You Say You Want a Resolution…

If you’re on my mailing list, then you’ve either participated in this activity or you’ve read about it already. This has been my new year’s ritual for several years now, and I believe whole-heartedly in its power.

I created this ritual because I never liked the idea of resolutions, but I still wanted to mark the beginning of a new year and the change that it represents.

The Resolutionary War

Most of us know that New Year’s resolutions are often broken by the end of January. The best example I can give is from the gym. Every January 2nd, I show up at the gym at my usual time to find that it’s packed to the gills with newbies. Then, by March 1st, the numbers have decreased, and I see mostly just the people who have been there all along.

Why do we do this?

I think most of us have become numb to the idea of resolutions. Resolutions are like diets. They’re events. They’re uninspiring. And most people state them with unconscious intent.

Another reason resolutions don’t always work is because they’re often made from the level of the effect. A person might look at the effects in her life (i.e., her weight), and she thinks that the level of the effect is where to approach change. (i.e. losing the weight) She doesn’t stop to recognize the deeper causes of that effect. Maybe she has been unhappy and unfulfilled because she never pursued a bigger life goal, and food or apathy became a way to avoid that truth. Maybe she has been angry with someone for years and she has held onto that anger (and that weight).

If she were to look at the issue from the level of cause, she might make an entirely different resolution. Facing the avoidance or the fear, dealing with the anger, or being willing to forgive… these are the level of cause. They’re obviously only a beginning, but they provide at least the foundation for a whole-life change, as opposed to the Atkins Diet and a two-month relationship with the Y.

A Better Alternative

One year I just decided to revolt against resolutions. I had my very own “resolution revolution.” I decided to simplify, to focus, and to be gentle about the approach. Here it is:

Pick a word for the year.

Just one word. That’s all.

Then, hold that word in your mind throughout the year, and let your word guide you to take action. For instance, let’s say you want to make a resolution to lose 20 pounds, and to change jobs. Rather than say, “I resolve to lose 20 pounds and get a better job,” (which can be somewhat overwhelming) you might sit with this thought for a little while. Write in your journal. Maybe then you would recognize that you’ve been scared to look for another job because there might not be something out there, and maybe you’ve been overeating to stuff down the fears that come up and the feelings of insecurity.

So, instead of making resolutions – which do little to inspire you – you choose the word “courage.” Courage then becomes what guides you. Each day you focus on that word. When you don’t want to go to the gym, you don’t berate yourself with the threat of your resolution. Instead, you motivate yourself with your word. “Courage.” You say it aloud to remind yourself. And you go because learning how to not be scared of change is exciting to you. The word then builds on itself. You might decide to take a yoga class even though the skinny yoga girls have always scared you. You might find that you have a little more energy with each new thing you try. Maybe this energy motivates you to call an old friend in your field and let her know you are looking for another job. Courage becomes the guiding force, not the harsh standard. (And WAY better for you than a pound of bacon and four eggs for breakfast, too!)

My Own Examples

One year, I chose the word “Generosity.” All year long, I held that word in my consciousness. I left tips for housekeeping at each hotel on my road trips. I paid the toll of the car behind me. (This is surprisingly embarrassing to do!) I observed when I was feeling too scared to be generous, clutching to my “hard earned” money. What I found was that the word “generosity” also taught me about courage, willingness, letting go, and wealth. Each word will bring a string of words along with it. But don’t try to force it. The process will be organic and perfectly designed just for you.

The year I chose Gratitude, I started a gratitude journal and began to experience “Abundance” as an additional bonus.

What word to choose?

I have found that most people just know right off which word resonates with them. Every year when I’ve sent this idea out to my email list, I immediately receive about 25 responses from people who instantly know what their word is.

I have compiled a list of possible words below. As you read through them, see if one stands out for you. It’s tempting to choose four or five, believing that you can do it all! (Or that you’re that messed up and can’t possibly narrow your flaws down to one helpful word!) I recommend that if you don’t know how to choose just one, narrow it down to no more than three. One is ideal. It gives you focus. If you master that one word, you can choose another one in June.

