by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner
For success in this new year, focus on who you want to be rather than what you want to fix …
Instead of trying to accomplish a diehard list of resolutions this year, pick one word. Make it a powerful word. It’s going to be your theme for the year.
Who Do You Want to Be?
Healthy. Fitness Guru. Grateful. Joyful. Competitive. Runner. Dancer. First-String Athlete. Biggest Winner. Motivating Companion. Trustworthy Friend. Mentor. Workout Buddy.
The word-of-the-year follows the theory of positive reinforcement. Our goals usually focus on changing negatives– unhealthy weight, financial debt, poor nutrition habits, deprived sleep, and chronic stress. By choosing one world to represent your year, you no longer focus on personal weaknesses and what needs to be fixed. Rather, you direct all efforts toward a positive by which you want to define yourself.
In a short time, your brain can become trained to seek out ways to follow your theme, to live by that word. Although goal setting needs to be specific, choosing one word allows room for broader interpretations and less opportunities for disappointment. Like an ongoing mantra, it becomes a way of life, perpetuating itself.
Word Chosen: Healthy
Daily Life: Drink more water. Move more. Meet with a personal trainer. Have fruit for sweet snacks. Be mindful of your world. Get an eye exam. Check your blood pressure.
Although these tasks are specific, they don’t accompany strict rules and tasks to perform. “I must work out every day.” “I cannot eat any sugar.” “TV is off limits.” When we fail to live up to such rigid extremes, disappointment sets in, self-worth decreases, goals get dropped. You become less healthy than before you began.
With one single intention, healthy, our brain consciously seeks activities that promote health. (The brain notices what you tell it. This is similar to having a bad day. Suddenly, you notice every mishap.) When healthy opportunities are presented, our word motivates us into action. We become “healthier.” Our improved self begins to emerge, which inspires a hunger for more.
One-Year Milestone: You won’t wake up one day in August and decide, “I did it! I’m healthier!” However, when you look back over a year’s worth of days, a pattern will appear. “Healthy” guided you and you became so.
It may look like a year’s worth of this: Two weeks ago, you scheduled a reevaluation with a personal trainer. Last Friday, donuts were in the break room; you mindfully steeped a cup of tea while focusing on your breath. Last month, you started recording your favorite late-night show to get more sleep. Small, ongoing shifts transpire to become a healthier person.
Like a Boss
Choose your theme word carefully. Own it. Supervise it. Perhaps the ultimate word should be “boss.” Do not allow the world to define who you are. Only you can do that. Not your significant other, best friend, trainer, physician. Not an illness, shortcoming, weakness, or extra few pounds. People move mountains every day. Statistics are shattered. Cynics become believers.
Each day, become more of the person you aspire to be.