Earlier this week, I shared my 2019 reflection on Instagram As I compared where I am now to where I was at the start of this year, I had to face my own truth. This truth being that I am NEVER on the same page as my New Year resolutions. Full disclosure, my resolutions are nearly the same every year and somehow they are forgotten within the first few weeks of January. Now, I am sure most people are thinking that I lack in the areas of self control and commitment. Otherwise, there's no logical explanation as to why I can't stick to the change that I want. However, I can confidently say that is not my case.
I can control myself and I can do commitment. It just that making a plan for an entire 12 months based upon superficial lengths is not the wisest thing to do, but I surely did just that.
Looking through my journal, I noticed I had a total of 9 resolutions and I haphazardly achieved 3 of them. A new record, might I add. I wanted these past 12 months to be life changing. I wanted to leave this year a whole new woman. However, I only meant that superficially. I wanted to leave this year with more money, 15 less pounds, longer hair, a 4.0 gpa, and hanging on Gentleman's arm. I wanted to look like my wildest dreams, but I did not know what it took to be them. Sidenote: I’ve decided to let God handle the Man-situation.
I had no plan and no zeal to manifest them. Besides my superficial goals, I also wrote “This year I will commit, I will grow, I will be consistent.” These words became my 3 focus words for 2019 and the way they manifested in my life overshadowed my unmet resolutions. "Commitment. Growth. Consistent". Each was worked into my wheelhouse and I hadn't even realized until now. I could go on about the manifestation of these words in my life, but you can slide over to instagram for that. I am here to tell you why and how choosing a focus word trilogy or even just one focus word for 2020 will be more beneficial than a never ending resolution list that looks a lot like the one you had last year.
Choosing focus words or “one word resolutions” as an alternative to elaborate resolution lists is not new. My journey with them was coincidental and absolutely was not planned, but people have been committing to one word a year for quite some time. This habit should be more mainstream than it is.
Choosing a word, or in my case three words, helps declutter your yearly to-do tab. We need to grow out of the idea that change is instantaneous and linear. Goals are necessary and they signify great milestones for our journeys, but when we are considering the progression of our character we cannot afford to be too goal-oriented. The words that you choose should initiate a call of action, character change, and/or growth in several aspects of your life. I view these words as a mechanism of grounding and defining who we are as individuals.
The word of your choosing should remind you of the bigger picture you have for your year. For Example, maybe you need to work on your discipline. Choosing discipline as your focus word can result in you making wiser diet, financial, and relationship choices. You are targeting a somewhat harmful trait you have, in this case it could be impulsiveness, and you are actively countering that in a holistic way. Realizing that a bad habit of impulsiveness is present in more than one area of your life, helps you implement holistic measures instead of vain ones. here's a few ideas of what your focus word could be.
If you’re not sold on this whole focus word thing, think about the resolutions you have made over the years, more specifically the ones you did not stay committed to, and I’m sure you’ll realize you just need a little more intentionality. Here’s a few tips to help you put 2020 into focus.
1. You can change at any given moment in your life. You do not have to wait for January 1st, Monday, or better weather. Changing does not occur on a timeline, it is a journey that does not require a definite start or end date. it's a progression. So set your mind first and your actions will follow.
2. Try to be less superficial and more holistic. Decide on 1-3 focus words for the year. When choosing a focus word, make sure that it’ll help you develop in multiple areas of your life and not just one. I strongly encourage you to not think about your physical appearance. Yes, it matters, but sometimes focusing on that area can limit heart work that needs to be done. Targeting habits instead of areas on our bodies will give better results.
3. Instead of the never ending list of resolutions, Choose 3 goals for the year. Often, it isn’t a matter of laziness or lack of motivation, sometimes we are overwhelmed by the lists we make for ourselves. As the popular saying goes, “Do less, with more focus”. With less to focus on, I am sure consistency will come much easier.