A Resolution or a Word?

Posted on: Tue, 12/17/2019 - 09:00

As students and staff get ready for winter break, it is yet another reminder that 2020 is almost here! The new year is the perfect time for reflection.

As we celebrate the new year, many people develop their resolutions or goals for the year ahead.  Resolutions often focus on self-improvement. Goals may focus on improvement or can identify accomplishments expected for oneself in the year ahead. Either way, the desire to improve, make progress, or move forward is commendable.

The challenge is that many people quickly forget their resolution or get frustrated when progress is slow. That is understandable. A few years ago, a colleague shared an alternative to creating a New Year’s resolution or goal.  She suggested selecting a word for the year--one word that could capture the essence of what you hoped would guide your actions in the year ahead. It was an intriguing concept.

The first time I tried to pick a word, it was easy. It was an election year, and I knew the challenges that elections present in my job. My family was planning a wedding, which has its own set of challenges. So, I picked the word calm. I wanted to focus on remaining calm in the midst of chaotic events or flustered people. And so, as the year progressed, I was frequently reminded why calm was the right word for the year! When sharing my word with others, they could remind me to stay calm or praise me as I met with success. The word truly stayed with me throughout the year.

In subsequent years, I have found it takes more thought and can be harder to find the one word that fits. But what a great conversation with colleagues or family members as I grapple with options. Their feedback is not only helpful, but it is akin to holding up a mirror and recognizing the person staring back!

I have also found that I love hearing the stories behind the words that other people choose. You learn so much about a person when you hear the explanation of how they identified their word. It also creates a special bond with that person and a way to check in with each other throughout the year.

So as 2020 approaches, I am already beginning to consider words that will resonate with my goals for the year ahead or the events I anticipate in my life. Somehow, I want this word to be exceptional because this is the beginning of the 3rd decade in the 21st century! Wow!  

I hope this blog inspires others to consider choosing a word for the year--hmm…inspire, now that’s a word to ponder as a possibility! If you pick a word, please share it with me. I’d love to hear your story.


Best wishes for a happy holiday season and a wonderful new year. My next blog will appear in 2020!