Compassion
Generosity
Effortlessness
Wealth
Gratitude
Abundance
Creativity
Willingness
Change
Growth
Freedom
Mastery
Kindness
Health
Presence
Acceptance
Courage
Confidence
Self-Love
Action
Forgiveness
Release
Trust
Knowing
Patience
Friendship
Fun
Grace
Laughter
Love
Expansion
Exploration
Adventure
Openness
Discipline
Awe
Awareness
Risk
Gentleness
Choice
Spirit
Prayerfulness
Power
Allowing
Artfulness
Attention
Beauty
Joy
Focus
Ritual
Healing
Order
Clarity

Here are a few of the responses I got after I sent out the email newsletter last year:

“Great idea! My word is “savor,” something that covers all senses and thoughts, and something you absolutely cannot do when hurrying!”

“I think mine is going to be ‘No.’ I am notoriously bad at using the word and end up trying to do too much or give too much and by the end of the year, I am completely drained. Maybe I will learn that it doesn’t make me selfish, just self aware.”

“My word this year is Creativity. I just had Marie Callendars rhubarb pie heated with Haagen-Daaz vanilla ice cream for breakfast. Pretty creative, huh?”

“Commitment feels like it’s my word, re-defining it from something that is burdensome (current perception) to something that is gratifying, like a good workout or a job well done or being in integrity.”

“A year ago, you sent out an email about choosing a word for the year. I thought that was a wonderful idea, and I shared it among several friends. I chose “Trust” as my word, and was given, as a birthday present a couple of months later, the word in stained glass. It hangs in my front window. It’s amazing to me how my ideas and interactions with trust have changed with one year’s marginal focus on it, 12 months of intermittent reminders that this word is important and related to almost everything I do. It’s been a very good thing. Palpably so.”

Please feel free to share your comments. It’s great to have a blog, in addition to a mailing list so that I am not the only one to see the responses! Happy New Year everybody!

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Christine, Happy New Year. I like this post so much that I put a heads up on my blog with a link to it. I hope everyone stops by and reads it. My word appears to be effortlessness. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  2. says

    oooo…i LOVE effortlessness. i was pondering that one for this year. it’s the opposite of “struggle,” which so many of us seem to have bought into at an early age! Thanks for the link!

  3. says

    That’s funny! My word is effortlessness too! I wrote a blog post about it (a short one).

    Happy New Year to all of you, and thanks again to Christine for her amazing blog.

  4. says

    Welcome home Christine!

    I’ve been thinking about this for a while (you know me I have to gnaw on stuff to figure it out) and it seems that my 2007 word is health. During this lovely time off from work I’ve made a small change toward it – I’ve eliminated the sugar from my morning Earl Grey – it was already just in the first cup and unrefined organic sugar but why not get rid of that little bit of sugar when I can do it so easily. I think the next thing will be coffee is no longer allowed on every work day (I don’t drink coffee at home) only on special occasions. I’m also pondering giving up meat altogether – I don’t eat much of it now and lately I’ve been feeling like such a hypocrite because I adore animals so much how can I eat them – right now I’m at the can-I really-live-without-chicken phase. I’m moving slowly with it. I’ll keep you posted.

    On another note I bought a purple – actually kinda lavendery – teapot yesterday. It makes me happy.

  5. says

    Hi MK, I understand that questioning about vegetarianism. I’ve been vegan since June, and it has been one of the easiest transitions I’ve ever made…but only because I allowed myself some time to go through what you’re going through now. I just opened myself up to it. Now, I can’t imagine having dairy again. It’s not a militant thing at all. Just a great feeling. I recommend the book The Way We Eat and Diet for a New America if you’re in the ethical stages of this choice. And an interesting health perspective is a book called The China Study. Anyway, thanks for sharing your word and your new teapot!

  6. says

    What a great revolution. Thank you for posting this blog on resolutions. I have shared this with many of my friends. My word is home. I am in the process of revisiting the idea 10 years after moving from my childhood home in MN. I have been roaming the US and abroad for that ten years with a lack of desire for grounding. Its hit me this past year that the time is near to look for that place and define what and who is there–what an exciting journey. Thanks for the direction to focus this energy through a channel that is pure and allows for so much room to dream. Your music and ideas are a blessing–thank you.

