I will start this post by admitting that I am an obsessive list maker. Lists help me make sense of everything around me, stay organized and put in order the chaos that exists in my head. They make me feel more productive and there's no better feeling that having ticked all your to-do's by the end of the day.
I love making lists, whether it is the groceries list, the packing list for our weekend trip or my resolutions list. Especially that last one has been one of my favourites. During the last days of December, I would be making all these lists with plans and resolutions for the next year. I would tackle every area of my life, note down all the things I want to change, and then I would go and create a massive goals list for it.
During the past 2-3 years I've taken this to the next level, where I would make my resolutions' list twice a year: at the end of the year and on my birthday. I thought, since my birthday is in May, I would split the year almost in half, and then narrow down my resolutions for each half separately, thinking that it would make it easier to reach my goals.
However, this year I came to the startling conclusion that resolutions don't work for me!
I tend to over analyze every aspect of my life, creating too many lists and putting my self too many goals that most of the times felt overwhelming and impossible to achieve.
This year I decided to do things differently and make a positive change in my life.
I chose one word for the next 365 days.
A single word that sumps up the essence and the focus of my life for the rest of the year. One word that will guide me and that will be constantly reminding me of what I want to achieve during this year. A word that will act as a promise and that will hold me accountable to the decisions I'll make for the next 365 days. One word that will motivate me and inspire me along the way.
This year I'm choosing the word 'challenge'.
I want to challenge myself in all aspects of my life. I want to take chances and risks and not to over analyze things so much. I want to push myself to the next level and get out of my comfort zone. I also want to take on as many challenges as I can. From my book challenge on Goodreads, to challenging myself to run 5km in a months' time - the sky is the limit! This little word will remind me to not be afraid and it will be powerful enough to push me forward during the times that I get cold feet and I start having second thoughts.
Of course that doesn't mean that I don't have my lists of to-dos for the year. But they're more focused now around my one guiding word of the year.
It took me a while to narrow it down to one single word. I have to admit it was a bit overwhelming in the beginning. There are just so many different words that you can choose from, so many possibilities. But, even though it took me a while, when I did find my word, it felt right. I remember I was having a shower (I tend to have the best ideas while I'm in the shower lately!) and I just thought of the word 'challenge' and it just clicked. It was the perfect word for me.
But how do you define and choose your one word of the year?
Perhaps you already know your word. But even if you don't, there are a number of ways that can help you find that special word that you'll commit to for the next 365 days.
You can get inspiration from the words in your favourite quotes. Write down the quotes or sayings that you love and just focus on the words that mean the most to you. You can even check out my 'Words' folder on Pinterest for more ideas.
Go to websites like OneWord365 or MyOneWord and get inspiration from there.
Or you may have read a book that had affected you in the past and you get your inspiration from that.
You should also start paying attention to everything that's been happening around you. I believe that the Universe leaves shuttle hints here and there and in a way it is guiding you towards the word that's just right for you.
However, if you still can't find your guiding word, then you can follow the three little steps that I took, that helped me narrow it down to one single word.
Take a few minutes and write down what you want to achieve in the next 365 days. What you want to change. Areas in your life that you want to improve.
Be specific. Be clear to what you want.
- What do I want to feel this year?
- What changes do I want to see in my life?
- What new experiences do I want to include in my life?
- Why do I want these things in my life?
- How can I make them happen?
Write one word next to each sentence you're written above - a word that describes or sums up each goal or change.
Then write all these words in a new piece of paper.
Spend some time focusing on that list. Come back time and time again and see which one of these words stands up more to you. Which one can be used for each one of your goals.
The important thing is to realise that there is no right or wrong. It's your word.
Discover the big impact one small word can make to your life.
So what word will you choose for 2016? Will you be brave and commit to just one word? If yes, please share your word in the comments so that we can connect. Together we can make a change in our lives!