When it comes to setting goals for the new year, there are two popular approaches: making New Year’s resolutions or choosing a Word of the Year. Both methods aim to help you improve your life, but when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions vs. Word of the Year, which one is better?
In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each approach, so you can decide which one is right for you.
New Year’s resolutions are a time-honored tradition, where you set specific goals for the year ahead.
These goals can be related to health, finances, relationships, or any other area of your life that you want to improve.
The idea is to make a commitment to yourself and take action towards achieving your goals. However, many people struggle to stick to their resolutions and end up feeling disappointed or discouraged.
On the other hand, choosing a Word of the Year is a more recent trend that focuses on a single word or phrase that represents your intentions for the year.
This approach is more flexible than setting specific goals, as it allows you to apply your word to multiple areas of your life. For example, if you choose the word “balance,” you can strive for balance in your work, relationships, and self-care.
However, some people find it challenging to choose a word that resonates with them or to stay focused on their word throughout the year.
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Understanding New Year’s Resolutions
New Year’s resolutions are a tradition where people set goals and intentions for the upcoming year.
The new year is a time to reflect on the past year and think about what changes you want to make in your life. This is why it’s a common time to set goals.
The Tradition of Resolutions
The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions dates back to ancient Babylon. They would make promises to their gods at the start of each year to return borrowed objects and pay their debts.
Today, resolutions are more personal and can range from health and fitness goals to financial or career aspirations.
Resolutions and Goal Setting
New Year’s resolutions are a form of goal setting, where you identify a specific goal and take steps to achieve it.
However, unlike other goal-setting methods, resolutions are often made without a clear plan or strategy. This lack of planning can lead to failure and frustration.
Why Resolutions Often Fail
Resolutions often fail because they are too broad or vague.
For example, resolving to “lose weight” is not specific enough to be achievable. Instead, setting a specific goal like “losing 10 pounds by March” is more achievable and measurable.
Another reason resolutions fail is due to a lack of an easy path of progress. Setbacks and relapse are common, which can lead to giving up on the resolution altogether.
Exploring the Concept of ‘Word of the Year’
If you’re not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, you might want to consider choosing a “Word of the Year” instead.
This concept has gained popularity in recent years as a more meaningful and intentional way to approach personal growth and development.
The Origin and Purpose of Word of the Year
The idea of choosing a “Word of the Year” is believed to have originated from the practice of choosing a “Sankalpa” in yoga, which is a Sanskrit word that means “intention” or “resolve.”
The purpose of choosing a word is to set an overarching theme or focus for the year ahead, rather than a specific goal or resolution.
By choosing a word, you can set an intention that will guide your decisions and actions throughout the year. It can serve as a reminder of your values, aspirations, and priorities, and help you stay on track when life gets busy or challenging.
How a Word of the Year Promotes Personal Growth
Choosing a “Word of the Year” can be a powerful tool for personal growth and self-reflection.
It allows you to focus on the process of growth and evolution, rather than just the outcome.
You can use your word as a lens through which to view your experiences and choices, and as a way to measure your progress and growth.
Your word can also inspire you to take action towards your goals and aspirations. It can provide a sense of direction and purpose, and help you stay motivated and committed to your personal growth journey.
Which is Better: New Year’s Resolution vs Word of the Year
If you’re looking to make a change in your life, you may be wondering whether to set New Year’s resolutions or choose a Word of the Year. Here’s a comparative analysis of the two approaches to help you decide which one is right for you.
Effectiveness and Success Rates
Research shows that only about 9% of people who set New Year’s resolutions actually achieve them. However, success rates escalate when the resolution is supported with an action plan that focuses on small steps and achievements.
In contrast, choosing a Word of the Year can be more effective because it focuses on a single theme or intention rather than a laundry list of goals. This approach allows you to keep your attention on one thing throughout the year, increasing the likelihood of success.
Ease of Implementation
New Year’s resolutions can be overwhelming, especially if you set too many of them or make them too ambitious. This can lead to stress and ultimately failure. Narrowing your options to just one or two resolutions, with specific action plans, is a better option.
Choosing a Word of the Year, on the other hand, is a simpler approach that can be easier to implement. It allows you to focus on one word or concept and incorporate it into various areas of your life. However, a word is much more general than a specific goal, and so, is easier to lose sight of over time.
Impact on Personal and Professional Life
Both resolutions and Words of the Year can have a positive impact on your personal and professional life.
However, the key is to take action and make behavior changes based on your chosen approach. Seeking professional support or using a strategy to help you accomplish your goals can also be beneficial.
In reality, whether you choose New Year’s resolutions or a Word of the Year depends on your personal preference and what works best for you.
Consider your goals, habits, and stress levels when deciding which approach to take.
Remember to take action and stay committed to making positive changes in your life.
Making a Choice: New Year’s Resolution or Word of the Year
Now that you have explored the differences between New Year’s resolutions and Word of the Year, it’s time to make a choice. Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, and ultimately, it depends on what works best for you.
If you prefer a specific goal to work towards throughout the year, then resolutions may be the way to go.
You can create a list of resolutions and break them down into achievable steps, making it easier to track your progress. However, it’s important to remember that resolutions require commitment and accountability, and it’s easy to lose motivation as time goes on.
On the other hand, if you prefer a more general and flexible approach, then Word of the Year may be a better fit.
By choosing a single word to focus on, you can incorporate it into different areas of your life and adapt it as your priorities change. It’s a more holistic approach that encourages personal growth and self-reflection.
Of course, there is always a third option: DO BOTH!
- How to Create New Year’s Resolutions That Stick: Expert Tips
- Micro Habits: The Better Way to Reach Your Goals
- Choosing and Using Micro Habits: 10 Tips for Real Results
- New Year’s Resolutions: Questions and Answers
- How to Choose a Word of the Year (and why you want one)
Final Thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions vs. Word of the Year: Which is Better?
No matter which approach you choose, it’s important to have a plan in place. Use a guide or tips to help you stay on track, and consider sharing your goals with a community for added support and accountability.
Remember, the most important thing is to be honest with yourself and make a commitment to your personal growth and well-being.
With planning and dedication, you can make positive changes in your life and achieve your goals, whether you choose resolutions or Word of the Year.
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Lori is a happily 50+ woman striving to live her best life through self-awareness and self-care. She writes from experience, inspired by her own journey toward confidence, self-love, and positivity.
Holding degrees in Psychology, Education, and Nonprofit Management, Lori’s varied career has covered education administration, counseling, teaching, conference planning, and full-time motherhood. What do these roles all have in common? Caring for other people.
Today, Lori cares for others by promoting the benefits of self-care for mature women. She stands firm in her belief that through self-care, all women over 50 can feel confident, capable, and happy.