  7. ChickiePam says

    Hi Christine,
    After much deliberation as well as discussion/brain storming with friends for over a month, I have at last come up with my word for 2007. In 2005, my word was “survive” (the love of the first half of my life had just passed away in mid December) and for 2006 my word was “easy” because I was just coasting through life. Along about October, I decided that since I was alive, I might as well live wide open/out loud. So I’d like to announce that my 2007 word is THRIVE! I like many of the words on your list, but thrive works for me. Thriving in all areas of my life. My business is going so very well it kinda amazes me sometimes. I have a wonderful community of friends, as well as “enough” money with some left over so that there is no feeling of neediness. My life is working. My children (18 & 11) are doing well. I’m pretty healthy and becoming more so each day as I continue to make more healthy choices. In addition to everything that is already working, I have set my sights on acquiring a boyfriend. I’m not sure how that will happen since I don’t do any of the usual dating stuff, (my daughter was 5 years old when she said to me…”Mom, if you don’t leave the house and go out, you’ll have to marry the pizza delivery man!” I didn’t go out except to go about the process of working and taking care of my children and I still managed to meet a wonderful man, so I’m certain that it can happen again without a big bunch of planning and effort on my part). I am looking forward to the adventure (which was a second choice, but a little scary for me since I manage a bit of adventure/drama without focusing on it) of what life holds for me next.
    Thank you so very much for inspiring me to think about this. I am very pleased with my word and plan to go to a firewalk (my third straight New Year’s Day) tomorrow and continue to focus on thriving.
    Pam

  8. says

    Hi Brad! “Home” is a good one. These past two years, I’ve purposefully spent more time at home after 12 years of constant touring, and the depth of clarity I have now is remarkable. Thanks for your insights! (Knowing absolutely nothing about you, I’m going to recommend that you check out the enneagram. You MIGHT be a 7. Reading about it could help you with your new word! The book The Wisdom of the Enneagram is the best resource out there. It’s on my Reading List.)

    MK, OOOHHHHHH, I love that movie. Favorite line: “Someone is staring at you in Personal Growth.”

    Pam, As usual, thanks for your openness and insight. Thrive is a FANTASTIC word. We could all use a little more thriving and a little less surviving. (Though, I understand why “survive” was your word two years back.) You’ve really grown and expanded and I applaud all of your success and intent! (And are you sure you want to “acquire” a boyfriend? That sounds like he would come with papers and an instruction manual! :-D )

  9. Caren says

    Well – due to a general lack of clarity, I let the universe choose (kind of) – I wrote all your words down, added some of my own, cut them out, put them in a box and picked one! So, my word is “wealth”. My first response was to put it back in the box and pick again! lol But I didn’t, having learned that sometimes facing and moving through the strongest resistance means experiencing the strongest growth. Wealth. Interesting.

    Just the exercise of focusing on each word as I cut it out was enlightening! I almost didn’t write all the words down, then thought I would be short-circuiting the “give it to the universe” approach. Wealth is one I would have left off the list. It makes me feel… yucky, to use a little-girl word. Ah, more things to sit with!

    Gassho~

  10. ChickiePam says

    Hi cCristine,
    Yes, “acquire a boyfriend”. It was not a good choice of words, but it’s what I came up with at almost 2am. “Develop” might be a better word since I want a friend first, who can become something more. I won’t “find” one, since I won’t look. “Stumble across” is closer to the reality for me.
    Pam

  11. says

    Caren… What a great process. Thanks for sharing that! (though I’d DEFINITELY remove the idea of “yucky” from the idea of wealth.) It’s like Pam’s word “thrive.” It’s a word that goes BEYOND all the work you’ve done so far. It’s a power word, not a reaction word.

    Oh, Pam, you know I was just giving you a little crap. You can acquire all the men you want! Or stumble across them, or trip over them, or whatever works. I have NO doubt it’ll happen, you hot thang.

    DataWebTect, thanks for the link! (and, oh, my name is Christine Kane. Not Katherine.)

