Stop. Don’t make a New Year’s Resolution. It’s a waste of time and you’re setting yourself up to feel like a failure come… well, in about 10 days most probably.
As a way to change your behaviour, New Year’s Resolutions are doomed to fail. And you don’t need me to quote studies proving this theory, simply think back to all the resolutions you’ve made in your life and tally up how many of them stuck.
Do you need some thinking music?
Probably not because the answer will likely be: NONE
But as the calendar clicks over from one year to the next, it’s natural to feel like you want to do something with that blank page in front of you. For sure. Same.
So here’s an idea: choose a word. A word that will set your intention for the year. Intention is different to resolution.
The idea of a word for the year is to draw your focus on something that you’d like to infuse into your life; to thread through it.
- Lean In
- Lean Out
At the start of 2016, I did this for the first time and after a bit of thought, I decided my word was ‘create’. It was the perfect choice for me at the time and encapsulated in a positive way, everything I wanted to change about my life.
At work I’d found myself increasingly frustrated at how far away I’d been pulled (again) away from the creative aspect of what I love to do. I’d put off writing a book due to wanting to prioritise my family and our business. My creativity had taken a backseat for a long time and I was becoming grumpy and unpleasant at work and at home. It wasn’t serving me nor our business well. Create was my word for 2016 and I embraced it.
Naturally, because I am completely evangelical about everything I do, I badgered everyone around me into choosing their own word for the year. We even made a video about it – watch it below.
So how did it turn out that first year? I wrote my book. I dived back into the creative process at Mamamia and I extracted myself from large parts of the management side of the business. It was a relief. It was also enormous work. Writing the book was the hardest thing I’ve ever done creatively. But it was fulfilling on some level (the further I get from the actual writing of it the more fulfilling my memory of writing it seems to get. Much like childbirth…).
The best part was having my word to come back to, which I did many many times, particularly in the first half of the year. It was a brilliant, potent, simple reminder. Like punching an address into your sat nav. Every time I veered off course, I gently reminded myself of ‘create’ and adjusted my path or my thinking. It worked.