New Year’s Day is over and 2015 is off and running. The flood of TV commercials and postcards encouraging me to have a better year, lose weight, and join a gym seem to crowd out the other messages I’m bombarded with. It’s normal to think about how this year can be better than last year and make resolutions, but are resolutions the way to do it?
I’m going to suggest something different than making New Year’s resolutions. 87% of all adults create new goals and resolutions for the New Year. However 50% of those resolute people will abandon them by the end of January. There’s a very small percentage of those who keep them going beyond January who will still be working on them when summer arrives.
Most years I wouldn’t make it to the end of January. My resolutions ended up being a wish list and be quickly forgotten. It was a little discouraging. I’d accomplish a few things but most of my resolutions were still there, waiting for action, but had been ignored because they’d been forgotten in the busyness of each day, week, and month.
I tried something different in 2013 after hearing a podcast with Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, and Jon Gordon. They’re the authors of a book, One Word that will change your life. Their premise is resolutions don’t work because the goals we set are “to do” goals rather than “to be” goals. To do goals limit success to what we do whereas to be goals measure success by who we become. When we change the focus from what we accomplish to who we become, real transformational change is possible. This is because our heart begins to change and our actions follow.
Instead of creating a list of goals or resolutions for the year, they propose a single word theme for the year. Having one word drives a laser-like focus because this theme applies to all areas of a person’s life for the year. Britton, Page, and Gordon refer to these areas of our life as six dimensions which include:
My word for 2013 was Believe and my word for 2014 was Courage. In both cases, my word applied to each area of my life. It wasn’t always easy to put into practice, but when I did, it made a huge difference in addressing doubt, questions, and moments of being scared to step into growth and new areas of my life. I have grown these past two years in large part because of these two words.
My word for 2015 is “Intentional.” I want to live life intentionally and on purpose, not by accident. I want to intentionally be more healthy and active. I want to be intentional about my relationships and marriage. I want to intentionally grow as a leader and in how I manage my finances. I believe I can. It will take courage to do so, and it will require intentional action on my part. I’m excited to see where this goes!
If you’ve already filed and forgotten your resolutions, try this instead and see what you think. Share your word with me too with an email, tweet, or on our Google + and Facebook pages. If you’re already living with one word, share with me how it has impacted your 2014!