  12. says

    Oh yeah, yeah that is a great line. I think the pepper on your paprikash sequence is my favorite part. I did a little of it at my brother’s birthday breakfast this morning and he and my sister-in-law thought it was great. (And yes I had to google it to figure out how to spell paprikash.)

  13. says

    did you know that the whole paprikash bit is completely an improv by billy crystal? you can see where meg ryan looks over to the camera crew because she doesn’t know what to do because he wasn’t following the script. (i saw an interview with rob reiner about that movie.) just a little trivia to start the new year well!

  14. says

    That interview must be on the dvd cuz I knew that (new info between this viewing and my last) and really saw her crack-up and look to the crew for the first time. That Billy Crystal is hilarious. Tell me that you love the Princess Bride too…

  15. says

    I think that word does not mean what you think it means.

    I’ll try to remember the next time I see you to tell you about when Mandy Patinkin came to UNCG. I’m gonna stop hogging your comments now and go play with the dog.

    Have fun storming the castle.

  16. embryo says

    This list of words has made me look like Arthur when he gets a great bone….just miserable with what to do with it!!! I feel myself just turning in circles today about “the” word.

    My words over the last 3 years have been peace, forgiveness, and focus and have come to me instantly.

    I’ve grouped my favorites for me into doublets: gratitude/abundance, discipline/balance, self love/spirit.

    I am going to settle like a good dog tonight, journal and find the answer for me for the year….i am enjoying the contemplation.

    I had a great time forwarding this blog to friend’s for the New Year (a gentle helper – 2). I didn’t forward it and tell them what word to choose, ha!.

    Thanks for this wonderful knowledge/reminder.

    Always mindful of the word.

    Be particular.

  17. says

    thanks, mk!

    embryo, it sounds like it might be good to not pressure yourself to get THE PERFECT word. that’s just excrutiating! some years they fly out at me, and some years I have to just pick something and let imperfection be okay. Clarity? Allowing? Or maybe just “relax.” ! Thanks for the thoughts and for sending this on to friends. (You could always pick everyone else’s words according to what you think they need the most, and then you won’t have to focus at all on yourself!)

  18. bridgegirl says

    Happy New Year! What a wonderful idea…I’d been working on intentions vs resolutions and it started looking like a “To Do” list with a different name.

    As I gaze at my vision board I choose LOVE. I want it to encompass love of others, love of self, loving the world, and searching for love in all the right places for a change.

    Thank you, Christine, for the love you share for your retreaters, your fans, and the world. You are a blessing in my life.

  19. says

    Oh, Christine, how do you manage to be such balm for the soul? Courage it is. Although my acquaintances would blanch and insist I don’t need any, they don’t know the things I am shying away from. Courage!
    Thank you for improving the new beginning.

    Becky

  20. says

    Thanks for this great post. I sent it to many friends. My word is vulnerability–lettiing go of control, opening to the stuff I don’t have answers to, FEELING what is uncomfortable and going even deeper. I’m realizing that to be truly compassionate I have to know my own vulnerability….
    And what is your word this year???

  21. says

    Hello Bridgegirl! i know that feeling of suddenly having a to-do list and thinking, “who am i kidding here?” Love is a great word. Thanks…

    Thanks Becky! I totally understand how you might appear to people around you as someone who has lots of courage, when inside you are cowering. (No one knows what I go through back stage before shows some nights!) And sometimes what we’re needing courage for is the tiniest gentlest things. So, you go girl…

    Ruth, That’s a good one. My word is Pioneer. Which means lots of things right now. It’s kind of like Pam’s word “thrive,” in that I’m going beyond the “comfort” stages of things, and outside the bounds of the typical acoustic artist’s career… and I want to be open to where that leads, even though it’s WAY uncomfortable at times. (being a teacher to Federal Government leaders? zoinks!) I’ve never seen my own self as a pioneer, but a friend of mine used that word to describe me this fall, and I liked how it sounded! Thanks for challenging me to put it out there!

  22. Caren says

    I’m not sure what you mean by “power word, not reaction word”.

    Yesterday, just read in Cheri Huber’s book “There is Nothing Wrong With You”:

    “Egocentricty uses self-improvement as self-maintenance.

    As long as you are concerned about improving yourself, you’ll always have a self to improve.”

