New Year Resolutions Don't Work for Millenials
Updated: Mar 17, 2019
by Darleen M. Jobson-Larkin | Gregory O. Jobson-Larkin
The start of a new year is a chance to try new things and make new memories, but it's also important to remember that real change happens when we challenge ourselves to get uncomfortable. "It doesn't have to be a big leap to start: If you haven't worked out for six months, don't force yourself to go to Spin Class six days a week. If you're terrified of heights, you don't have to go bungee jumping. When I found out I was pregnant in the middle of a series of track meets, my OB told me not to worry about the baby. It wasn't like I was a couch potato and now that I'm pregnant I want to run a marathon.
One little word. Author and workshop instructor Ali Edwards believes it is solely one little word that can change our life. Edwards notes on her website, “A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft. Edwards elaborates by saying, “In 2006 I began the journey of choosing a word, one single word for myself each new year…a word to focus on, meditate on as I go about my daily life. These words have been what I needed most and often what I didn’t even know I needed at all. They have helped me to breathe deeper, to see clearer, to navigate challenges, and to grow. So what do we do with this one little word? We live with it. We invite it into our lives. We let it speak to us. We might even follow where it leads.”
With the onset of this New Year, perhaps we release our lofty and statistically unattainable resolutions. Maybe this year we find focus and purpose in one little word? What word needs to permeate our lives? Health. Kindness. Intention. Friendship. Generosity. Peace. What word might help us to breathe deeper, to navigate challenges and to help us grow more fully?
Instead of making a resolution to get fit, get yourself moving and thinking in ways you may not be totally comfortable with. Maybe you want to make the local playground your family gym and soak up some natural vitamin D Maybe it's starting an art class, a new business or learning a new language, you might, be surprised at what you can discover about yourself and where your new habits may take you.
Stop and smell the roses. Unplug periodically throughout the day. The intention of me time, time in solitude is to stop and be present. Connect with yourself.. Meditation can not only help with this, but it also reduces stress and anxiety.
Resolutions? Here’s a Better Way to Start Your Year…
At the gym, the regulars are joking about the resolution crowd. "We are waiting for machines now.," they say. "Next week it will be back to normal."
That’s because all the folks who have – yet again – made their New Year’s Resolutions will show up. They’ll stick around for a while. Then, around Valentine’s Day, they start to dwindle down and the regulars get to have their old gym back.
I happened to catch a radio talk show a few years ago where the hosts were discussing the most common New Year’s Resolutions and the average success rate. Among the most common were Get Organized, Be More Spiritual, Lose Weight, Quit Smoking, and Spend More time with the Family.
Why Don't Resolutions Work?
The reason most resolutions don’t work is that they address only one level of your life.
The DO level.
“I will DO this thing.” (i.e., Work out)
“…so I can HAVE this other thing” (Lose weight)
“…and I can BE this thing.” (Confident.)
The average New Year’s Resolution doesn’t address the core of the issue – the “BE” level.
To creating positive changes in your life , the best model is the BE-DO-HAVE model.
This means you start from the BE level. When you begin changing on the BE level of your life, then the DO level and the HAVE level follow more easily.
When you start only on the DO level, then all the blocks on the BE level will often become the obstacles you can’t overcome.
A Better New Year’s Ritual
After being influenced by many friends success stories I decided that, instead of making resolutions, I would pick a word that would guide me throughout the year. It would be my touchstone. It would remind me of living my best life..
This didn’t mean that I didn’t take action. It meant that our actions were inspired from the BE level. In fact, I took more action than ever with this new approach!
How I Chose My Word-of-the-Year for 2019
You want to get some clarity around your word. It will guide you into a higher level of intention for creating your best year.
Basically this is what I did.
After a few days.of quiet contemplation I picked my word for the year.
Then, hold that word in your mind throughout the year, and let your word guide you to take action.
An example could be:
Many people choose “Get Organized” as a popular resolution. You look around to see clutter and crap all over your life. You’re tired of the chaos which you have allowed to encompass you. You decide to try a guide word instead.. As you sit, pondering words that will inspire you. You google or go to Pinterest in search of inspiration. You have an “Ah-Ha!” moment that you tend to cling to lots of things. You are scared to let go of things. The word “Release” comes to mind because it inspires you in a bigger way than “Get organized.”
So, every time you approach your clutter you remind yourself of that word. “Release,” you say softly. You start to let the clutter go.
Eventually, you realize that you’re still holding on to lots more than just physical clutter. You realize that you hold onto resentment at old relationships. “Release,” you remind yourself.
You realize that holding on is affecting your diet and health. “Release” applies to some of the unhealthy you’ve gained as well.
Throughout the year, you can see clearly how much you hold on. “Release” is your touchstone. It grows you throughout the year. It becomes your guiding force, not your harsh standard.
By shifting towards the clutter, your clutter became your teacher. Would this have happened if you just kept? This wouldn’t have happened if you simply kept “Get Organized" as a New Years Resolution? No!
How do you choose your word?
Many people know immediately which word resonates with them. For others, a little contemplation is required.
There are lists of words to inspire you all over the internet,
My biggest advice is to sit with it. When a word is the right word, it will keep showing up in your mind until you have an “Ah ha" moment.
I’ve seen everyone from multi-million dollar entrepreneurs to stay at home moms use this word of the year to guide them successfully.
Some people let the universe choose (kind of) – write all your words down, cut them out, put them in a box and pick one! Some people group their words into doublets: gratitude/abundance, discipline/balance, self love/spirit.
My words over the last few years have been peace, forgiveness, and focus and have come to me instantly.This year Gregg's word is NICE and mine is PURPOSE..
Share your word in the comments below – or your experience with last year’s word!
 Edwards, Ali. www.aliedwards.com.