This morning, the regulars at the gym were joking about the coming doom.
“Have a good workout now,” they said. “Cuz you know what it’s gonna be like next week!”
That’s because all the folks who have – yet again – made their New Year’s Resolutions will show up. They’ll stick around for a while. Then, around Valentine’s Day, the regulars get to have their old gym back.
Last week, I overheard a radio talk show. The hosts were discussing the most common New Year’s Resolutions and the average success rate. Among the most common were Get Organized, Be More Spiritual, Lose Weight, Quit Smoking, and Spend More time with Family.
I don’t know about you, but this kind of To-Do List approach to life transformation does little to inspire me. And it doesn’t surprise me that the success rates were low.
Why Resolutions Don’t Work
The reason most resolutions don’t work is that they address only one level of your life.
The DO level.
It’s the DO-HAVE-BE model.
It goes like this:
“I will DO this thing.” (i.e., Lose weight) “So I can HAVE this other thing” (Self-Esteem) and I can BE this thing. (Confident.)
The average New Year’s Resolution doesn’t address the core of the issue:
The “BE” level.
The best order for creating positive change in your life is the BE-DO-HAVE model. This means you start from the BE level. When you begin changing on the BE level of your life, then the DO level and the HAVE level follow more easily.
When you start only on the DO level, then the blocks on the BE level will often become the obstacles you can’t overcome.
A Better New Year’s Ritual
Many years ago, my friend Kathy and I decided that, instead of making resolutions, we would pick a word that would guide us throughout the year. It would be our touchstone. It would remind us of living our lives at the BE level.
This didn’t mean that we didn’t take action. It meant that our actions were inspired from the BE level. In fact, I took more action than ever with this new approach!
For lots of years now, I’ve blogged about this inspiring way to begin the year. The response has been huge. So have the success rates! I regularly hear from people who have created big changes in their lives because they focused on one word.
How to Choose A Word
First off, grab my free “Word of the Year Discovery Tool” for in-depth instructions.
Look through the list below. Get quiet and listen to your Wise Self. Pick a word.
Then, hold that word in your mind throughout the year, and let your word guide you to take action.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you’re one of the many people who would normally choose “Get Organized.” You’re tired of chaos and clutter. So, you think, “I need to get organized. That’ll be my Resolution.”
But then you read this article. You decide to try this new approach.
You sit with your clutter. You spend a few days pondering words. You realize in an “Ah-Ha!” moment that you hold on to lots of things. You’re scared to let go.
So you choose the word “Release” because it inspires you in a bigger way than “Get organized.”
So, every time you approach your clutter you remind yourself of that word. “Release,” you say softly. You start to let the clutter go.
Eventually, you realize that you’re still holding on to lots more than just physical clutter. You realize that you hold onto resentment at old relationships. “Release,” you remind yourself.
You realize that holding on is affecting your diet and health. “Release” applies to some of the extra weight you’ve gained as well. Throughout the year, you can see clearly how much you hold on. “Release” is your touchstone. It grows you throughout the year. It becomes your guiding force, not your harsh standard.
Your clutter became your teacher simply because you shifted your intent towards it. This wouldn’t have happened if you’d opted only to “Get Organized.”
What word to choose?
Many people know immediately which word resonates with them. For others, a little contemplation is required.
As you read through the list of words, see if one stands out. It’s tempting to choose four or five, believing that you can do it all! (Or that you’re so messed up, you can’t possibly narrow the mess down to one!) I recommend that if you can’t choose just one, choose no more than two.
One is ideal. It gives you focus. If you master that one word, you can choose another one in June.
Shout it out! Post your word for 2014 in the comments below and let’s get the momentum started for a fabulous magical amazing year!
And click here to download my free “Word of the Year Discovery Tool.” I’ll walk you through the whole process.