A New Way to Make New Year’s Goals

The New Year is upon us and it’s time to start making goals.

If you’re like me, you have likely been feeling the creep of the new year for some time now. The slow tightening of your chest, the anxiety of anticipation, and the mild thrill of 2016 have been glowing since before Christmas. The random thoughts about gym goals, and “I can only eat like this for 8 more days, because my diet starts at 12:01am 1/1/16” have been making their rounds.

I like New Years. There is something liberating and exciting about a fresh slate that comes from rolling into a year. I like making goals, and resolutions.. but like every single one of us, there is a bit of dismay that comes from the knowledge that each lofty goal is likely to fail within the first month. If you can keep a resolution past Valentines, more power to you. Just know that you are in the minority.

So. As I am looking forward with anticipatory anxiety for the new year, and as I slowly and timidly begin to think of goals, I keep telling myself, “Don’t think too grand. Failing at a new year goal sucks. Don’t get your hopes up.”

Most of us I think see January 1st as the new page. The day all our hopes and dreams for self-development will come to fruition. “Come January, I’m gonna read my scriptures everyday, and journal every night, and have 100% home/visit teaching, and get all A’s, and have more patience for my newborn, and do all of this while going to the gym 4 times a week and losing 20 lbs.” Lofty goals, which, when unmet, make us feel terrible about ourselves.

This year, I’m doing something different. Typically, I break my life up into 4 separate parts: School, Spiritual, Health, Personal. What would include things like reading a book a week, or not eating out as often, are being replaced by a new resolution concept: A Single Word Resolution.

I’ve thought about this for a few months now. Rather than think up several goals for all the various parts of my life, I am going to think of one word, and make that word my goal for the year. Example: If the word I choose is “Engage”, then in 2016 my goal would be to “Engage” more with every aspect of my life. Spiritually, that could mean really getting into the scriptures, or into my temple attendance. In health, it could mean making my workouts more meaningful, or learning more about the food I consume. With relationships, it could mean dating more, or dating with more depth and getting to know people better. Instead of making a goal “get better grades”, my application of “Engage” would be to dive into my subjects and classes.

I think when we make small set goals, we are more likely to let them fall by the wayside. If we choose a word, or a theme for our year, and APPLY IT to every part of our lives, I think we will see growth in the new year. Instead of making a checklist of goals to cross off, I can wake up every morning and ask myself how I am going to “Engage” with the day. With a single word goal, it becomes easier to meet resolutions without the sting of failure. Because it’s one word, it’s also extremely applicable to all the various changes that happen through the year.

With that, I challenge you to find the word that describes your next year, write it on your mirror, put it in you planner, do what you have to do so you are inundated with your word, and make 2016 more of it. I personally look forward to a year with less resolutions and more results.

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