Resolutions can get tricky.
We create a million and one things that we are “resolute” to do. And if you’re anything like I used to be, we can get so gung-ho about our resolutions that if we were to look—really look—at that list after we’ve composed it, it might seem that we were trying to map out a blueprint to becoming someone completely other than who we actually are. That’s no good.
Our resolutions should guide us toward self-refinement, not reinvention.
Years ago, the friend of a family member shared her New Year’s resolution secret. She picks just one word to focus on for the year. One. That’s it.
That means she has to really look at what’s at the base of everything she wants from the year—all those features on her blueprint. She then uses that whole, huge self-development plan of sorts to determine what’s at the base of all those wants.
That idea had a certain magic to it. It stuck with me for years. But I always found the single-word resolution to be inadequate in a way. I tended to neglect certain areas of my metaphorical house in favor of one tiny room—usually relationships. And we can’t find a good relationship unless the house of our soul (our self) is in order.
So, in 2017, I picked up Danielle Laporte’s The Desire Map. Laporte’s mapping method charts life into five categories: livelihood and lifestyle, society and relationships, creativity and learning, health and wellness, and spirituality.
Laporte’s method is similar to that of the acquaintance I made years ago. She looks at her desires for each section of her life, and then looks specifically at why she wants those things—more specifically, she looks at how accomplishing or having those things will make her feel. She then chooses a few feeling-based words of focus for the year, and each day, writes down something that she can do to feel the way she wants to feel.
How, exactly, can you feel balanced? How can you feel determination in your everyday life? How can you feel kindness, or victory?
Using this method, I personally choose a single word for each life section. Sometimes I add a bonus word.
While there are certain, powerful methodologies for choosing our words that are shared in the book (and I’d strongly recommend picking up a copy), I wanted to know what you, Elephant readers, wanted to feel in this upcoming year. So I asked.
Here is a list of single-word resolutions that you, our dear readers, shared. Use them to get started thinking about what you’d like to feel in the upcoming year.
I love that last one. Yeet.
In the realm of feelings, resolutions, vision boarding, or desire mapping, the sky (or the dictionary) is the limit. When we get specific about what joy feels like to us—perhaps it’s that yeet sound we make when all our cells conspire to feel joyful—we get that much closer to where exactly we want to be.
So, dive in. Pick some words—maybe from here, or maybe add your own in the comments below. Ruminate. Riff. Then, if you’d like, take it a step further and look into what things you might be able to do each day, each week, and each month to help you feel that way in the new year.
May this method lead you to the most cheerful of new beginnings, every single day.