An Alternative to Resolutions

By Michelle Mclean

There is something about this time of year that has always prompted introspection and reflection. Last Christmas this was particularly prevalent, as the impact of Covid-19 had changed the way we lived and for many, changed what we prioritised. There was increased talk of #bekind, looking after each other and spending time in nature. I wonder how many of these resolutions people managed to maintain?

I don’t make New Years resolutions but for the last two years I have adopted a Word for The Year. This is the practise of selecting a single word which epitomises how you want to act. It’s a bit different to New Years resolutions and, in my view, is more achievable and sustainable. Rather than having a list of specific items to be achieved or changed, it is a way of being.

For 2021 I wanted to take a more curious outlook on life and try some new things. I didn’t want to blindly say yes to everything though, I wanted to act with purpose and presence. My intention was to safely dip my toe out of my comfort zone in a way that was gentle and kind to myself and my hope was that this would lead to new experiences, skills and relationships. So I chose the word curiosity.

Over the past twelve months, embodying a spirit of curiosity has manifested all sorts of results. I’ve completed a floristry course, been on a yoga retreat, started a Masters Degree and self-published a book. On a smaller scale, I’ve accepted more invitations, tried different genres of books and networked with new communities online.

These are all things I’d have avoided previously, for fear of failure or discomfort but being curious meant that I was willing to see what happened, without expectation of the result.

A quick Internet search will bring up lists of suggestions for your own Word for The Year but journalling can help you to come up with something more personal. Try these questions:

  • What brings you joy?
  • What do you want to do more of?
  • What are your core values?
  • What attitude do you want to embody?
  • What characteristics do you admire in others?
  • If time/money/ego were not a barrier, what would you try to achieve?

I’ll be choosing a new word for 2022 but I’m still curious so would love to know what word you choose! You can share your Word for The Year with me on instagram or Linked In

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