Note: This is a revision of an article originally published on my blog last December.
I love the simplicity, force, and focus of choosing a single word as a guiding light for each year.
According to some surveys, almost 90% of resolutions end in failure. So why not skip the exhaustive list of New Year’s Resolutions?
The truth is there’s a physiological limit to the amount of willpower we each have. Hence, if you try to change too many things at once, you inevitably fail. It’s a scientific reality.
Instead, consider the simplicity and elegance of selecting one powerful word.
But let’s not get hung up on the idea of “one” word. You could choose one word or two. Or a whole phrase. You could work with your word for a full year, six months, or until its done. You might decide to focus on a different facet of your word each month.
There are no rules! It’s your life. Experiment and find what works for you.
Finding Your Perfect Word
Is there is a single word or a phrase that captures what you would like to manifest in your self or your life in 2012?
A perfect word may immediately pop into your mind. Or you might need to let the idea percolate for a while. Then see what bubbles up. There’s no rush. It might be easier to see clearly once the chaos of the holidays have passed. But you can let the idea simmer in the meantime.
These questions may help you with the process of finding your perfect word:
- Is there a quality you would like to grow in your life?
- Is there a quality that you would like to diminish? If so, what’s the opposite?
- What outcome would you like to see at the end of the year?
- What activity is primary for the coming year?
- What change would you like to see in yourself or in you life in the coming year?
- Can you encapsulate a goal for the year in one word?
- What do you want your year to look like?
Your word might be eminently practical. Or it might be creative. It might be light-hearted. Or it might be laser-focused. It simply needs to be the perfect word for you.
Here are some of the words or phrases that my readers entertained or selected in 2011:
- Balancing Serenity
- Full Throttle Ahead
- Continuous and Never Ending Improvement (CANI)
- Creativity – Express and Embrace
- Just Breathe!
- Kindness and Positivity
- Nying je – the Supreme Emotion
- Peace and Abundance
- Rise and Shine, Sunshine
- Simplify and Grow
Here’s a few other sumptuous words that capture my imagination:
Interesting phrases and proverbs
- Wabi Sabi, Embrace the Imperfection (from J. D. Meier at Sources of Insight)
- Nying je, a Tibetan word which means love, affection, kindness, compassion, gentleness, generosity of spirit, warm-heartedness, sympathy, and endearment altogether.
- Bien dans sa peau, which is French for “feeling well in your skin”, well in yourself.
- Kaizen, a Japanese word that means continuous improvement.
- As easy as pie.
- Rise and shine.
- As happy as a clam.
- This too shall pass.
Unleash the Power of Your Word
A single word can be immensely powerful if you invest in it. Spend time with your word! Embrace your word. Recall it daily. Let it swim in the unconscious waters of your mind. Meditate on it consciously too. Let it be the focus you lightly return to again and again. Let it be the measure of your thoughts and actions. Your touchstone. Your guidepost.
At the same time, there’s no need to obsess on your word. Just have fun with it.
Here are some ways to bring your word alive:
- Post your word in a visible place around your house.
- Post your word on a desktop sticky.
- Reflect on your word. What does this word really mean to you?
- Write a story or a poem about your word.
- Draw a picture or paint a painting about your word.
- Create a collage about your word.
- Journal your process and insights as your word sparks evolution in your life.
- Create affirmations with your word.
- Blog about your word.
My 2012 Word
My word seems to naturally appear around my birthday, a few months before the New Year sets in. This makes sense astrologically as new life themes and challenges are often revealed each year in the months surrounding your birthday.
At first “Manifest” caught my attention, the name of my blog theme.
But “Faith” won the prize. Faith is my one powerful word for 2012. Faith in myself, in my spiritual path, and in my spiritual teachers.
The word “faith” might sound a bit stodgy or conservative. But I’m not talking about blind faith. Rather, I’m speaking about an exuberant, confident faith that comes from both a keen observation of the world as it truly is and a deep inner knowing.
It’s easy for me to get stuck in the display of mind > all the thoughts and emotions. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the all the circumstances of life and mistake the material world for reality. I believe “faith” will be the perfect antidote to these delusory habits and the foundation of a more relaxed and joyful life in 2012.
You might also like: The Secret to One Powerful Word: A Simple Alternative to New Year’s Resolutions
How do you approach New Year’s Resolutions? Have you tried the one word approach to New Year’s Resolutions? What word or phrase will you choose for 2012?
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*Word Cloud created at Wordle