    The book is written from a Buddhist perspective, so I believe she’s speaking of the concept of no-self, the aim of Buddhist teachings.

    Is that it? I can use the word “wealth” to further beat myself up, and realize I have “work” to do around it – or, I can just hold it in my consciousness, see where that takes me?

    It’s just that — when I first saw the word wealth, well, it’s “yucky” ’cause what I thought of was over-consumerism; people driving Hummers, etc. without regard to the consequences. Two sweet, small affordable rental houses were just torn down in my neighborhood (as well as an amazing old oak), and a couple of over-priced McMansions are going up in their place… and we NEED affordable housing here! That’s what I was reacting to when I saw the word “wealth”.

    Can you talk further about your comment?

    Thanks.

  23. Joy says

    my word’s “relax.”

    chickiepam is already thriving! have you been with her lately?

    i’m forwarding this blog to several friends.

    glad you got the “katerine” thing cleared up.

  24. says

    PIONEER–what a word! I can’t wait to see and hear how it manifests in your life! Perhaps it will bring you out west for a concert in the desert……..

  25. ChickiePam says

    Hi again,
    I walked on fire last night! Oh yes! I did it! I rock! (Sing that with the happy dance thing!) It’s my third time to walk on fire. The first time was incredible since I did it just 2 short weeks after Bruce died.

    Yes, I’m thriving. I think it started around October when the drunk driver who hit Bruce was sentenced to 15 years in prison. That afforded me a bit of closure, I think.

    But there was someone at the firewalk last night who has me thinking…. I wore my sweats. She wore a beautiful black dinner dress, I guess it would be called. I don’t wear things like that, so I don’t even know what they are called! It had skinny straps that crossed in the back and a skirt that flared out and was short…just above her knees (you wouldn’t want to wear a long one and walk on fire!) I don’t know her, so I don’t know anything about why she was at a firewalk, but I thought that was one classy thing to do and probably was a part of setting the tone for her year.

    My life is going well right now. I’m taking two weeks off to get some things done at home that have been neglected for work and single parent stuff. I have a new hair do that really pleases me. I have begun working with someone to get even more healthy through better diet and (gasp!) exercise. I’m taking supplements that have resulted in an amazing amount of energy to get things done. Yes, life is good. I feel better than I have in years.

    I love the word Pioneer! You already are one, so it works!
    Pam

  26. says

    Caren, Let me ponder this and maybe write a blog about it. I do think we should pay attention to our stories around things like the word “wealth.” Having a negative story on it can keep it from you. And money is like anything else… only you can give it the meaning it has. I’ll elaborate on the rest of it soon!

    Thanks Joy. Relax is a nice world. My cat Atticus lives by it, and he’s VERY successful and happy and fulfilled.

    Ruth, I’ll be coming out in my conestoga wagon with my bonnet on!

    Hooray for you Pam! I thought of you at 4pm yesterday and sent good vibes. Can’t wait to see you in that slinky black dress with your new hair-do. (which is lovely by the way!)

  27. says

    Happy New Year All!

    I’ve picked the word Persistence. I’ve picked this word to remind myself to not be lazy and rationalize my way out of good decisions. I’ve noticed that I’ve convinced myself that I don’t “give-up” instead, I have this habit of “rationalizing” rather than “quitting.” The word persistence will keep me mindful of working on things that are good for me, even when things get a little tough.

    Thanks for blogging about these words…now I’m off to go be persistence and write some new posts for my blog!

    P.S. ChickiePam…you went firewalking!?! Wow, you go!

  28. Kristi Jo says

    I love this idea and think about it every year even if I have trouble following through with it consistently. I especially love the comments about people who want to pick multiple words. That sums it up in a nutshell- I want to do/fix/be everything!

    So I’m trying to simplify and the word that keeps coming up is “sleep”. It almost doesn’t seem like enough except then I realize that if I get enough sleep consistently it will affect other things in my life most likely….

    Thanks for putting this idea out there each year and all your blogs – they so often feel like someone is writing about my life!

