds me of an old quote first popularized by the author Rita Mae Brown:
Insanity: Doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results
Instead of making New Year’s resolutions for this year or any year, I recommend you try a radical new approach. Choose “One Word” for your vision for everything in your life during the New Year. (And don’t be afraid to start, now. Any day is a good day to set a goal!)
Now I know what you may be thinking, “One word? How’s that going to help me?” Well, believe me, it does work. One word helps you narrow your focus. It helps you find a renewed sense of purpose. It creates clarity in your life. It gives you power to do what needs to be done. One word for 365 days CAN change your life.
How do you figure out what word is the right word for you in the year ahead?
Authors Jon Gordon, Dan Britton and Jimmy Page have developed three steps in their book, “One Word that Will Change Your Life,” to help you find that one powerful word for you.
- Prepare your heart. To prepare your heart, you need to look within yourself by unplugging from the busyness in your life. Go someplace quiet and ask yourself the following questions: “What do I need?” “What’s in my way?” “What needs to go (such as past mistakes or pain)?”
- Discover your word. If you’re a spiritual person, meditate or pray to reveal the word that’s right for you. Or, just take in lots of new ideas. Listen for the answer. Your word may come to you while reading a book, listening to a song, in a dream or as a voice in your head.
- Live your word. Post your word some place where you can see it every day. Look for opportunities to live your word and improve. Share your word with others, so they can motivate and inspire you on your year-long journey.
Stop being weighed down with unrealistic resolutions each year and feeling like a failure because of unmet goals. Choose your word for the year and experience a transformation!