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Forget About New Year's Resolutions... Try This Instead!

Updated on January 2, 2015
SheilaSchnauzies profile image

SheilaSchnauzies is a Miniature Schnauzer rescuer, writer, crochet designer, gardener, crafter, wife, mom & friend living in Omaha, NE.

Deciding A Theme Word For The Year Can Help You Focus On Your Goals!

Do you set and keep New Year's Resolutions? Trying to lose weight? Quit smoking? Another big goal? So many people set resolutions and have the best intentions to keep them. After a few weeks or months, the motivation just seems to fade and the resolution goes kaput.

I gave up on New Year's resolutions long ago! I would diligently set them and manage to keep them for a few weeks. Then they always made me feel like a guilty failure when I realized I'd stopped keeping them! Now, what good does a thing like that do for you or your self esteem?

Somewhere long ago I heard the idea of focusing on just an "idea" for the New Year, rather than a resolution. I condensed that down further, and started choosing a single word to focus on for the New Year. I've always believed that if you want something to change - whether it's a number on a scale, the sales for a division, or an attitude about a pet peeve - just keep a reminder in front of you where you have to look at it every day!

One year during this first week of the new year, I was doing a bit of after-Christmas shopping. I was about 6 weeks post-op from my second hip replacement surgery, having had both hips replaced in 2011. It was a tough year, most of it spent either getting ready for or recovering from major surgeries.

I noticed a beautiful Christmas ornament with the simple word, "Hope." It struck me with a flash of realization - there it was, my "word" for the new year! "Hope" summed up everything I felt about the coming year! I'd put in my hard medical and physical work, lots more still to come, but for the first time in many years now I finally had "Hope" for a better quality of life! The ornament hung next to my desk where I could see it every day. It still hangs there today.

So, for 2012, "Hope" it was, and hope was realized! I had the best year in terms of walking and being able to do things that I've had in many years. It was amazing!

My word for the year 2013 focused on "Care." Actually more a phrase - "Care For."

2014's word ended up being "Free." That word meant a whole lot of different things to me personally that I wanted to change. I did manage to accomplish a few changes!

The phrase I have chosen for 2015 is "I Can." Having gone through so much medical stuff for years, the phrase "I can't" is constantly popping up in various situations. It's also easy to use some very medically justifiable excuses to say "I can't" when it's really "I don't want to." This year I'm going to try to be "tough girl" a lot more often.

So, what could your word for this coming New Year be? What's the one thing about yourself or your situation that you most would like to change, improve, or focus on? Most of us make New Year's resolutions, and we have a hard time keeping them. But just having a simple word to focus on - that's a promise much easier to keep to ourselves! Try it, you might just agree!

Keep Your Word In Front Of You!

Put it anywhere you can see it frequently – on the fridge, on a t-shirt, whatever it takes to keep you focused!

Your Thoughts On New Year's Resolutions? - Tell Us What You Think!

Do You Set New Year's Resolutions?

Yes! I set New Year's Resolutions every year. My thoughts...

Yes! I set New Year's Resolutions every year. My thoughts...

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    • Lee 4 years ago from Derbyshire, UK

      I do, although I set myself 'aims' not 'resolutions'. I find they're easier to work towards

    • Leah J. Hileman 4 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I do. I also keep a journal of progress toward the goal. I usually only set one or two goals, attainable but just out of reach. I don't go overboard with 50 things I want to do or change about myself. I keep it simple and manageable.

    No, I kind of prefer to fly by the seat of my pants. My thoughts...

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      • Sheila 4 years ago from Omaha, NE

        @knitstricken: You have no idea (well, maybe you do!) now nice it is to have something you've written strike a chord with someone and help them in some way! I am thrilled that you enjoyed my lens. I love your word, "Onward!" If I didn't have mine picked, I might have adopted that one because it also makes sense for me! Good luck following your theme!

      • knitstricken 4 years ago

        kinda. sorta. I love the approach you're discussing here. For 2013 my word is Onward...

      • RoadMonkey 4 years ago

        I NEVER set New Year Resolutions. The other kids in school had to tell me what those were but I never saw the point. I like your idea of a theme. I think my theme this year will be like Boxer, the horse's theme from George Orwell's "Animal Farm": I will work harder"!

