This is an article I like to share as we prepare to enter the new year…

The regulars at the gym have already started 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.

Compassion

Delight

Generosity

Effortlessness

Wealth

Gratitude

Abundance

Creativity

Willingness

Change

Growth

Freedom

Mastery

Kindness

Health

Presence

Acceptance

Courage

Confidence

Self-Love

Action

Forgiveness

Forgive

Release

Trust

Knowing

Patience

Friendship

Fun

Grace

Laughter

Love

Expansion

Exploration

Adventure

Openness

Discipline

Awe

Awareness

Risk

Gentleness

Choice

Spirit

Prayerfulness

Power

Allow

Artfulness

Attention

Beauty

Joy

Focus

Ritual

Heal

Order

Clarity

Pioneer

Peace

Laziness

No

Yes

Deliberateness

Commitment

Savor

Integrity

Listen

——-

Shout it out!  Post your word for 2015 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.

 

41 COMMENTS ADD A COMMENT
  • Hayley Foster

    Today starts the official first day of my new company – FOSTER. I’ve chosen this to be my word of the year. I hope to Foster Connections, Foster Relationships and Foster Businesses towards growth. Thank you for your inspirations and I wish you all the best in the year to come.

  • Sharon

    MOMENTUM is my 2015 word. I find I tend to do things in an ‘all or nothing’ frame of mind. So though I may come up with great ideas and get started, I don’t always allow them time to gain momentum and form good habits.
    So I have chosen ‘momentum’ as my word this year.
    Thank you for such an awesome way of approaching a new year.
    May 2015 be awesome for you all.

  • Heather

    Flow

  • wisdom mupudzi

    Happy New Year Christine and happy new year everybody. My heart lept when I went through the words on the list, for mine is there, Abundance. Yes, this year Im all about creating abundance, abundance of value, abundance of revenue and operating from that place. Im challenging myself to give more as well as I beleive there is more abundance out there. Scarcity is now my Felicia now.lol bye Felicia, i embrace Abundance with every fibre of my being and my soul. Time for overflow, surplus, increase, abounding opportunities, abundance of health, abundance of fruits in my endeavours. I could go on 🙂

  • Nancy

    Last year I went with CONSUMMATE. As a verb (to finish or complete) I thought about actualizing and the ideas and plans that had been percolating in my life and getting them out there into the world. As an adjective it meant to me stepping more fully into my role as an expert. Well, I’m not done yet, (of course!) so I thought about going with this word again… now I’m thinking maybe not. It might be better to RELEASE (great word!) it. Maybe PRESENCE, maybe JOY. Or maybe DECIDE! haha – still working on it I guess!

  • Carrie

    SPARKLE!

  • Ariana

    Release, and then fun!

  • Patrice

    Focus and Wealth

  • Susan

    ANTICIPATION – Last year I grew so much in my business mindset. I trust the actions I took (and continue to take) are coming together. I’m so grateful for everyone at Uplevel for helping me make it this far. You guys are super amazing and I’m so thankful for each one of you!

    Side Note: My 8 year old son informed me that his word was DYNAMITE because he is so full of excitement and knows he’ll have a ton of explosive ideas this year.

  • Monica

    I choose LAUGHTER plus ABUNDANCE from June

  • teresa harmon

    MY WORD IS CONSISTENCY!!! I am very Happy with my word! last year my work was FREEDOM!!!..

  • Sue Dawson

    Last year was NOURISH, which was perfect. This morning I woke up and the word I’m considering – VIBRANT – popped into my mind, and I jumped out of bed and have been productive and constructive all day, getting things done I’d put off that have been hanging over my head. I love SECURE too, in terms of financial security and emotional stability. Might do two this year…

  • Catherine Parkinson

    I have chosen Presence as my word. At first I thought it was quite a restricting word but as I have been meditating and pondering this word the more I can see how deep it is and how wonderful my journey is going to be this year 🙂

  • Nina

    I have been looking for a word that focuses on process and played around with several re-words such as repeat, when this word come to me – REJOICE- I am still tasting it to try it out, but since its been with with the past few days, I think that this is the one:) Rejoice in wherever I am, whatever I do, however I do; to remind me to appreciate the processes towards a goal, and more importantly to appreciate life in all its diversity.

