New year resolutions – is there a better way?

It’s a new year!

What will you do for the next 12 months? Do you have goals, plans, dreams you want to achieve? Do you look back at the past year feeling content or frustrated?

New year resolutions - is there a better way?

I’ve been thinking a lot about goals & resolutions (as we do at the start of the year) and in this post, I share a piece of advice with you for the New Year. Last time, I shared with you how to have small goals each month. Now, my ‘new revelation’ is something I discovered not too long ago which helped me have a great year (no matter how tough life got!) and perhaps you might find it useful too and apply it in your own life.

As with a lot of things, I find sticking to something very difficult. Often, I lack the discipline, motivation or simply the willpower to commit and stick it through. Especially when the going gets tough or “life gets in the way”. What do we do then to stick to our New Year resolutions?

The short answer? Toss them.

Yes.

I find that NOT making any new year resolutions can actually help a great deal. This doesn’t mean you make no effort whatsoever to improve on a personal level. Au contraire. It is good to make positive changes, to grow, to be better people. We want to reach for our dreams and turn them into actions, right?

Enter my little discovery. A lot of people are doing this (and have been way before me too I’m sure!) and it’s truly changed my life. By applying it, I have been able to accomplish much in a very short space of time – one year to be exact! And I have enjoyed every minute of it, even though there were moments that were unpleasant. But then, if you want to grow and make changes, it’s never going to be a smooth ride. It sometimes require for you to step out of the comfortable shell, it involves getting rid of certain things (fear, judgment), acquiring certain things (maybe a set of skills? or a new habit?). How I did this was very simple. In fact, it’s too simple. Keep reading…

It’s not the law of attraction or some course I’m going to sell you. It’s a very simple thing and it’s FREE. Are you ready?

Start the year with a theme

Each year, I choose a theme and apply it to the entire course of the year. This way, it influences my decisions, my mood and provides me with the encouragement that I am on the right path towards my big goals. You see, by choosing a theme for the year, you allow yourself to enjoy the journey rather than focus on the destination.

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By choosing a theme for the year, you allow yourself to enjoy the journey rather than focus on the destination

Choose a theme with a quiet mind.

Don’t pick a theme with thoughts about how much money you’d like to make in the year, or the problems you have to sort out, the relationship status you want to change or any other things that weigh on your mind. Do this when you are at peace (and needless to say, sober!). I choose my theme usually between the 31st Dec and the 1st Jan, but it can be any time really. It can be a word or a sentence, a motto or a quote. Personally, as I am on a journey of “less is more” and minimalist living, I enjoy having ONE word for my theme. And a verb, preferably as it sets a call to action.

You can write a few words at random, place them in a basket and pick one. Or you can pray about it, or meditate until you receive a word. You can listen to beautiful music and quieten your mind and listen to what’s on your heart. When you get a word, use it as your theme.

Throughout the year, remember that word and use it to infuse fresh perspective into your life as a whole. Do not look at only one specific area, but each and every single area of your life. Your finances, your family life, your friendships, your habits, your insecurities, your skills, your job, your children, your travels, EVERYTHING. And see what needs changing. What needs decluttering. What needs letting go of. And work at it, every single day.

Choosing a theme makes it easier on you, because it is a journey over the course of a year. You are bound to see results because you undergo a transformation process rather than merely trying (too) hard to reach a target. Having no definite target on your radar can sometimes allow space for the kind of growth you’d never imagined possible.

To give you a clearer example, my word last year was REDEFINE. I did not fully understand it at first, but as I got into the year, I found myself being reminded of that word over and over again. When one day I was feeling rather miserable about my finances, I questioned myself why. And ‘redefine’ came to mind. I thought about the decisions I’d made that led me to where I was and thought of ways I could change things for the better. One year later, and I’m finally debt-free. Another day, I felt overwhelmed by so much to do and scared not being able to meet deadlines, I asked myself how could I redefine my time. How could I use my time in such a way that I did not have to feel like I’m stretching myself thin week after week. I redefined my outlook on life, mostly how I held on to a lot of grievances instead of letting go and truly forgiving. I learned to redefine my behaviour, my thoughts towards certain people in my life so that I could reap the fruits of better interactions with them. I took time to think about my theme, how to apply it in those areas and took actions (small steps each day/week/month) that gave me tremendous results. I realigned my life with my true calling and started the procedures towards getting back there again. Sold most of my stuff and made travel plans.

If you want to do things differently this year, why not choose a theme? Let me know how it goes! Have any questions? Simply send me an email or contact me via my various social media handles. You’re also welcome to comment below.

Wishing you a beautiful year where your eyes see miracles, where your hands do good things, where your heart overflows with love and hope, where your soul feels peace and your home is filled with laughter and good friends.

Love,

Beatrice aka Mademoiselle Nomad

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  • That’s a really gorgeous idea, and makes so much more sense than the long list of pressure-filled resolutions… Thanks for giving me something to think about this weekend, I’m aiming to start Monday with my year’s word 🙂

  • Loving this! Totally on board with a year theme, replacing the accomplishables with the ‘being’ vibe. My friend, Sithembile always says, “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” Part of my goals this year is to not worry about all the opportunities of help/need I see, and rather focus on living into exuding hope, joy, love and peace than always being anxious about what I can physically do or give to improve the world around me.