It’s December 2019 when I’m writing this, and I’ve just seen a bunch of articles bashing New Year’s resolutions. 

Why are so many people vehemently against New Year’s resolutions?

Perhaps because only 8% actually achieve their resolutions.

But wait, is that the responsibility of the resolution? There’s a few different factors that go into making resolutions, like are they realistic, are they too complex, or are they too numerous. 

But let’s not ignore the human factor, like are we being consistent, have we not found our true purpose, and are we truly applying ourselves? 

Instead of Resolutions, Do This

If you haven’t had much success with resolutions, for whatever reason, you’ll probably have a better chance at your success if you choose one powerful focus word than setting resolutions.

With personal development, some things don’t work for us and some things do. If something doesn’t work for you and you’re honestly putting your all into it, find something else that does work. 

One word is easier to remember than a bunch of resolutions, and it can keep you better focused on your goals all year long. 

Why Choose One Focus Word

Choosing one focus word is how you’ll set your overall intention for the new year.

Setting intentions, whether daily, weekly, monthly, or annually, provides you with meaning, purpose, direction, and guidance. Setting an intention gives you focus. Focus is a pillar of success. 

When you lack intention, it’s like you’re white water rafting with no oars or life vest. There’s nothing consistently guiding and motivating you to continue to success. 

Dr. Wayne Dyer, the spiritual leader and self-help author, often talked about the power of setting an intention. Dr. Dyer said that intention has less to do with taking action and more to do with allowing. He said that intention is about co-creating your life with the universal energy that wants to bring you contentment. 

Choosing one word is simple, but simple doesn’t mean it’s not powerful. 

When we simplify our goals, we increase our chance at succeeding at them.

Narrowing down your intentions into one word helps you concentrate on what’s truly important to you.

How to Choose a Focus Word

Make this an easy process for yourself:

1 – Write 3 sentences that encompass what you want in 2020.

:: Keep them broad rather than specific

For example, “I consistently take good care of myself” rather than “I eat veggies daily.” This difference allows you to focus more on the change in your attitude rather than certain behaviors. Another example is, “I feel aligned and enthusiastic” rather than “I journal every morning.” 

:: Focus on who you want to be and how you want to feel rather than the actual behaviors that will get you there. 

:: Write them in the present tense.

2 – Choose 3 words from your sentences that represent your overall intention.

:: Choose words that focus on the change you want to see and feel in yourself.

:: Choose words that evoke positive emotion.

3 – Choose one word from your 3 words.

For each of your 3 words, ask yourself:

:: Does this word give me meaning, purpose, direction, and guidance? 

:: Does this word make me feel inspired, aligned, excited, and just plain good?

:: Decide which one word out of the 3 stands out most to you.

If one word doesn’t jump out at you, let this exercise go and come back to it a few days later. 

Don’t force it to come, allow the word to come to you.

What to Do with Your Focus Word

1 – Write it everywhere:

:: sticky notes you put in your kitchen, bathroom, car, etc.

:: on your phone: alarm, banner, etc.

:: on your laptop: screen saver

:: make it the main word in all your passwords

2 – Use certain objects to remind you of your word

This may sound silly but I use a small tree trunk outside my kitchen window to remind me of Mother Teresa, who, two years ago, reminded me of my focus word “mindfulness.” Even though “mindfulness” is no longer my focus word, every time I see that tree trunk, I’m reminded to be conscious of the present moment.

You can use any object you see daily in your everyday world. Look around and wait til your eyes rest on an object that makes you feel inspired, aligned, or guided. Make a commitment that each time you look at the object, you’ll stop what you’re doing and “feel” your word.

3 – Meditate on it, journal about it. Let it sink into your soul.

Try not to assume you know everything about your word. Adopt an openness to what the universe wants to teach you about your word.

4 – Tell everyone your word and why you chose it.

:: This is about accountability. When we tell others about goals, we feel more inclined to follow through. 

:: Sharing your word with others also gets you talking about it in ways you might not when you’re thinking, journaling, or meditating about it. It gets you out of your head; when that happens, new ideas occur to you on how to accomplish your goals. It also allows others to share their insights on how you might succeed.

:: It shows the universe you’re serious about succeeding.

When you share with others what your goals are, if you encounter naysayers, it’ll give you practice in responding to them (if you want) and will reinforce (for yourself more than anyone) why you set that particular intention. That increases your clarity, and who doesn’t want more clarity?

Don’t listen to those who say it’s better to work in silence and let people know your goals after you’ve succeeded; that’s living in fear. Live in faith! 

When you open yourself up to others, the universe starts connecting you with kindred spirits who’ll give you support and whom you can also support. You’ll also get more adept at finding like-minded people. 

Choosing one powerful focus word helps you create constant awareness (consciously and subconsciously) of your intention for the New Year, and by doing that, you’ll be setting yourself up for your success.

There’s no one way or right way to success. Just find what works best for you. The fact that you’ve read this far shows how determined you are to make 2020 your best year yet!


Are you a soul-centered woman ready to stop holding yourself back and start living true to yourself and create a life you love?

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