  • Lorraine McKnight

    consistency

  • Lesley-Anne

    My word for 2015 is SELF-CARE.

  • Danita

    Two years ago my word was “adventure” which sounded like so much fun. And 2013 was a year of opportinities and exciting changes.
    For 2014 my word was “journey”. As I guessed a journey takes a little more commitment.
    This year’s word is “peace”. Maybe there will be a moment to catch my breath….maybe.

  • EVA

    If I go with one word, it is ECOSYSTEM. While I use often this word in speaking (in a business sense), I am thinking now of in terms of systems and habits. The interrelationship and connections between parts of my life. The whole is more than the sum of the parts and it forms a living vibrant system. Am I tending to my ecosystem and how can I develop it more fully?
    I will probably go with Three Words for the 2015. ECOSYSTEM, BODY and COMPASS. (BODY for focusing on fitness and more fully developing my “body of work” and COMPASS to help ensure I am going in the right direction, by taking regular “measurements”.)

    Thanks Christine for publishing this exercise years ago, it as become one of my favourite year-end planning exercises.

  • Kerstin

    PEACE

  • Faith

    I started this practice last year with the word MASTERY. It helped guide the quality of my projects all year; I held myself to a high standard, I didn’t let down, and am very proud of the results. This year I pick REALIZE, as in, to make real, some of these projects I’ve had in my head but haven’t fully “realized” yet. I am very excited, because I can just feel it now, it’s gonna happen! Happy New Year everybody!!

  • Sharon Marshall

    FOCUS

  • Susanna Grace

    My word for 2015 is REFINE – both as in to polish, hone, improve and as in to purify by removing obstructions. I am SO grateful for Christine’s Word of the Year Workbook, which is what led me to her and set me on this incredible, rewarding journey of self-discovery-in-community via UYL & UYB. Thank you, Christine! Have a blessed one, everybody!

  • Joy

    I’m choosing ACTION – I need to put my “words” in action in order GROW! I saw the word “Joy” and of course that’s my name and I definitely live up to my name. Happy New Year!!!

  • jill

    after considering the list for a while, and being uncertain which direction to take (I’ve used several of these words before and they are powerful), something grabbed me about “effortlessness”. at first I thought, “no, not that word”, but when I gave it some time and came back to it, it popped out at me and gave me a certain feeling, slightly uncomfortable, but seemed right. I’m going with it. effortlessness. thanks, Christine!

  • Angela

    I choose JOY! Joy in choosing health, simplicity and ease. Joy in my relationships and everyday interactions.

  • Mickey

    Act. Act, in the sense of moving forward, not procrastinating, taking just one action when I’m overwhelmed. But also to “act” the feelings and perspective I want to have, until they become part of me.

  • Julie Thompson

    VITALITY!
    One thing I’ve learned in the six years I’ve followed your advice on this is, your chosen word does *not* do what you think it will! It teaches you so much more along the way. Here’s to a spectacular 2015!

  • Pam

    Release and then move on to Wealth in June.

  • Joanne Culbreth

    WEALTH!

  • Wendy

    Simplify

  • Emily

    Release & Wealth ***

  • Tracie Thompson

    I’m pretty sure mine is ARTIST. A constant reminder to focus on what I really do and what my real business is, so I can see myself with more clarity and respect … and then move on into the WEALTH that my old broken belief system thinks I shouldn’t have.

  • Cindy

    I have chosen 2 words….Release and Abundance…so that I may let go of the clutter and weight and working full time for someone else..which will lead to abundance in my art career and especially in my retirement and with my family!

  • Beth

    I have chosen LISTEN – listen to others, listen to my body, listen to music to become a better piano player, listen to the new business I am creating to let it tell me where it wants to go.

  • Michelle

    Courage

  • LaKisha

    PATIENCE!! I have struggled for years with patience. To the point where I had to take anxiety medication due to be anxious over my career, relationships, etc. Always wondering when, when, when… So my word for 2015 is patience!!!

  • Dominique

    WEALTH