    Kristi Jo

  29. Robin says

    What a refreshing idea. I really enjoy the things I have read on this blog. The word I have chosen is “focus.” To me this word is freeing. It gives me permission to be in the moment, to achieve, and to let extraneous things go.

    So now I need to FOCUS on my writing, and stop being distracted by this interesting blog!

    Cheers to all
    Robin

  30. says

    Susie, Persistence is a great word. I just had a little meeting with another artist friend of mine and we were talking about keeping our focus on our vision and not on the obstacles… and we were saying that it’s ALL about persistence. Thanks for sharing…

    Kristi Jo — “Sleep” and “Rest” have been good words for me. Often they are the words that answer the question, “What do I need right now?” Thanks for writing about it!

    Joy — Too late! We won’t let you savor! You are only allowed to relax! We run a tight ship around this blog! (okay, fine. your word is savor. it’s a good word, too. My dog should have this word for herself, since she eats her meals in 4 seconds flat.)

    Robin — Thanks for that. I love the word focus. It’s good for us artist types who can sense anything coming from any direction out there…. Good luck with the writing!

  31. says

    I guess my word is going to be accomplishment. I’m going to continue to live what I preach and finish the significant projects in my life to serve those who matter most. After all, that’s what Carpe Factum is all about… great post and Happy New Year!

  32. says

    What a great idea! I, too, loathe the idea of resolutions: one more thing to fail at, yeah, just what I need. But one word: I can do that. Unknowingly, my word for the past decade has been “patience.” I think I’m finally ready to move on, having learned a tiny bit about being patient. However, I’m torn between choosing a word I SHOULD focus on, and one I WANT to work on…”discipline” or “gratitude” or “joy” or “clarity” or….

    Then again, I hate ‘shoulds’ so I think I’ll go with…”thrive.” I mentioned that in my first blog post this year, so it seems appropriate.

    THRIVE. Yeah.

  33. says

    Commitment – it’s not on your list, but that’s my word. I have a difficult time with sticking to things I’ve set out to accomplish. I commit with gusto in the beginning, but my enthusiasm vanishes as life interferes. Such a simple thing, your one word for a year, but it‚Äôs doable and that‚Äôs a comfort. Thanks!

    I also mentioned you in my blog. Keep up the great posting (but how do you have the time!). Very inspirational.

  34. jer says

    I think my word shall be ‘Listen’. Listen to friends, listen to family, listen to God, listen to my heart. You’d think somebody who talks as little as i do would be better at listening, but it’s not necessarily true.

  35. Lalah says

    This year my word is Integrity, with the idea that it’s time to get more alignment between my beliefs and my actions. I say I’m worried about the environment, but what am I doing as part of the solution? Not very much. Time to get integral about that. I say I believe in self-love and acceptance, but really, I believe that’s good for Other People. Time to add some integrity to that, too.

  36. says

    ..from our new ‘baby blog’ for the *gulp* ‘Digital Socialite’ book I’m cowriting with a good friend and coworker…


    One of my all-time favorite inspiration sources is the blog of Christine Kane, a wonderful artist, musician and healer in her own right. Forgive me my ‘girlie’ side for a moment (after all, all true Socialites can embrace their estrogen when necessary) while I delve into personal, ‘soul’ goals for 2007. Christine challenged everyone this year to create a sort of personal mantra of just one word that would define your focus for every challenge and opportunity in 2007.

    My immediate thought was ‘consideration’ but thats not quite the word I mean. My goal for 2007 is to avoid the ‘jumping to conclusions’ pessimism or ‘shoot it down then convince me later’ trigger finger I’ve developed (somehow ‘lets write a book’ passed this test – Johnny, we’ll discuss this later).

    So… blog world – what is the opposite of ‘reacting’ or ‘quick to judge’ without really considering all layers, feelings, aspects, etc? (and curse my GRE ‘hit list’ cramming for making my brain so full of vocab that it has lost all functionality)

  37. says

    I choose the word “Presence” and, well, here I am! I am off and skipping into the embrace of 2007! I think your idea of a word a day is a very powerful and practical exercise. I am linking your entry in my blog. You are, indeed, an inspiration, Christine. All the best to you in the coming year. May all your words carry you to great joy.

