It turns out New Year’s Resolutions have been around some 4,000 years starting with the Babylonians. At the beginning of each year they made a promise to the gods, like a resolution to get out of debt, in the hope that they would earn good favor in the coming year. I suspect, like modern man, one-third of the Babylonians gave up on their resolutions within a month.
Why don’t New Year’s resolutions work? Too often they are about what you think you should do, like lose weight or exercise more. When a resolution lacks relevance to your heart and mind or the timing is wrong, it falls by the wayside. Maybe the real reason resolutions don’t work is because change requires living life with intention.
When you live life with intention, you harness your personal power and commit to action. Instead of seeing how the day unfolds and trying to control everything, you create a goal, a purpose, an intention for your life. You may not pull it off completely, but you live that intention and it changes your life.
What more and more people are opting to do is choose a word for the year that encompasses an intention for their life. The movement known as ‘One Little Word’ (OLW) guides people on how to select one word that keeps them focused on how they want to live the year.
Your one little word may find you or you may have to go through a process of discernment. A song lyric, a book title, a situation in your life may lead you to your word. Since it is meant to guide your decisions, your life and change the way you believe or act, it helps you to think about what people, feelings or change you want in your life. Talking it out with someone, meditation or being in nature can all help to clear your mind and connect to your heart. Make a list of words and sit with them awhile before deciding.
It helps to find ways to keep the word in the forefront of your heart and mind. Make it your screensaver or profile picture, paste it to your bathroom mirror or get it engraved on a bracelet or charm to wear all year long.
The beauty of OLW is that your word can have multiple meaning to you and multiple impacts on your life. Take Sara Weinreb who chose green. “…, I reflected on what I want to focus on for the year: how I want to grow, what difference I want to make. In the end, I chose a rather unconventional word: green. To me this meant four things: I wanted to eat more greens (focusing on eating more veggies and nourishing foods), surround myself with more greens (spending time in nature, bringing more plants into my home), live more green (embracing a low-waste lifestyle and teaching others), and make more green (focusing on financial abundance). It worked rather well, as I have incorporated all four of those areas much more deeply into my life, while recognizing I still have a lot further to go. It’s a process, not a destination.’
Here are some personal experiences with “One Little Word.”
“I’ve selected “edit.” I can apply it to so many of my life choices – edit friendships, foods, possessions, meetings, activities. If it doesn’t suite me down the road, I’ll edit it and pick another.” Facebook post
“Over the past year, I’ve focused on living in the now, enjoying the present instead of rushing ahead. This year my word is posture. My hope is that before I start my day, a conversation or even a workout, I check in with my mental attitude. How is it showing up in my words and actions? What “posture” am I sharing with others?”
Springpoint at Home staff are wearing their One Little Word as a bracelet or on a key chain to ensure it is at the forefront for the year. Challenge, strength, patience and grace are just some of the meaningful words and intentions of this dedicated and caring group of individuals.