Struggling with your New Year’s resolutions? This could help

I'm bad at resolutions. You, too? Great! You're in the right place. I'm going to share what I started doing to make my resolutions actually stick.

I'm bad at resolutions. You, too? Great! You're in the right place. I'm going to share what I started doing to make my resolutions actually stick.

Ready?

Pick one word. It's that simple.

I'll explain. A few years ago a friend told me each year she picks one word for her year and let's it dictate at least some, even a majority, of her goals. I've done this for three years now and, at least for me, it works.

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I know I'm not the first person to use this method. But it's helped me change my perspective on goal setting and see some real success at work and in my personal life. Now I want to help you have the same success.

If you don't know how to pick your word, let me walk you through some of my process.

  • Take time to assess what you want to accomplish next year -- whether it's losing weight, growing your business, finding love -- whatever it is, decide to embrace it and prioritize it.
  • It doesn't have to dictate every aspect of your life -- you can pick one that focuses on your work or one that only applies to your personal life.
  • You can have more than one! If you want to split up the parts of your life, pick a few! You make the rules.
  • Don't overthink it. It's not life or death. I've been most successful when I've picked something obvious in my life right now.
  • Find simple ways to implement it at first. If you were training for a marathon, you wouldn't start by running 26 miles, you'd start with a short run. Same here.
  • Let small successes fuel larger ones. For me, this has been key to me wanting to stick with it.
  • If it's not working for you, change it! Or if you feel like you get a good handle on it quickly, pick another one.

Here's what this has looked like me:

In 2015 I chose “renew.” I had just started a new job and moved states away from a tumultuous relationship. I started by prioritizing my life. I put self-care and meditation on my daily agenda. Eventually, I used this shifting mentality to give myself permission to say “no” to things that made my life unnecessarily chaotic. I changed my relationship with food and focused on feeling healthier.

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In 2016, “bold” dictated the year. My boldness started out small, just at the edge of my comfort zone: red lipstick. It might sound silly, but at that point, I was comfortable being invisible, so this was a big move for me. That little move pushed me to experiment in other areas -- I volunteered for big projects, I took on harder tasks at work, I dyed my hair red, I pushed myself to make friends with people I admired. I ended a bad relationship and signed up for online dating.

In 2017 “faith” guided my year. It might never be your word, but it was what I needed to focus on. I set small goals to pray, to read my scriptures, to analyze my relationship with God. It helped me not to overanalyze my love life. I put an emphasis on serving other people and giving back. I found small, impactful ways to show my family love.

This year, I'm going with “brave” and I'm excited to see what it brings my way!

I'm not going to promise all of this is easy. At their core, goals require stretching and growing, which requires work and a certain measure of being uncomfortable. But if you're willing to do it, your life really can change.

If you decide to try it out, I'd love to hear about it! You can find me on twitter: @siovhanshow or send me an email, sbolton@wfaa.com.