Most people start the new year with resolutions to transform areas of their lives for the better. Creating elaborate plans and setting lofty goals of how to tackle the peskier aspects of themselves.
Although I support any plan of action to make yourself a better and happier person, may I propose a different approach that worked really well for me last year?
A therapist introduced me to this method. She encouraged me to pick two words to focus on for the entire year. Just two words that encapsulated what I wanted to strengthen in myself.
Last year the two words I selected were DISCIPLINE and CONTENTMENT.
To strengthen my discipline, I bought a planner and scheduled everything from the major to the minor. I scheduled workouts, setting up appointments, meditation, self-care and work related items. Each item was given a time slot and I enjoyed challenging myself to cross off everything scheduled for each day.
Throughout the year the priorities shifted, but in the following, I maintained a level of consistency: practicing meditation, yoga and affirmations. In addition, my overall productivity was significantly higher than the year before.
As a consequence of focusing on DISCIPLINE, my overall level of contentment rose. Granted, I had a few spells of discontent, but again, compared to the year prior, the percentage of time I was able to maintain a contented frame of mind was significant.
I want to stress, I did not aim for perfection. Each week there were items I wasn’t able to cross off. For instance, I wanted to institute a weekly exercise routine. The entire year felt like a rollercoaster ride with times when I was very focused and killing it, and times when focus went out the window. Inevitably I ended the year not where I wanted to be in the physically fit department.
But I still proved to myself that discipline is like a muscle, the more you practice at it the better you will get.
Keeping my focus on just two words lead me to implement actions that supported these two words without having to be too specific in my planning.
So this year, I will continue my progress with these two words and add a couple more.
EDUCATION. I by no means consider myself unintelligent, but I can be better informed in some areas and more open to learn new things. So reading more, seeking information, and trying new things will be on my agenda.
HEALTH. Going to the doctor regularly, eating and learning to cook more nutritious foods and yes, exercising regularly. Health also includes mental health. I will continue meditating and doing yoga. I will add filling my head with positive thoughts and quelling any negative talk. And doing more of what I enjoy in general.
Picking just two words to focus on seems less daunting than the traditional new year’s resolutions, and for me, it produced better results.
What will your words be? I would love you to share them in the comments below.
Keeping it simple.