New Year’s Resolutions. The simple words evoke some emotion and expectation. Unfortunately, they’re often phrased in the negative, rather than the positive. I have a love-hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions, but would love to show you what I do instead by picking a word for the year that can change your life.
The problem with new year’s resolutions is that they are cloaked in expectations and cause us to look at the things we are tired of being or doing, rather than on the person we are focusing on becoming. Resolutions can be kept or broken, but there’s little to no room for the process of growth. What if our approach to the new year included thoughts about who we were created to be or the process in which we are shaped and transformed through growth and focus?
Those Sneaky New Year’s Resolutions
I always dreaded resolutions, for many reasons. They snuck up on me right after the holidays. It was like I was busy since October with holiday preparations and excitement and then all of a sudden, as the party is being cleaned up post New Year’s Eve, I realized I hadn’t even thought about my New Year’s Resolutions.
I know, many of you are much more organized and prepared! And I admire that! But for me, they snuck up on me every year. So right away, I dreaded waking up on day one, feeling as though I was already behind! And I don’t know about you, but I’m internally competitive and like to be ahead of the game, not behind! So my motivation for change or excitement to gain momentum was easily squashed!
Expectations Set Too High
As I’d structure some new perspectives and resolutions, I would get this sense of failure or disappointment from the year prior and would struggle to head into the new year with motivation and an “I Can” attitude. So, limping a bit in courage and optimism, I’d take off for these new goals that were supposed to get me moving in the right direction. But post holidays, it ended up feeling like an abrupt end to a happy season with harsh demands and expectations of myself. And within days, I would feel like my expectations had already fallen short. Result: failure.
A Word for the Year is Powerful
So a few years ago, I decided to change my approach. I decided to choose a word for the year that would serve as my focus, my guide, and my checkpoint. If I could relate back to this one word, it would help me keep direction and work with diligence to keep growing and becoming the person God intended me to be. I’ve been fascinated by the process and how it really has spurred me on to growth and meaning. I am excited to share with you how you might do the same.
There truly is power in words. And I know that through one small word you can experience a change in your life as well.
How Do You Choose Your Word for the Year
So, how does one go about choosing such a word…a word that has such power to focus, guide, and change a life?! I’m guessing each personality might have a system they’d feel works best for them. Some may go with one that just sounded fun or inspiring. Some may feel determined and decisive about a particular word without much thought. Then others may need a little direction or process to help in choosing a word.
No matter how you do it, I am confident that choosing a word for the year can help you remain more focused and motivated in your growing and changing this coming year. So if you aren’t already sure of a word for you, let’s break it down into a few easy steps!
1. Take some time to reflect.
I highly encourage you to spend some time with a paper and pen to write out some of your responses to the following questions. These will help you take inventory of where you are and where you want to be. It might feel like there are some repeats, but that is ok. Try to answer each question well, even if you feel like you repeat a bit (even that will be helpful later on…so it’s ok to write down repeats). There’s no right or wrong answers, and you can write lists of answers or journal…whatever helps your thoughts flow freely. Set a timer and get started…
Take two minutes to answer the following:
- What do I need more of?
- What do I need less of?
Then take a couple minutes to answer the following:
- What is my common emotion or feeling?
- How do I want to feel?
Take two minutes to answer these questions:
- What characteristics would I like to possess?
- What do I want to be, do, or think?
And fnally, take a couple minutes with the following:
- Do I have a sense of purpose for what God has called me to do?
- How is God growing me or shaping me?
2. Spend some time praying or meditating.
Think about those things that you just answered. Spend some quiet time reflecting, praying, meditating, and searching for those things that resonate in your responses. Pay attention to the feelings and thoughts that come to mind, even jotting them down if helpful.
Write down any additional words or insights as you go. Don’t feel like it has to be really detailed, specific, or perfected. You might just write down random thoughts or words as they occur to you. And you may be surprised at what comes after some organized thinking.
Then go back through and circle, highlight, and find any themes that stick out to you. Were there words that repeated, stood out, or resonated with you?
3. Brainstorm words that come to mind.
Take some time to just start brainstorming, which is simply free thinking. Don’t edit or worry about spelling or details, just start writing the things that quickly come to mind. It doesn’t matter if it is goofy, crazy, or ridiculous just write down the words that come to you. After this process, and only after, since your list will most closely relate to the questions you just answered, look at the list of ideas for a word for the year. (The list is at the bottom of the post or can be found in the Ultimate Parenting Planner.)
4. Find your favorites.
Once you’ve made the long list of brainstorming ideas and looked at the idea list included, narrow the long list by circling or highlighting 3-5 that stand out to you. Don’t take too long to do this. Trust your gut. You’ve put great thought in already and have soul searched to get to this point. Now trust yourself and the guidance you may have already felt in the process.
Write a list of the 3-5 words and read them over a few times. Any last themes emerge here? Sometimes, I’ve found that a couple kind of fit within one of the other words, so it might not jump out at you until this point. (Ex; Maybe you had written down bold and courage. And you realize that when you are bold you also possess courage. OR Maybe you had written happiness and joy, and after further reflecting, you realize that happiness may be more fleating, but joy is something more steadfast despite circumstances.)
