Nobody asked me but I think New Year’s Resolutions are the worst. They commonly lack clarity. They typically lack a plan for action. And – the worst part – they too-often lack the space for and ability to embrace failures and setbacks. In short, they mean well but are a buzzkill waiting to happen.
With that, I strive to find positives and am always looking to offer solutions, not drone on about problems. So I’ve found a way to stay true to my anti-New Year’s Resolutions stance and still embrace the fresh feelings and excitement of the year ahead.
If you’re interested, try this instead of making a New Year’s Resolution: choose one word for the year. A word that will be your north star, that gets to the core of what you want in the year ahead and your goals for 2024.
Choosing Your Word for 2024
It probably goes without saying but I did not come up with the concept of choosing one word to shape your year. I got the idea from a marketing industry expert I heard speak at a conference years ago and who I continue to respect and follow. His concept was based on choosing three words for the year, verbs specifically, but I customized my version of this practice to be one word.
Now, this word doesn’t come out of thin air. Words matter and this one especially needs purpose and intention behind it. Here are a few steps to get in the mindset of choosing your word.
First, reflect on 2023. What brought you joy? What depleted your energy? What do you want more of and what would be helpful to adjust or cut out?
Next, apply those thoughts and get more specific on what sort of space you’d like to be in tomorrow, next week, next quarter, and at the end of the year. You can think about smaller or more immediate goals, as part of bigger-picture goals for 2024, tying things together.
This exercise is meant to help you get clear on your priorities and potentially uncover true goals for the year ahead – what you really want from the year, not what you “should” do right now.
Once you are clear on how you want to be and feel for the entire year ahead, then it’s time for the fun part: choose one word that sums up that focus.
Start by brainstorming single words that tie back to those big-picture priorities, goals, and feelings – what you really want from yourself and from the year ahead. Then narrow it down to THE ONE. Draw on THE ONE all year when you need to pull yourself back to your priorities, when you need to focus, and when you feel you’re straying from the path you set for yourself.
The Word for 2024 Is…
Full disclosure: I have not yet determined my word for 2024. I have a solid shortlist of candidates but I’m still working thru final reflections from 2023 and clarity of what I want, those bigger-picture goals for 2024.
Last year, my word was: Perspective.
It was just one word but it meant so much. It was layered. I chose it with intention. It had purpose behind it. And it summed up the core of what I really felt would help bring me more peace, more focus, more energy, and more gratitude.
Want to know the best part? It did.
I really believe that focusing on this one word, with all its layers, made an impact. Always going back to this place of Perspective made my 2023 better than if I had “resolved” to do something short-term or knee-jerk based on the previous weeks of holiday hell – I mean, holiday celebrations 🙂
As a writer and aspiring empath, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it forever: words matter. And this is a word that may lead to a new goal, a new change, or a new “why” that drives you in 2024.
If you feel inspired to choose a word for 2024, I’d love to know it and your “why” behind it. You won’t find me on many social channels but I appreciate connections on LinkedIn. And I’m still keeping it real and bringing up the positivity on X as @LindsayIRL.
That’s enough for now. Until next time,