In one way or another, "emotional weight" has been at the heart of every one of our blog posts this year. Whether it's the most recent, "Emotional Weight of the Holidays" or this fall's "Roadmap to Your Work Week," it's important to understand how weight has a lot more to do with what number reads on the scale. We set our goal and one word for 2013 -- LIGHT -- and honored it in our explorations of emotional weight.
Making a New Year's resolution is a terrific way to reflect upon the year you're leaving behind and to embrace changes in the coming year. If you're like many of us, your resolution might be related to diet or exercise. That's a terrific intention, but it's worth noting that 73 percent of people who make fitness resolutions for the new year don't follow through with them! Why do you think that is? Maybe their goal is too broad, maybe their schedules are too hectic, the list goes on... I propose that we ALL go on an emotional diet in 2014 and stick to it. With a ONE WORD focus for the new you, your goal or theme for the new year becomes tangible, and more importantly, doable -- after all, it's only one word! We can all commit to embracing and upholding one word -- be it ART, BELIEVE, CONNECT, DREAM, or DRIVE. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.
1. Discover your ONE WORD. Think of your one word commitment as a way to keep you in check but also a home base to which you can check in. "Am I honoring my ONE WORD today?" "I am so stressed at work! Maybe making time to do one thing for my ONE WORD would make everything else seem a bit more manageable." When you know what your One Word should do for you, it can be easier to choose what yours is. You're not alone if you think choosing just One Word is a daunting task; exploring all the words you've been exposed to in your life is a comforting and overwhelming feeling. But imagine having just One Word to guide you -- your actions, your peace, and your resolve.
Insider Tip: Try thinking of the words that make you feel emotionally heavy -- do those words have a counterpoint that might make you feel light? That's a step in the right direction!
2. Use it! Think of three simple ways you can utilize your One Word in different areas of your life: at work, at home, and in a hobby perhaps.
Let's explore this idea and say your one word is CREATE.
At Home: Always putting off family time because everyone's schedule is so hectic? From meetings and errands to ballet class and soccer practice; it seems like everyone only has time for themselves. Use your One Word as an opportunity to create time for one another and really bond as a unit. Unplug from those iPhones, turn off the TV, and close the laptops down for a bit -- a family game night could be the ticket to togetherness. With all the Candy Crush, Temple Run, and Words With Friends we play, it's easy to forget how much fun a true board game can be.
At Work: Create is a perfect word for the workplace, no matter what field you're in. Chances are, you'll be making, writing, editing, or organizing some sort of project each week. If any particular task is bringing you down, return to your word and remember that even the most mundane or tedious task is part of a bigger picture, a larger act of creation, and without your efforts, it wouldn't be the same. You can also create a workspace that represents the new you in this new year. Add photos to your desk, change your desktop to an image of something that inspires you, little things to make your office a home away from home can help keep you true to your One Word.
In a Hobby: Here's an opportunity to go as far out with your One Word as you wish to go. Still using create as our example, think of all the ways in which that word can manifest itself in a hobby, craft, voyage, and more. You can develop a brand new hobby around your one word (why not sign up for that figure drawing class?) and you can always channel your One Word's energy into a hobby you already love. The opportunities are endless.
3. Commit to it: So how do we make set our ONE WORD commitment into action? Give it a ceremony, of sorts. No bells and whistles or orchestras and crowns necessary; just something that initiates your word into your life. Do something that physically signifies that you've set this word and this goal into your 2014 plan. It can be a simple prayer; it can even be the simple act of re-routing your morning jog: "This slightly different route represents the new me, the me that's getting that promotion this year!" You can (and should!) even mark it in your calendar. Giving your commitment the same priority as you do to any other task is a no fail way to incorporate it into your lifestyle. All you need to do is channel the energy in a positive way.
Maybe if that 73 percent of people who failed to meet their goals in the new year had their One Word as motivation, their resolutions would have become major achievements. When it comes down to it, choosing, using, and committing to your One Word in 2014 could be the best resolution you can make. If your spirit is healthy, you have lost the weight of words, and connecting to your One Word is a commitment to living your greatest life.