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6 ways to make this year the best year (plus 50 Word of the Year ideas)

Updated: Apr 1, 2023

Stop setting unrealistic resolutions and make real changes in your life.

Repeat after me:

I will not set a New Year's Resolution.

I will not set a New Year's Resolution.

I will not set a New Year's Resolution.

Say it until you mean it!

Tell me if this sounds familiar: New year, new me. I'm tired of the way things are. I'm going to make so many changes this year! This is MY YEAR! This is the year I'm finally going to [enter resolution 1], [enter resolution 2], [enter resolution 3], and [enter resolution 4]. Yea, I'm going to finally accomplish all of the goals I set for the last 5 years THIS YEAR.

I get it. The beginning of the year signifies many new things and brings about a lot of positive emotions. You feel motivated, excited, and ready to take on the world. This is the year you'll start that business and become a millionaire. This is the year you're going to join the gym and lose weight. This is the year you'll spend more intentional time with your kids. This is the year you will see a therapist and resolve your mental health challenges.

But the problem is, you set these same goals last year and the year before that. You've had the same resolutions for the past five years but can only seem to stick to them for a week. And if you make it past the week mark, the dream dies within a month or two. By March, you're back to your old self, waiting for the next new year to try living your dream life again.

If you feel bad about this, DON'T! Studies have found that only 9% of people who set a resolution stick to it. One company has dubbed January 19th "Quitter's Day" due to the number of people who quit their active goals that day. People quit for a variety of reasons, like setting unrealistic goals, not keeping track of their progress, having too many resolutions, or simply forgetting about it altogether.

I promise I'm not judging you. My purpose is to show you that you're not alone in the resolution trap and that there is a way to get out of it.


Instead of struggling with the typical New Year's resolutions, here are six things you can do to make the new year your best year.



1. Set a theme or phrase for the year.

Give yourself a theme or phrase to go along with your word for the year. If your resolution is to meditate daily, you can instead have a Mindfulness or Spiritual Wellness theme. This gives you room to add goals you didn't think of (like joining a Bible study group or doing yoga at a new studio that popped up mid-year) throughout the year instead of limiting yourself to just meditating.


2. Get the family involved.

Let the family come up with a word for the year as well. Having a unified word to live by throughout the year gives your family the chance to try new things, stretch yourselves in fun ways, learn more about each other, and help the family connect and bond with intention.


3. Update goals throughout the year.

Setting resolutions at the beginning of the year limits you from what you're truly capable of, and when you fail, you wait until next year to try something else. Giving yourself a theme for the year allows you to find goals that fit that theme throughout the year. At least once a quarter, add new goals that align with your word or phrase as you learn more about yourself and your abilities.


4. Do the opposite of your normal.

If you're used to doing everything yourself, get help. If you've tried the same diet, try a new one or do it a different way. If you're used to waking up late and running behind every morning, wake up 30 minutes earlier. Whatever it is, do it in a way you haven't done before. Doing the opposite of your norm will help you fulfill your theme goals and give you insight into things you haven't tried before.


5. Seek out opportunities that make you uncomfortable.

Accomplishing goals is all about getting uncomfortable. If you have an active theme for your family but don't like leaving your house (I know I'm not the only one), you have to get uncomfortable and get out there! The more uncomfortable you are, the more you stretch yourself and grow.



6. Change your mindset.

The only way to achieve any goal is to have it in your mind that you CAN do it. It's easy to say you want something, but if you don't have the mindset to back it up, you won't last long. Speak positively about yourself, believe that you are capable, and trust yourself. That's not easy, especially when you've spent so much time with negative self-talk, but you can do it. When you change your mindset, you can change your world.


Bonus: Give yourself grace!

You will continue to grow and evolve for as long as you live. You will not accomplish every single goal you have in one year. Cut yourself some slack, take care of yourself physically and mentally, and enjoy the ride. You deserve to treat yourself with the same kindness and grace you give everyone around you.



Challenge for you

I challenge you to create your own word or phrase for the new year. Get your family involved and create one you all can use together. Once you have your guiding word or phrase, create some flexible goals around it.

Think back on who you were five years ago and where you are now. Did you accomplish some longstanding goals, or have you been holding yourself back by spending all of your energy on one specific resolution?


If you need help coming up with a word for the year, here is a list of 50 words to help you choose:

  1. Abundance

  2. Attract

  3. Bake

  4. Balance

  5. Be still

  6. Break cycles

  7. Build

  8. Celebrate

  9. Cleansing

  10. Connection

  11. Create

  12. Dance

  13. Decide

  14. Delivered

  15. Design

  16. Discipline

  17. Draw

  18. Emotional

  19. Face my fear

  20. Flourish

  21. Greater

  22. Growth

  23. Healthy

  24. Hug

  25. Innovate

  26. Imagination

  27. Invent

  28. Journal

  29. Let go

  30. Love

  31. Newness

  32. Participate

  33. Plant seeds

  34. Play

  35. Pretend

  36. Promise

  37. Remember

  38. Release

  39. Repair

  40. Rest

  41. Run

  42. Strength

  43. Surprise

  44. Touch

  45. Travel

  46. Upskill

  47. Voice

  48. Winning

  49. Worry less

  50. Write

Get a copy of this list and a coloring sheet to write your Word of the Year!



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