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Don't Make a One-Goal New Year's Resolution, Make a One-Word Resolution
If you’re among the 88 percent of Americans who fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions each year, here is a simpler alternative.


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Find one word that will change your life life this year.


The point isn’t to make your one word impressive or extraordinary; instead, it should be influential and impactful for you.”
We all have good intentions when we make New Year’s resolutions, but fully 88 percent of us fail to achieve them. That’s because in our enthusiasm to make positive changes, we take on too much. We simply don’t have enough time, energy, and mental bandwidth to keep up with multiple resolutions in the midst of our hectic, stressful lives—and by February or March, our unsustainable resolutions are ancient history.

That’s why, as another January 1st looms on the calendar, we suggest radically reducing your resolutions—not just to one goal, but to one single word.

This year, choose a single word that will give meaning, focus, and purpose to your life. No matter how busy or stressed you are, or how many distractions and obligations are fighting for your attention, it’s easy to remember—and believe it or not, the process has the power to impact your life so much more than a laundry list of resolutions.

Here, we explain how to go about picking your word for 2017—and why this trimmed-down New Year’s resolution works so well:

1. Put some thought into it. It’s not unusual to choose spur-of-the-moment New Year’s resolutions as the ball drops in Times Square. Or maybe you just recycle the same resolutions every year: Lose weight! Save more money! Spend more time with the kids! Whatever your usual strategy is, you need to put a little more thought into your one word if you want it to work.

Make time for reflection, introspection, meditation, and prayer when considering what you want your one word to be. Think about all the positive changes you’d like to see in your life, bad habits you’d like to break, and goals you have for yourself. Look inward and ask important questions like, What do I need? What do I want? What is in the way? What do I need to focus on? Then see if any common values or themes—or specific words—bubble up.

2. Listen to your intuition. While it’s important to think seriously about this, don’t overthink it, either. The point isn’t to make your one word impressive or extraordinary; instead, it should be influential and impactful for you. Sometimes, your inner wisdom, not your brain, knows best what that word should be.

A few years ago, Gordon absolutely couldn’t decide whether he wanted his one word to be "surrender" or "enjoy." While jumping into the ocean on New Year’s Day, which he does every year, he felt a sharp pain in his knee and had trouble walking out of the surf. He thought to himself, Not a great way to start the year—maybe I’m pushing myself too hard. As he reached the shore, he heard the word "surrender" loud and clear. His intuition had spoken, and he listened. He knew it was his word for that year.

3. Figure out what your one word looks like in real life. Once you’ve discovered it, consider what it might look like in practice and visualize it impacting your life. Be open-minded and push yourself to think beyond the word’s obvious definition.

While you may have intended your one word to apply to a specific area of your life, chances are, its sphere of positive influence is much wider. For example, if your word is "invest," it might prompt you not only to be a good steward of your money, but to invest more emotional capital in your family and to invest some time in your professional growth.

4. Create a visual reminder. If you keep your one word in front of you, it will stay at the forefront of your mind where it can guide your attitude and actions. Your reminder could be as simple as a sticky note on the bathroom mirror or refrigerator, or you could put more time and effort into it.

Over the years, we have seen people get really creative. Some people have depicted their word in jewelry. We know of corporate teams who each write theirs on wooden spoons that they take back to their desks. And every New Year’s Eve, Britton and his family paint theirs on small canvases and hang them on a wall of their home.

5. Consider enlisting support. Doing this process with people who care about you can be fun, meaningful, and mutually beneficial. Consider brainstorming and sharing your word with your family, friends, or maybe even your team at work.

Imagine the impact if everyone in your family or team helped each other live. The members of Gordon’s family share their words with each other every year. It’s inspiring to see which one everyone chooses and how it shapes their lives throughout the year.

6. Record your word in action. It’s not a requirement, of course, but we suggest keeping a record of how yours influences your life throughout the year, perhaps in the form of a journal or blog. Write about how your word guides your decisions, shifts your priorities, and influences your perspective.

At the end of the year, it’s helpful to perform a review. Consider the past 365 days and ask yourself, How has my life changed because of my one word? What lessons did it teach me this year? What blessings did it bring into my life? What challenges did it enable me to overcome? Even though we’ve been living by the process for years, we’re always surprised by how much our words have impacted our lives when we look back on the previous year. And it’s nice to have a record of how our words have helped us grow, achieve, and learn.

So, why not simplify things this year by choosing one word instead of a laundry list of resolutions? It sticks. It’s straightforward. It doesn’t leave room for confusion or excuses. Most importantly, it gives you meaning and a mission throughout the year—and that word can change your life.

75 Potential Words to Inspire You in 2017

Ask
Awake
Balance
Believe
Big
Bold
Boom
Brave
Breakthrough
Breathe
Build
Care
Compassion
Confidence
Courageous
Create
Determination
Detox
Discipline
Do
Drive
Encourage
Extreme
Faith
Fearless
Focus
Forward
Fun
Future
Generous
Give
Go
Grace
Great
Healing
Humble
Improve
Inspire
Integrity
Intentional
Invest
Journey
Joy
Kindness
Listen
Live
Love
Miracles
Mission
Move
Now
Open
Persistence
Play
Positive
Power
Pray
Prosper
Pure
Purpose
Push
Renew
Respond
Rest
Serve
Share
Shine
Smile
Surrender
Teamwork
Today
Train
Trust
Words
Work


Jon Gordon is the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller "The Energy Bus," "The No Complaining Rule," "Training Camp," "The Shark and the Goldfish," "Soup, "The Seed," and "The Positive Dog;" he is also co-author of "One Word That Will Change Your Life."

Dan Britton serves as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ executive vice president of international ministry and training at the National Support Center in Kansas City. He has been on the FCA staff since 1991, first serving for 13 years in Virginia and most recently as the executive vice president of ministry programs. He has coauthored three books, "WisdomWalks," "WisdomWalks SPORTS," and "One Word That Will Change Your Life," and is the author and editor of nine FCA books.

Jimmy Page serves as a vice president of field ministry and the national director of the health & fitness ministry for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. For nearly 20 years, he has been a leader in the health and fitness industry, operating wellness facilities affiliated with Sinai Hospital and Johns Hopkins. Jimmy is also a certified Nike Sports Performance Coach and hosts a radio program called Fit Fridays, blending spiritual, mental, and physical health principles that promote abundant life. He and his wife, Ivelisse, started a cancer foundation called believebig.org following her victory over cancer. Jimmy has coauthored four books, WisdomWalks," "WisdomWalks SPORTS," "PrayFit, and One Word That Will Change Your Life.

To learn more, visit www.getoneword.com.



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Over 1 million couples turn to Hitched for expert marital advice every year. Sign up now for our newsletter & get exclusive weekly content that will entertain, educate and inspire your marriage.



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