Story by Jeanette Wages
The New Year is fast approaching; how well did you do with last year’s resolutions? Did you lose 20 pounds? Did you make it to the gym after February? How much water did you drink? This year will be the year we all follow through…right?
I try to approach my resolutions a little differently, because I know I’m human and life will get in the way of my goals to do yoga every day and eat more kale. Every year I pick a word, and for that year I focus on that word. I choose a word that encompasses something I need to learn, embrace, or feel in the coming year. For those who still want to lose weight, hit the gym, and drink more water, words such as health, strength, and fitness come to mind. Some other popular words are love, gratitude, healing, create, adventure, and passion.
Last year I chose the word empowerment. Empowerment is about the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life. My goal for 2019 was to focus on empowering myself, my staff, and the community around me. It seemed like a natural fit for a life and empowerment coach. The universe decided its goal was to make sure I rose to the occasion, because this year, if nothing else, has been one storm after another. The year has made me stronger (though sometimes I felt far from strong) and much more confident in being able to rely on myself. My year started off with a bad breakup, which shaped a large part of my focus this year, pushing me to begin writing again, to do speaking engagements, and to share my story – including one I had not openly spoken about in 10 years. It also pushed me to realize I won’t always have someone to fall back on when times are hard. Through the rest of the year, I had struggles with my business, finances, dating, friendships, health – you name it and I probably dealt with it in 2019. But my resolution was to empower and become stronger.
For 2020, I’ve chosen the word happiness. Now that I have worked through some major breakthroughs and realizations about myself (though I am definitely still a work in progress), I want my focus in the coming year to be finding happiness. Being happy won’t mean that life will suddenly fall into place, that I’ll win the lottery, and that I’ll find my soulmate, though I wouldn’t mind if those things happened, too. Happy will be about finding the joy in the journey. I will carve out time for myself without feeling guilty about the things I “should” be doing. Happy will mean writing three things I am grateful for in a journal every day, even when I spent the evening wrist deep in some Jeni’s ice cream while crying my eyes out to a Netflix romcom. It will mean providing works of service to others, helping those in my business, and crushing goals for St. Jude. It will mean finding contentment and peace with who I am, including my faults and weak moments as well as my strengths and moments in the sun. In 2020, I am bound and determined to laugh more than I cry, and to find joy in the little things along the way.
Resolving to focus on one word as your theme for the year may seem weird and difficult to do, but if you chose a word that truly speaks to your heart and who you want to be in the coming year, you will see astronomical changes in your life and perspective of the world. Stay focused on your word by announcing it on social media and what it means to you, write it down somewhere you look every day, buy a piece of jewelry with the word on it, or even add it to your meditation mantra. Focus on it on the tough days and remember why you chose it. Then look back as 2020 comes to a close and notice how life and the world around you lifted you up to meet your goal, and be proud of how far you’ve come.