By Brittany Gebben

As we approach a new year, there’s always talk of the upcoming year’s resolution, or goal.  I’m typically not a fan of the traditional New Year’s Resolutions because I believe they focus too much on the end result without much concentration on the planning needed to achieve it.  Not solely for achieving the goal, but for lasting results, the attention needs to be put on the journey and not just the final destination. 

According to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year’s resolutions is said to be about 80 percent, and most lose their resolve by mid-February.  So why don’t resolutions, in most cases, work?  There are many speculations as to why most of them are failed attempts, whether people are setting their expectations too high, putting too much pressure on themselves, or having lack of a plan…

Instead of an end-result resolution, people should spend more time focusing on the map or journey it will take to get there and break the steps down by what needs to happen each month, week, day to achieve it.

I think it’s important to try to set goals throughout the year as the need arises, and layout an attainable plan to achieve them, while following up with the progress and adjusting the plan, if needed, throughout the year, rather than feeling defeated if the “end-result” goal doesn’t happen right away.  However, this year I want to take a little different approach and focus on a “Word of the Year”. A single word that reminds me of what I need to do in order to focus on my life goals (both professional and personal) and things that are most important to me. A word that encourages me to be my best self. 

If you choose to also select a “Word of the Year” for 2020, I encourage you to identify words that will inspire you.  Put the word somewhere you see often, possibly even in many places and share it if you’d like to motivate you to hold yourself accountable.

If you think about it, if your goal is to lose weight this year, placing the word “health” somewhere you see every morning, in the kitchen, at the office, etc for the entire year is a nicer reminder of what to focus on daily rather than a written goal of “lose 10 lbs” in the beginning of the year with no plan on action, or setting yourself up for feeling defeated if you fail for a week.  Here are some possible motivating words that may inspire you to choose your focus word for 2020: focus, clarity, breath, commitment, grace, grow, patience, listen, strength, rise.

This year, I’ve chosen the word, “Present” in order to help remind myself to be present in the moment.  In any given moment, whether I’m playing with my children, in a work meeting, having a conversation with my husband, out for a walk, I want to focus on being present in that given moment and not letting all of life’s “to-dos” and distractions interfere with the moment.  In 2020, I choose to be Present.