For years, I shunned the idea of setting a New Year's resolution — I knew it wouldn't stick.
But then, I found one that did.
Years ago, facing professional burnout and an uncertain future, I chose one word to usher in the new year, a word I hoped would guide me during the more hectic times: calm.
It became my one-word mantra for the year. The goal was to navigate the upcoming year with that word in mind, making choices in both my personal and professional lives that would lead to calm. The next year, I chose kind. The year after that? Confidence.
I ran another year in with creativity, making a quiet promise to myself to not let passion projects slide amid work and relationships and family and everything else that begs our attention throughout the year.
The one-word resolutions don't dominate my life. Instead, they're just loose themes. If I'm struggling to make a decision about something, I'll choose the option that best aligns with that year's word. If I find myself drifting off course, I simply remind myself to get back on track — no guilt required.
I don't need a gym membership or a new hobby or more money or anything else that many other common New Year's resolutions call for — just a little intention, and I'm all set.
And after this particular year — this year — it almost seems wrong to ask ourselves much more than that.
So if you're looking for a New Year's resolution but can't bear to fail at yet another promise to yourself to lose 10 pounds, feel free to borrow mine. Here are a few tips: The idea is to focus on the big picture, not the details. This resolution is about creating a fuller life, not about feeling guilty about the small things.
Choose something that you want more of. Maybe it's passion or health or peace or even sleep. But keep it simple: Only one word allowed. What is your life missing right now? Choose that.
And don't worry: 2020 is almost over.