As we embark on a new year, I notice that much of the media output these days is not about making resolutions, but about keeping them. We know too well that resolutions – if made at all – tend to be broken almost as absent-mindedly as they are sometimes made. Yet I can’t shake the feeling that a new year brings with it a new beginning, a “clean slate” opportunity, a chance to re-focus, re-align and re-engage.
One of the best advice I have recently read about keeping resolutions is making resolutions a “one word” call to action that resonates through everything we do. That makes keeping resolutions certainly easier, don’t you agree? If you do, I invite you to think about what direction you want your life to take and take advantage of the (perhaps) artificial new beginning that a new year provides to move yourself into the starting block for a new path. So, if you’re unhappy about the way your career is going, what could be the one thing you do this year to change unhappy to happy? If you’re not completely satisfied with your fitness levels, is there one thing that you could change to be more satisfied? If time management has been a constant challenge, what one “best practice” could you introduce into your life to manage your time better?
I, for example, want to accomplish so much this year that I have decided to introduce “one thing at a time” into my life to allow myself to accomplish as much as I can without feeling overwhelmed or lost.
And if you’re lacking inspiration, here are three “one-word” actions that you may wish to reflect upon that might help you achieve something new and worthwhile this year.
What is the one thing in your life that you would most like to improve? What is the one thing you've been wanting to accomplish for some time now that has escaped your best efforts? Identify that one elusive trait that will allow you to feel like a winner and bring it centre stage – can you condense it into one word? Once you've done that, make sure everything you do this year can be identified with or relates to that one word. Or maybe FOCUS is the one thing you need to do instead of starting and stopping so many different things or doing things without aim or objective.
So many of us are afraid to step outside our comfort zones and try new things, or speak up, say the unexpected, approach an issue from an entirely different perspective. Yet we all know that in order to grow and learn, we must put ourselves beyond the comforts of the familiar and do something slightly riskier. In the words of Mark Zuckerberg, “The biggest risk you’ll ever take is not taking any risks at all”! So maybe this year is about pushing the boundaries a little, going one step beyond where you would usually stop to learn what happens there instead of being able to predict the reaction to your own actions in advance? Do the unpredictable: DARE this year!
We all get set in our ways, have our circles of friends, colleagues, relations. And that’s so important! But have you asked yourself what opportunities you might be missing out on by not expanding your circles? Think about how other people – those you haven’t yet met – might enrich your life? You’ll never know the answer until you take the decision to try to get to know more people. And I’m not talking about making new best friends! I’m talking about listening to as many people’s stories as you can allow yourself! Every one of us has a novel inside them – make it your aim to hear as many of them as possible this year. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn from it, not to mention open new doors that you may not have even realised existed! Go out and CONNECT with others, through networks, conversations, informal coffees and through any other way that materialises.
I’m sure there are many other “one-word” actions that you might be able to incorporate into your life to bring about positive change. I invite you to reflect on what that might be and email me with your inspirations (as I know I would benefit from them!); if nothing else, that would make a great new beginning for us all.