Better Than New Year’s Resolutions: Find Your Word of the Year

Word of the Year

Instead of New Year’s resolutions, I now come up with a Word of the Year.

This is a simple way of focusing on something you want more of this year, based on the idea that what you focus on, grows.

More than New Year’s Resolutions, your Word of the Year can help inspire and guide you throughout the year.

In 2013, my word of the year was PASSION. I used PASSION to guide the way I lived my life and the choices I made in both my work (starting this blog, leaving an 8 year career in advertising to share my passion for healthy living as a Health Coach) and my private life (from going to Australia  with my husband to everyday activities like cooking, yoga or reading that I am passionate about).

For 2014, I decided my word would be LIGHTNESS.

I want to bring more lightness into my life, in the form of fun, taking things less seriously and enjoying life more.

I want to laugh more.

I want to lighten up my thinking and worry less.

I want to keep eating nourishing foods and moving in a way that allows me to feel physically light in my body.

I want to remember Eckhart Tolle’s quote that “Life isn’t as serious as the ego makes it out to be”.

I want to live lightly in every sense of the word.

So how do you go about finding your word of the year?

1. Connect to your desires. 

Take some time to yourself, and really think about what you WANT out of life in this moment.

You might want to try listing everything you can think of even if it seems frivolous. This can include anything from the new iPad to getting married to going to Thailand on holiday.

2. Identify the feelings behind what you want

Once you have your desire list, identify how getting what you have listed will make you feel. What is the feeling you are chasing? As Danielle LaPorte writes “You’re not chasing the goal itself, you’re actually chasing a feeling.”

For example, maybe you want an iPad because it will allow you to feel connected. Or going to Thailand will help you feel adventurous. And perhaps you want to get married because what you are really looking for is stability.

3. Choose the word that attracts you most

Now go back to your list and look at the feelings you have written. What comes across most clearly or really makes your heart sing? What word makes you feel expansive, inspired, turned on?

Play with the idea that this might be your word of the year for a few days before deciding on this. You can try writing several words out on post-its around your home to see which you feel most drawn to.

Once you have your word of the year, you can really own it by creating a collage of images that remind you of this, creating an affirmation around it (I desire to live lightly) or simply having it written out somewhere you can see it. You can even use it for email or social media passwords as a daily reminder (for example: livinglightly2014).

I would love to hear from you – what’s your Word of the Year?

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If you want to start the year off with the support you need to lose weight or simply make healthier life choices, why not book a free Health Chat to find out whether Health Coaching is right for you?

Shedding skin

018-img_1274According to the Chinese calendar, 2013 is the year of the snake.

I have always been fascinated with the whole skin shedding thing when it comes to snakes – how they physically let go of a part of themselves in order to evolve.

Last week I made the difficult decision to let go of something that had served me well for several years. And I realized that growth is as much about what we choose to let go of as it is about what we start doing. 

Louise Hay would say that when thoughts or people or things no longer serve us, it is time “to lovingly release them”. Dr. Seuss, in all his wisdom would say, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

Slow is the new healthy

It’s strange, this time of year.

The end of year holidays have passed, leaving a whiff of stale Christmas decoration and at the same time, there’s the crisp freshness of a new year.

We are surrounded by rampant consumerism thanks to the post-Christmas sales. The same things that were bought just a couple of weeks ago are now going at half the price. This puts us in a frenzy of buying, often without questioning whether we really need something.

And of course, there’s all the hope. The hope of a better year. The hope that comes with every New Year’s Resolution uttered. The hope of a fitter self that comes with the increase in sales of gym subscriptions and fitness equipment at this time of year.

In the same way that research shows we tend to start off our mornings healthy and progressively become less healthy as the day progresses, we start off the year full of good intentions. The difficulty lies in showing up, day after day, month after month.

So maybe this year when it comes to health don’t make it about the lofty resolutions and grand declarations but about the small, slow, one at a time changes, that lead to a gradual shift in lifestyle.