New Years Resolutions

I don’t think resolutions are stupid or pointless. The idea of beginning again, opting for change, and starting over inherently comes with the beginning of a new year. Like spring, the new year is froth with possibilities, inciting a new energy that is hard to manufacture at other times during the year. (I know there are nay-sayers out there who think I’m full of bunk. Well, ya better stop reading now because it’s gunna get a whole lot bunkier up in here.)


I also think it is important to examine one’s life. Socrates said it, and you’ve heard it: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” For a person who is predisposed to investigate pretty much everything, the quote isn’t merely a saying, it’s a way of life. From time to time, I let myself get off-balance and I over do it, becoming unhappy with everything in and everything about my life. When that happens, I usually have a tremendously long resolution list that I can’t possibly keep.

This time last year I was feeling overwhelmed with all the change that my life seemed to need, and then I came across My One Word – “an experiment to move [people] beyond [the New Year’s resolution make and break] cycle . . . and instead pick one word, provid[ing] clarity by narrowing [the list] into a single focus.”

One word? Single focus? I’m in!

Last year’s word was Contentment.

Or was it Peace.

Crap, I can’t even remember.

Either way, it meant looking for and striving for the positive, being okay where I am right here and now. That didn’t mean that I didn’t want to progress. It meant that I needed to stop striving and be grateful for what I had. It meant that I needed to stop trying to make things better and see that my life wasn’t that bad where I was.

Low and behold, when I stopped and started seeing what I had and what it was worth, I was content and peaceful.

It wasn’t easy because I innately believe everything can be better and no one has ever “made it.” I don’t care what Barry Manilow says.  I like to evaluate what’s not working, fix it, and move on, so to stop and smell the roses was an everyday struggle.  Some days I failed miserably, some days I received gentle reminders from friends and family, and some days I had to have a strongly worded conversation with myself, but I ended 2012 with contentment and peace.

Here I am at the beginning of 2013, thinking that My One Word resolution works for me.  I can focus on one word. (Yes, the book is on my list, and yes, I read the blog.)

This year’s word is Better.

This year I am going to do and be better. That may seem huge and unattainable, but c’mon, I’m not shooting for the moon here people. I just want to be better. Even if it is an infinitesimal spec better, that’s progress (continuing to strive for contentment)!

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I don’t have to beat myself up by not making big enough stides in becoming the best person I can be, because in reality, that goal is unattainable; however, I can be better. And if I don’t consult the devilish stick that measures me against other people and stick to one simple question – Am I better than I was? – then I can do it.

And so can you.

So . . . what’s your one word?


4 thoughts on “New Years Resolutions

  1. Hm. I like this one word idea. I think my biggest problem is that I lack focus. I’m like a red squirrel on espresso. So that is my word. Focus. I will FOCUS on my goals of writing and exercise. I will FOCUS on the present and stop putting myself on autopilot while my brain ventures off to other places. Thanks for this post and sharing this idea.
    I’ll let you know how it goes.

    1. It really helped me to stop waiting for my eventual failure. Instead of looking at the negative, the one word help me look at the positive. And you, Ms. Face, just helped me meet my goal! I have just become a better blogger because I helped someone! Yippee!

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