How to harness the power of the New Year

For many of us, the New Year is a great time to take a step back and reassess some of our habits, goals, and priorities on our lives. While it’s just a date on the calendar, having a set time to be mindful about our choices and to step outside of ourselves a bit can be a really powerful exercise.

While the old idea of making a New Years “resolution” is definitely still out there, more and more people are eschewing making a resolution in favor of setting an intention. And for good reason, too. Studies show only about 8% of resolutions are kept each year. Making a proclamation about something you will or will not do can be a tough row to hoe, ever for those with strong follow through. Setting an intention, however, allows for more gentleness with yourself and a broader application of what your goals really are. While there are many ways to go about intention setting, one of the most powerful can be choosing a word for your year.

Choose a word

Think about what your overarching aspirations are for yourself. Do you want to improve your health and fitness levels? Are you looking to cut back spending and work towards a savings goal? Spend more quality time with family or friends? If you’re like most people, you probably have a variety of areas that you would like to make improvements in your life. Make a list of what you’d like, and see if you notice any patterns or themes emerging. Once you’ve identified a common thread, choose a word that is representative of those ideas and make that word your intention for the year. Write it on a post-it and stick it to your mirror, jot it on the front of your planner, use it as a meditation mantra – whatever makes you remember your word regularly.

When you are making decisions about your resources this year–whether they are time, money, space, energetic–come back to your word. What choice would best serve you in supporting your word? At the end of the year when it is time to re-set your word and intentions for next year, be sure to take stock of how your word served you and the influence it had on your year, and whether or not your goals were met.

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