2016 is the year of the new year’s word, not the new year’s resolution.
Personally, I haven’t been one to set a new year’s resolution since I lived in Japan and realized what a cultural phenomenon it was for Americans. As a life coach and an individual who is motivated by progress, I do resolve to change certain things in my life, but I don’t do it based on the calendar. I use the tools I’ve learned from yoga, business and personal development to implement a lifestyle that supports right action and change through practice.
As I was looking back on 2015, a coaching friend of mine asked if I had a word for 2016. She said she had chosen a word to live by in 2015 and it had really helped her move beyond some mental blocks that she had been struggling to overcome.
I thought about it for awhile. I even saw a few posts related to it on Facebook. Naturally, everyone else’s “word” for 2016 sounded great. There were at least 5 that I thought would be great to use, but I knew I needed to give it a little more space. Rather than jumping on someone else’s bandwagon I needed to be quiet and really consider if adding a single word to my daily life would be worth the effort. I didn’t want to choose something that just sounded good, I wanted it to come from a deeper understanding of where I needed to place my attention.
Hopefully the thought of choosing your own word for the year is beginning to stir some ideas. If so, heed my advice and take a little extra time to choose consciously, so that you don’t just add another “to do” item to your life that you’re likely to forget in a few days.
How should you go about uncovering your own new year’s word?
Here’s how I did it.
I took time to review my year and the progress I had made in several areas, especially the progress I had made with my sankalpa (Sanskrit for resolution). I thought about what I needed the most help with and where my biggest mental roadblocks were. I considered what I wanted to make my absolute priority. Then I thought about what habits I wanted to remove from my life and I considered their triggers (the unconscious things that set my bad habits in motion). Yes, I basically gave myself a mini psychoanalysis.
What I realized is that each time I got close to fulfilling my sankalpa, I tended to doubt almost everything about it. It was as if I didn’t really want to fulfill it at all. I talked myself out of it by doubting the steps I was taking to achieve it. I resisted what I really and truly wanted each time I allowed doubt to enter my thoughts. I knew that my doubt wasn’t a positive result of gut instinct, but was driven by fear instead.
My guess is that you know what I’m talking about. You’ve probably witnessed how fear can stop you in your tracks and keep you from pursuing what you truly want in life.
In the midst of these weeks of considering my new year’s word, a magnet on my refrigerator caught my attention. It was given to me by a friend in my first yoga teacher training, back in 2006. It’s simply a quote by Lao Tzu that reads, “at the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”
What I really wanted from the coming months was to let go of doubt and fear and reconnect to my own knowingness. I knew it was there, within me. I knew I had access to that clarity and confidence whenever I wanted, I simply had to get out of my ruminating mind and move toward my center.
My 2016 new year’s word is knowingness. Whenever I think of it, I’m reminded that I have all of the answers I need to live my life authentically. Knowingness reminds me that ultimately I know what decision to make on any given subject when I let go of doubt and listen to my intuition.
Now it’s time for you to use your own knowingness and consider choosing a new year’s word for yourself. In the comments below, let me know if this tool of using a single word, rather than a new year’s resolution, sounds powerful to you. Do you already have a word or will you take some time to uncover it this year?