An Alternative to the New Year’s Resolution {Word of the Year}

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It’s a new year! And that means a fresh start. Traditionally, the new year is full of resolutions. Resolutions to eat less, exercise more, spend less money, read more books, etc. But I have failed at keeping my resolutions so many times that I have just given up on them.

Instead, I pick a word to focus on for the year.

word

Last year my word was healthy. The year before that, grateful. These simple words help to bring a bit of focus to my busy Mommy-life. They are helpful reminders of my goals and the many ways there are to achieve them. They serve as little motivators helping to lead my actions, behaviors and decisions so that ultimately, I can live my best life and bring happiness and hope to myself and others.

This year, my word is acceptance.

Not the kind of acceptance that makes you think of giving up or giving in, though. The kind of acceptance I am talking about is self-acceptance. Acceptance of my own feelings, acceptance of who I am, and acceptance of my attitude and behaviors.

I know what you’re thinking, “This sounds like a lot of work! Wouldn’t making a resolution be easier?” And, my answer to that is, “You’re right! It IS a lot of work. But 2020 has been a lot of work and we’ve made it this far!”

Throughout this year of ups and downs, I have learned that there are a lot of things that I can’t control. In fact, my anxiety has been at an all-time high worrying about All. The. Things. I’ve lost sleep, gained weight, cried, lost motivation, felt alone, and have, at times, lost hope. Let’s just say that this year has beaten me down and it has strained my relationships as well.

It’s time to do something.

And by making a small change in focus, I will be able to find peace and move through the things I can’t control. By shifting focus to acceptance, I can make room for the real work to happen. I can allow space and time to take an introspective look at my behaviors and turn my attitude and energy toward changing the things I can control. With this work, I can begin to mend my relationships and find motivation and hope again.

When I was thinking about my word for 2021, the Serenity prayer came to mind. This prayer was one that my Mother had hanging on the refrigerator growing up. She would often find inspirational quotes or sayings and hang them around the house. “Don’t underestimate the power of prayer,” she would tell me.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

In that small prayer, I was drawn to the first phrase. It rang so true to my heart in that moment. After taking a moment to let it sink in and really think about it, I knew what my word would be. If you are struggling with broken resolutions or broken promises to yourself, I encourage you to adopt a word for the year. Your word will be a gift and a blessing and it will help set you on a path for the new year.

Happy New Year, friends!

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