  38. Laura says

    I just did this for myself while at my sacred circle’s winter gathering – Action is the word I chose for myself. It is affirming to log on here and find so many others putting this same sort of engery into their life’s journey. Thank you for doing this work! Blessings…

    Danielle, I found what you posted interesting. The opposite of react for me is respond – in responding I am fully present, in my body and aware, and (this is the kicker) I am making a conscious choice about how I want to respond -rather than reacting out of habit, neurosis, or judgement.

  39. says

    Hi Timothy! Accomplishment is a great one. I don’t think I put it on the list. Thanks!

    Thanks Cat. Thrive it is! (It’s good that you wrote about that “should” stuff. I think choosing a word goes beyond the shoulds and the wants into the realm of the “yea, that’s it!”)

    Hi Leah! I would’ve thunk I had commitment in the list. It’s a big one for me. Do you know that quote by WH Murray? (Google “Until one is committed” and you’ll find it.) It’s my very favorite quote about commitment. I posted it in my writing room before I ever performed out because I was always trying to talk myself out of my dreams….

  40. says

    (I’m dividing my replies into two parts here! I didn’t realize how far behind I got on this post.)

    Jer, That’s a great point about talking little and still not listening. I participated in a class recently on Active Listening. It was powerful and it really showed us all how little we actually actively LISTEN. Good word! Thanks!

    Hi Lalah! Thanks for that. It reminds me of the Ghandi quote about being the change you wish to see in the world. Not many people are tapped into that idea. Now you can show us how!

    Danielle, Wow. Thanks! I laughed out loud at the title of your blog. Digital socialite. Very nice. Is “discernment” the word you’re looking for?

    Cile, At the core of every one of these words is “presence.” It’s the basis of everything. If we are present to the moment, we don’t even have to think about “being positive” or “being creative” or “effortlessness.” Presence is the key to everything. (Have you ever read Eckhart Tolle? Try A New Earth.)

    Laura, My coach used to say to me “I respond rather than react.” That helped me so much. Good advice there. Thanks!

  41. says

    Happy New Year (or should I say Happy New Word), Christine!

    I’m so happy to have discovered your blog a few weeks back when I went searching your website to see what you were up to (hoping you’d be back in our area again soon!). I love your writing, and that you are leading retreats! Seems like a perfect evolution in the solo- touring-songwriter life for you.

    I also love to hear your many mentions of “law of attraction,” as it is something I’ve been working with for a while now as well (and must be what drew me to your website then!)

    I love this idea of a word for the year, and have been sending this link around and talking about it with friends. Some words that came to me are FLOW, OPEN, BELIEVE, COMMIT
    and then after a conversation with my Dad recently, who said “You need to learn how to relax…”

    RELAX! what a great word. And how cool that my Dad may have unwittingly provided me with my word for the year. I had been thinking, “Flow, Open to the Flow of my Inner Being, Go with the Flow” but Relax is so much more simple!

    What Frankie sez…

    Hope our paths cross again soon. Maybe you’ll lead a retreat in New England???

    Barbara

  42. says

    Christine –

    Glad you like the ‘digital socialite’ title… that is exactly the response we’d hoped for!

    Discernment is close but I think I actually really appreciated Laura’s post with the suggestion of ‘respond’. That is one of those words that can personally hold all the meaning for me, even if its true definition might not be directly related. I tried it out this weekend and I think it will fit perfectly!

    Thank you both for your help!
    -Danielle

  43. says

    Hello Barbara! It’s very good to hear from you, and thanks for stopping by the blog. Yes, it’s kind of like touring without touring. (though I’ll be doing more of that this coming year.) I’ll definitely let you know when I’m in New England next. (I’m doing a show in NH this summer… i know THAT for sure at this point!) I’m glad you are doing well. And yea, “relax” is one I could use more of too!

