New Year’s Resolutions. They don’t work.

Here’s what happens:

The New Year rolls around. We decide what we want to do to be better or feel better. We want to work out. We want to alter our diet. Maybe we decide to get up early and meditate or read or run. And perhaps we do it – for a day. A week. Maybe we even make it to the end of January.

But somewhere along the way, we typically give up. The excitement of the New Year wears off and the daily grind creeps back in.  When this happens, we often feel worse. Our self-worth takes a hit because we have broken our word to ourselves.  And let’s face it – not honoring your own word feels bad.

new years res. broken judgment

Here’s why it happens:

When we set a resolution for the year it doesn’t serve us – unless you happen to be part of the 8% of the population that actually holds true to your resolutions. You see, when we plop down a resolution or two, we aren’t embracing the fluidity of our humanity. Being in the flow and staying current on our emotions, our bodies’ needs, and our own changing goals and desires is important in connecting to the joy that is our inherent right.

Want the joy instead of the self-worth killer?

Here’s what you can do: 

Forget the resolution. Instead, choose a word or concept for the year that you can honor in multiple ways. For example, you could choose a word like Freedom, Self-Care, or Authenticity. Sit down and really feel what you’d like to embrace this year. Write your word down and place it where you can see it everyday. As the year unfolds, make choices that help you attain the word you’re striving for.

My personal word choice for this year is Thrive. What that means is in my daily world, I’ll be asking myself this question: Does this decision, purchase, interaction, friendship, class, goal, meal, vacation, workout (you get the point) – does this help me thrive or not? And by thrive I mean develop, prosper, grow, succeed, advance, and bloom.

Choose your word and make sure you define it clearly!

Choosing a word is a way to be mindful and focused instead of rigorous, rigid and self-judging. It’s an easy way to stay in the flow, because while a workout may help me thrive one day, another day it may wear my body out to the point of fatigue. I need to be present to make the best decision for myself. And, asking the question: Does this choice help me thrive requires a present mindfulness.

So, what’s your word? Post it in the comments! I’d love to know!