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For many of us, the new year comes with a lot of pressure. We feel the need to achieve something great or to prove something. And so, we set New Year’s resolutions. Setting goals and having a desire to achieve things is amazing. However, sometimes we may get lost in it all and it can end up doing us more harm than good.

A couple of years ago, I decided to stop setting new year’s resolutions. Instead, I began to live by a word or phrase for the year. This is a concept I read about somewhere and decided to try out. Whenever a year is coming to an end, I actively start reflecting on what word or phrase I would like for the following year. I take my time to look within and soon enough, it will come to me. I then outline some ways I would like to live by my word/ phrase for the year and proceed to intentionally do so. 

Last year my word was reclamation. Some of the practices I listed include: going to regular therapy, reducing my alcohol and coffee intake, dancing some more and regular introspection with the intention of getting to know myself again. Throughout the year as I kept up with my practices, I found that certain instances in my life also aligned themselves to my word of the year. To me, it feels like the word/phrase I choose is a sort of manifestation or prayer and so, the prayer is heard and I am helped in my journey. 

I still have goals and targets that I work on throughout the year. But, I have found that a word of the year works better for me. It just feels kinder. It also helps me gravitate towards what I need in whatever season of my life that I am in. So, it’s safe to say that I will be sticking to this practice for the foreseeable future. 

Here are some examples of words and phrases you could use just in case you would like to try this out: 

Remember, you get to decide what practices you would like to go along with these. There is no right or wrong answer. 

Author: Paulyne AKA The Artistic Psychologist