5. Make your choice.
Find that one word that grabs you. Does it scare you? Sometimes change can bring about a little bit of fear or anxiety. Does it make you feel any excitement? There may be a little flicker of “bring it on!” Are you simply interested or wholeheartedly committed to it? Having a little interest isn’t enough. So find that word that can you truly commit to. Then…make it yours!
It is so easy to just keep doing life but lose all aspects of being intentional in what we are doing, pursuing, or learning.
Personalizing Your Word For the Year
Now it won’t be enough to just sit on that word quietly and hope it changes your life! How will you incorporate this word into your life. You will want frequent, fun reminders to help keep you on task, stay the course, and remain motivated! Here is a fun and quick list for ideas on how you might embrace your word this coming year.
- Decorate an index card with your word and post it in a prominent spot in your home.
- Write the word in lipstick on your bathroom mirror.
- Post a waterproof copy of your word in the shower…isn’t that where you do your quiet thinking?
- Keep your eye open for items that have your word. (ex: bracelet, picture, book, necklace, etc)
- Share your word with your friends over a luncheon where you can encourage them to do the same.
- Find some sort of décor that has your word incorporated and buy it for a reminder.
- Have a family meeting, where each person chooses their own word.
- Find others who have chosen a word and communicate throughout the year about how the word is affecting their life.
- Approach each day with your word in mind and how that word will be lived out that very day.
- Read books that relate to your word.
- Do a word study on your word.
- Teach your children about the meaning of your word.
- Seek feedback from others in your life about the word you chose and how you might grow in that process.
Change is possible, but it takes true focus!
Words Have Power and You Choose the Words
All sorts of words have power in our thoughts to affect our moods, change our choices, and cause us to do or not do certain things. What if we were to take control of what those words might be? And what if a targeted word could be an instant reset! This is it!
I’m sure there will be a wide variety of words chosen. Some of my past words included joy, inspire, intention, and clarity. I don’t know what word you might choose, but I do know that getting some inspiration and motivation might help you get started on the right foot…and that a little buy-in might make you more committed! So, I am confident in this little gift I’m making available to you…
🌟A Helpful Resource For You🌟
Want to start your new year right?
Hoping to be a more intentional, purposeful, and connected parent this coming year?
You can! I have just the tool to help you!
As we wave goodbye to this year and welcome the next, I’m thrilled to share a heartfelt resource
designed to spark inspiration and infuse your parenting journey with fresh perspective and purpose.
✨ Introducing the Ultimate Parenting Journal Planner ✨
your beacon of encouragement for the upcoming year, thoughtfully crafted to
guide you beyond the everyday routine towards intentional parenting.
Why the Ultimate Parenting Journal Planner?
This isn’t just a planner; it’s a roadmap to a year of meaningful growth, connection, and joy in your family life. Here’s a glimpse of what’s inside and some of the featured sections to help bring about a change this year:
Faith and Character: Each month, we’ll spotlight a character trait or faith-strengthening activity. It’s about bringing those essential values we cherish front and center in our family life, creating intentional moments to nurture, discuss, and embody them together. (One of these monthly traits might actually be your word!)
Family: Discover creative ways to enrich family time, whether it’s a focused activity, a special celebration, or a collaborative task. It’s all about seizing those precious moments, fostering togetherness, and making memories that last a lifetime.
Giving or Serving: In our whirlwind lives, this section reminds us of the joy and importance of giving back. Whether it’s a family project or individual acts of kindness, these small yet significant tasks can deeply impact others and enrich our own lives. (Perhaps your word relates to doing more in this area?!)
Individual Growth: As parents, nurturing ourselves is vital. This planner encourages personal development, helping you rediscover passions, replenish your energy, and grow in ways that resonate with your unique journey. (It might be that your chosen word falls in this area…)
Special Ideas: Every month brings a surprise suggestion – from engaging with special awareness themes to delightful family activities. It’s about exploring, learning, and adding an element of anticipation and excitement to your routine.
More Than Just a Planner–It’s A Community!
Beyond the pages, this planner is a gateway to a vibrant community. Join me in the Parenting With Personality Facebook group for live group sessions, monthly focuses, and a treasure trove of resources. It’s a space to connect, share, and grow together. AND…it’s a great way to help carry through the theme of your word for the year…no matter what you might choose, I feel confident that they would easily connect!
Your Invitation 🌟🤗
So, are you ready to embrace a year of intentional parenting with enthusiasm and creativity? Let the Ultimate Parenting Journal Planner be your guide and companion. And remember, I’m always eager to hear your stories and feedback – because your journey inspires mine.
🌟 Embrace the journey, celebrate each step, and let’s make this year truly unforgettable with the Ultimate Parenting Journal Planner!
💖✨With love and excitement for the year ahead,
Get your 72-page Ultimate Parenting Journal Planner NOW!
P.S. Looking for someone who cares about your word? I do! I’d love to have you message me, email me, comment on my social media pages, or comment in the Parenting With Personality Group online! I would love to hear what word you choose and any progress or experiences you have throughout the year! I’ll be your cheerleader!! Let’s do this! 🌟🎉