    Danielle, Well then, “respond” it is! That’s a great choice…

  44. says

    hi Chrstine and happy new year to you.

    mine is truth.
    however that turns up and however i make it happen, 2007 is the year i stand in my truth, remaining faithful and honesst with myself while still being there for others. historically i have been many things to many people, often overlooking what i want and need because of what others want, need or expect. it is my intention this year that all my actions are based on truth, with no malice, no hidden agendas and no avoidance of conversations that may at times be difficult for me to say or listen to and for others to speak or hear.

    thanks for this idea.
    namaste

  45. says

    Hi Christine,

    I just wanted to say that you are inspiring! I love your always sincere thoughts about leading a thoughtful, creative and artistic life. I never posted the link to my blog about this article a couple weeks ago, but since you re-posted this link in your recent blog, I was reminded that I wanted to comment and thank you for this. http://www.veen.com/amy/2007/01/02/resolutions-shmesolutions/

    I don’t know how I ever even came across your blog a couple months ago, but now you are a vital part of my “Life Inspiration” folder in bloglines. :) My word this year is happiness (more specifically joy, translated through gratitude.)

Trackbacks

  1. […] ¬†A great post from Katherine Kane¬†about the resolutions. In the past, I have made resolutions and stopped them within few days or next day. Thererfore, instead of resolutions she suggests to pick a word and have it as a guide to get through the year. She says by writing a journal and constantly thinking about the word will work better. In her own words: One year, I chose the word ‚ÄúGenerosity.‚Äů All year long, I held that word in my consciousness. I left tips for housekeeping at each hotel on my road trips. I paid the toll of the car behind me. (This is surprisingly embarrassing to do!) I observed when I was feeling too scared to be generous, clutching to my ‚Äúhard earned‚Äů money. What I found was that the word ‚Äúgenerosity‚Äů also taught me about courage, willingness, letting go, and wealth. Each word will bring a string of words along with it. But don‚Äôt try to force it. The process will be organic and perfectly designed just for you. […]

  2. […] I’m hopeful. I feel the possibilities that opening a new calendar brings. I’ve read Christine Kane’s post: You Say You Want a Resolution (which by the way, sounds like a Beatles’ song). I debated about choosing “action” or “change” as my word, but I’ve settled on “action.” If I could choose a phrase it would be: action creates opportunity (a phrase possibly seen first at Occupational Adventure ?). […]

  3. […] See: Christine Kane’s entry on picking a word for the year. Pamela Slim’s Escape From Cubicle Nation’s Jan. 1, 2007 podcast on Not Playing Small. Steve Pavlina’s entry on Setting Your Primary Focus. […]

  4. […] That said, I came across a fantastic approach to the whole ritual of making resolutions. Christine Kane posted recently with her idea of a better alternative, a way “to mark the beginning of a new year and the change that it represents” without making lame resolutions that are too lofty to keep. And I have to admit, it really fits perfectly with the way I want to look at this new year. She says: One year I just decided to revolt against resolutions. I had my very own ‚Äúresolution revolution.‚Äů I decided to simplify, to focus, and to be gentle about the approach. Here it is: Pick a word for the year. Just one word. That‚Äôs all. Then, hold that word in your mind throughout the year, and let your word guide you to take action. […]

  5. […] Christine Kane talks about New Year’s resolutions, and why they seldom work, in You Say You Want a Resolution‚Ķ. Her solution? One word. One word for the whole year, that you focus on every day. A word that you keep in front of you, at the forefront of your daily living, a word that when you see or hear it reminds you of what you want to accomplish for the coming year. […]

  6. […] So, what is it I’m going to do? Well, I touched on it briefly on Thanksgiving and that is I want to lead a more conscious and fulfilled life. The creation of a “Vision Board” and the use of a “Gratitude Journal” are positive tools I am turning to…not negative ones that point out my flaws. I am going to approach the issue of New Year’s Resolutions in as much the same manner as I approached the Vision Board, and that’s with the advice of a life coach, Christine Kane. In a search of Christine’s blog on resolutions, I found “You Say You Want a Resolution“. […]

  7. […] quietly and set the intent. With lots of kindness and openness, ask yourself what it is you want. Maybe one word will be the answer. Maybe images will come into your head. Just take a moment to be with that. This process makes it a […]

  8. […] quietly and set the intent. With lots of kindness and openness, ask yourself what it is you want. Maybe one word will be the answer. Maybe images will come into your head. Just take a moment to be with that. This process makes it a […]

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