If you’re like most people, you came up with some new resolutions for yourself, your marriage, or your family. New Year’s Resolutions can be hard to keep, as I’ve blogged about before. So this year, I’m endorsing a simpler idea: Remember one word. A friend of mine named Bobb Biehl inspired me to do this. Recently, I found some notes I took during one of his talks years ago. Bobb shared the importance of having a “single word focus.”
It’s a great concept. Through the years, I’ve used this single word focus at work and at home. One year, our one word was clarity: to be clearer on strategy, roles, and responsibilities at Family First. Your word might be something you want to do (verb), something you want to be (noun), or something you want to describe yourself or the world around you (adjective). Here are 10 words to choose from.
Pick a verb if you’d like to do or accomplish something.
- Finish: Maybe you have a project or list of projects you’ve put off. What would the new year look like if you focused on finishing that off?
- Find: Maybe your year could be focused on finding out more about your spouse than you really know or finding a new purpose or a new activity to pursue together.
- Help: What if your focus this year is on finding new ways to help your spouse or family or, together, to help others?
- Pray: What would your year look like if you decided to pray with your spouse on a regular basis?
Pick a noun if it’s about a person, place, or thing.
- Team: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Marriage is the ultimate team sport. Marriages only work well when husbands and wives remember they’re on the same team. How much better would our world be if every marriage focused this new year on being a better team?
- Home: Maybe you need to spend less time on the road and more time at home. Maybe you need to say no to more things outside your home and yes to more things inside your home.
- Student: Be a student of your spouse and family. Perhaps you could dedicate yourself to finding new sources of inspiration and help for your marriage by reading a new book every month on relationships or going to a conference or retreat sometime in the year.
Or pick an adjective that you hope will describe you by the end of the year.
- Compassionate: Your relationships could be strengthened by a year dedicated to exercising compassion for others.
- Patient: Maybe you’ve grown weary with your loved ones or with life circumstances, and a year focused on being more patient would give you a new perspective on your marriage or your life. (If so, I can identify because of my own struggles with patience, but I’ve also made progress.)
- Funny: Maybe you need to laugh more. If the burdens of life have beaten you down, focusing your year on laughing and having fun together on a regular basis might be the refreshment you need.
Your relationships could be strengthened by a year dedicated to exercising compassion for others.
Perhaps this year we can set aside a laundry list of goals and focus on a single word that might mean more in the long run. Print your word. Keep it handy in your purse, wallet, briefcase, backpack, or desk.
What will be your one word for the New Year? Share in a comment.