Resolutions vs. Theme/Word… Finding What Sticks

By: Dawn Swinney

This is the time of year where many of us start thinking about the current year and also, the upcoming one. Personally I have never bought into the “new year, new me” mentality, mostly because most resolutions don’t seem to last beyond a few weeks. After all, we’re human and setting hard and fast rules for ourselves often just tempts us to break them. A few years ago I borrowed an idea from a good friend and started choosing a word for the year that would be something I could come back to. This word would be an overarching theme throughout the 365 days and beyond. I have found this idea to be much more positive and lasting than a New Years resolution.

My 2018 word of the year was courage. This exact time last year I was resigning from my long-time government job and didn’t have much of a plan of what I wanted to do, but just knew I needed to take the leap and do something else. I went into 2018 knowing that I would need an immense amount of courage to move forward. I’d always been the one with a plan and had done “all the right things” outwardly my whole life (#firstchildsyndrome). In moments of doubt, I was able to remember that this decision was one that would require courage, and that I had the ability to move forward with intention and purpose, even when neither of these were crystal clear to me. When I was in situations beyond my comfort zone, I would see the word in the back of my mind, say a little prayer to myself, and move into the moment with courage. I needed this word when I coached my first Welded class, every time I take my classes through an Olympic lift progression, the first time I taught a yoga class, dropping my stepson off at college, traveling to the bottom of the world last month, and dealing with many family/friend/life situations. Courage and I found a good partnership in 2018.

I have a few words floating around in my head for 2019, but haven’t officially made the choice yet. Courage and I have such a close relationship now that I’m reluctant to move on to something else. Then I remembered…I don’t have to move on. I can integrate something else and still do/say/act courageously into 2019!

Is this something that could work for you? Do you want to be the healthiest version of you this upcoming year but know that setting a diet or exercise rule for yourself won’t last? Maybe your word could be inspire…inspire those around you and yourself this year! Do you want to be on social media and technology less but you know that a nebulous, “be on my phone less” resolution won’t last beyond January 2nd? Maybe your word could be present…perhaps instilling this word into your day will make you notice when you’re not being present and bring you back to the here and now.

If you choose to go this route, I would love to know about it! Shoot me an email or tell me in person…I would love to have the chance to encourage whatever word or theme or even resolution you decide for yourself for 2019. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!