      2008's Word Was "Survive"

      2008 was the year of suffering with an arthritic knee that was completely destroyed, and it took me a full year to find a surgeon willing to take on my high risk case. I was alone most of the time with my rescue schnauzer menagerie on a farm in southeast Missouri, away from quality medical care, and I was one fat mess. I was lonely, away from friends and family, and life looked pretty darned bleak at the time. I kept trying to be hopeful, kept creating and writing, gardening on a small scale, but all my living was mostly on the inside - not the outside.

      You Say...

      Do You Keep Your New Year's Resolutions?

      See results

      2009's Word Was "Fight"

      I'd just gone through hell with my destroyed knee and finally got it replaced; I weighed almost 240 pounds and I had out of control diabetes, high blood pressure, and a host of other medical problems. I was headed on a fast track downward. I decided I had to fight to get my life back. And fight I did.

      My Word For 2010 Was A Phrase, "Care For"

      2010 was a pretty horrible year, all in all. Although I had lost almost 60 pounds by then, I was in pain constantly from my destroyed hip and at that time could not find a surgeon willing to take on my high risk case. We were living on a farm in southeast Missouri and my husband had been transferred back to Nebraska, so I was alone trying to sell the farm and care for all of my rescue Schnauzers (there were eight at the time).

      I remember thinking that my main goal in life at that time was to make sure every family member, furry and otherwise, was cared for. During that year we did manage to sell the farm and get moved back to Omaha, and I managed to put the new house in survivable mode and make sure everyone was "cared for." That was about it. This picture was taken at Christmas in 2010.

      Me In Late 2011, Hopeful!

      Me In Late 2011, Hopeful!
      Me In Late 2011, Hopeful!

      2012 Was About Redefining "Normal"

      2012 Was A Very Good Year!

      2012 was the year of getting my life back! Without constant hip pain I became independent enough to do things like going shopping on my own and even working a couple of dog rescues!

      2013 A Tough Year - The "C" Word

      In early 2013 I was diagnosed with malignant Melanoma on my right cheek. I was lucky that it was caught in stage 1. I underwent facial resection and reconstruction surgery in May 2013. I was left with a large facial scar which is much better now although still visible. I'm just a lucky girl to have beaten the cancer!

      3 Weeks Post-Op Melanoma Surgery Complete With Black Eye!

      After Almost A Year Of Healing....

      2014 - Keep Knockin' Me Down!

      2014 started off so great! Then in late April a bizarre series of injuries (I kept getting cut on things!) left me fighting a number of open wounds on my legs. There were, at one point, 10 separate "owies" all in various stages of healing. I had numerous cellulitis infections in my legs from the cuts. I walked into a nest of yellow jackets and got about 3 dozen stings. I poked my arm on a twig and woke up with a big infection streaking up my arm. In November I ruptured my long biceps tendon on my right arm. In short I always felt like I got nothing accomplished this year besides being injured and trying to get well!

      Please Share Your Word For 2015 In My Guestbook! - And Say Hello While You're At It!

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        • knitstricken profile image

          knitstricken 4 years ago

          Third time's the charm! :o) It's "Onward!" Happy New Year!

        • RoadMonkey profile image

          RoadMonkey 4 years ago

          "Work hard" is going to ne motto. There is so much coming up that I have to get on and finish what I have started.

        • leesholden profile image

          Lee 4 years ago from Derbyshire, UK

          'Expansion' is the word for me this year. I want me life to expand in a variety of areas

        • StewartClan profile image

          StewartClan 4 years ago

          Hiya, This is an inspiring lens. I just bought a book for my goals, which I have been thinking about. My word for the year just jumped out at me. For me the word this year is Success. Great lens, thank you!

        • captainj88 profile image

          Leah J. Hileman 4 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

          My word is "Adapt." I actually think I'll extend it to a phrase I learned from actor Viggo Mortensen while he was playing Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. On his dressing room mirror, he posted the phrase, "Adapt and Overcome."

        • Joanne Reid profile image

          Joanne Reid 4 years ago from Prince Edward Island/Arizona

          Focus. That is my word for 2013. Great lens and I love the 2012 pic of you and the doggies.