Why I Don’t Make Resolutions (And What I Do Now) - Jen Kimbrell

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The start of a new year always brings promises to be better. To move faster, do more, and stress less. We have all of these resolutions to accomplish, but how often do they become a reality? For me, my resolve always ends in me, dropping the ball and choosing not to pick it back up. So, what do I do instead? Keep reading to find out!

pink planner with a pencil

Why Make Resolutions?

A resolution is an important thing to make. It's essentially a goal, and goals are fundamental because they make you better and hopefully healthier as well. So, while resolutions are essential, I don't make them anymore. Instead, I choose a memorable word for the year.

Why One Word?

Making resolutions is a time-honored tradition, and for many people, they may work! However, they don't usually work for me. Resolutions typically require me to focus on what I don't want or can't have in my life. This thought process may say a lot about me, but if you tell me I can't have something, it seems I want it even more.

For example, if I want to work on my health, my focus needs to be on my supply. The supply is different for everyone, but I believe my supply is the strength God provides. Knowing life is working for me rather than to me or against me makes a huge difference in my mindset.  

By choosing one word, I stay in tune with the feeling rather than the effect, and it allows me to make small decisions daily to make a change. So here is how I teach kids and teachers alike about how to choose their one word and make significant changes:

Reflect on the Year

First, you need to think about a few things:

Reflection allows the brain to pause and untangle experiences to create meaning. However, you are also focusing on the broad ideas that you want. For example, I may wish to have less stress in my life, and I want more time. Having more time to do things would release a certain amount of stress. These ideas go hand-in-hand and can take form in a variety of ways.

Visualize Your Day

Once you've reflected on the previous year, visualize your perfect day. Think about how you want to feel when you wake up until the time you go to bed. 

Select Your Word

Once you've reflected on the year and your day, you can choose which word you want to focus on for the year. Choosing one word to focus on instead of a specific goal gives you options. For example, if I make a resolution and say, “I'm going to eat better,” I am going to cave when the cupcakes come out in the lounge. However, if my one word is MODERATION, I can eat that cupcake but not have an extra helping at dinner, or I'll skip sugary drinks for the day. 

Make an Action Plan

Once you choose a word, think about looks like, what needs to happen for this word to become a reality for you. Find pictures that represent your word. Add it to a Jamboard or other digital display.

Watch Not Making a Resolution Actually Work

By choosing a word, you open yourself up for little successes that turn into significant gains. Remember, anything good that is going to happen takes consistent effort and time. 

While New Year resolutions might be all the rage this year, I encourage you to think outside the box and find your word. Please find what you want to focus on and go for it in whatever capacity it takes. And if you want your students to find their one word, too, I created a digital escape room just for you. Happy New Year! Here's to a new you!