One Word Resolutions

As we enter 2012, many of us engage in individual (and collective) plans for continued growth and ongoing improvement. This ritual of writing New Year’s resolutions – from my experience – can quickly turn into depressing, heavy albatrosses hanging around our necks by the second week…or even the second day of the new year!! There have been years where I will have 10-12 “resolutions” or goals very specifically listed, only to have missed the “all or nothing” mark of at least one of these by January 15th – if I am lucky! It can often go downhill from there!

While driving back from Arkansas this year, there was a wonderful suggestion on NPR which I want to offer as another approach for 2012. What if we simply chose one word which will become our focus area for 2012.

For example, instead of declaring we will lose the ever-abating 10 lbs or 5% body fat; what if we simply stated we want to become more healthy? Then, everything we think, say and do in 2012 is all about becoming more healthy: exercising, less fast food, vitamins, less toxins in our diet, etc. What if we chose the word open? This could mean living life with an open heart, being open to new ideas, being open to change, being open to acquisition, being open to a new position or relationship. What if we chose the word disciplined – which could mean frugal with our money, habitual about our workouts, or thoughtful to our obligations. You get the drift.

So, this year, instead of putting ourselves in a tactical gridlock of to-dos this year, perhaps we can put a theme around our overall goals for growth. I, for one, am going to give it a try – and this one word will become my “mantra word” for 2012.

16 responses to “One Word Resolutions

  1. Kristin–
    I LOVE this idea. One word may be simplify! I feel like my life gets so cluttered with multi-tasking, too many projects, too many papers and not enough time to enjoy just “being” with friends, family… know the simple things that make all the difference.

    Happy New Year, and may 2012 be your best ever. Thank you for the positive start with this great idea.


  2. Kristin- what a great way to frame the new year. I am adopting the “mantra word” for 2012. Like so many things in life, a simple path is usually the best path to take to real success. Thanks!

  3. Thanks Kristin for this energizing practice. I have been putting that word in a sentence for the past few years, e.g.

    How would it feel like to be more healthy?
    How would it feel like to navigate an ocean of peace?
    How would it feel like…

    You get the drift…

    I sense that the question vibrates with my inner guide.



  4. Thank you for that! Love the one word – I believe mine will be “healthy”. Hope this new year is full of blessings for you!

  5. I love it, Kristin. I’ve already sort of done that. My one word is Freedom. And that within itself has a lot of meaning for me. I typically am very tactical and beat myself up when I don’t accomplish a desired goal. So this year it all revolves around the one theme. Happy New Year and I look forward to more of your posts.

  6. Kristin,

    Such a wonderful idea! My chosen word….”Blessings”! Often serious health issues, and other problems of life, can cause us to overlook how many, many blessings we have received, compared to the tribulations of life. I am blessed in numerous ways, and plan to focus on that, giving thanks each and every day! Thank you, for in your own way you reminded me of just how fortunate I am!

  7. Kristin! Happy New Year, I just had to let you know that I also had already identified a word, I got the idea from church, mine is Content- the idea being you will always have more or less than you want, and the goal is to be content regardless (i.e., NOT I will be content when..fill in the blank)

  8. Kristin,

    Thank you for starting the New Year off on such a positive note. It is much more useful to cut out the noise and focus on one thing. So much more will flow from there.

    Many thanks!

  9. Greetings, Kristin! I often revisit some of your articles, thus the somewhat late response to your New Year’s post (which I did read at the 1st of January). On this more leisurely, rainy day when I am working from home, I was prompted to reply. I LOVE words and so was immediately captivated by your one word resolution suggestion. Ah, but how to pick just one perfect word to capture what I want to focus on this year. So many good suggestions from others:healthy, blessings, content, freedom, etc. But it was “savor” from another reader that nailed it for me. So that is my focus: be it moments with people, food, conversation, nature, my own quiet time, etc.: slow down & really be in that moment – savor it! Thanks so much for prompting this particular reflection in me!

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