With the New Year here, you may be thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Although goal setting is good, it can start the year with a feeling of heaviness about how you will accomplish these goals. Trying to achieve the same goals year after year with no results can be frustrating and disheartening.
How about instead of making New Year’s resolutions you select one word, a virtue, to support your vision for the year ahead? The word can be a steady guide and inspiration for what’s to come.
When you choose a virtue, you set the tone of “being” instead of “having” and “doing” so “I want to lose weight” (having) and “I need to exercise to get there” (doing) is different from “I am a ‘determined’ (the virtue of determination) person.” If you believe that you are determined, your actions will be driven by that belief, which means that the “have” and “do” will come more easily. So staying determined to lose weight will help you achieve your desired result.
Choose a Virtue Based in What You Want
To select your virtue, you can ask yourself what you most want this year. Take some time to contemplate various virtues and choose one that holds real meaning for you and matches your desires. For example, if you want to paint, write, or start a new business in the new year, you can choose “creativity” to help you feel inspired and stay the course. Or, if you want to focus on giving more to others, you can choose “kindness” or “generosity”. Perhaps you want to forgive others more readily for the little things. Or, you are thinking about a relationship that can be mended through forgiveness. Start with this list below to see if you are drawn to any of these virtues. You can also view a full list here.
How to Keep the Virtue Top of Mind
Once you have chosen your virtue (or even two!), here are some suggestions to help keep it a priority all year long:
- Write it down and place the virtue around your home, office and even your car, wherever you will see it during your daily routine. This helps remind you to live by it each day. Post-it notes are a great way to do this!
- Journal about the virtue. Write about how you envision the virtue playing out for you this year. You can jot down ways you will practice it and then write about your experiences in the journal. Journal writing has many benefits. One of them is that you’ll have insight into how that virtue has affected you.
- Create powerful affirmations that you can read regularly such as:
- “I am strong, courageous and worthy of all good things.” (Courage)
- “I intend to live this day to the fullest and practice gratitude.” (Gratitude)
- “I love and accept myself for who I am.” (Acceptance)
- Take one daily or weekly action. If you choose “peace”, perhaps you can begin meditating daily. Think of ways to incorporate the virtue into your life by setting goals around that virtue and then taking specific daily, weekly and/or monthly actions. And don’t forget to journal about it!
At the end of the year, it will be fun to look back in your journal to see all that you accomplished around that virtue. You’ll also have the virtue more ingrained in your character with all the practice!
Remember that the new year holds a promise of hope, success, revelations, transformations, second chances, ridding of old habits, love, friendship, and other countless possibilities. With a virtue as your guiding beacon of light, you can shape the world with this one-word intention as the world shapes you in its glorious response.
What virtue are you choosing to focus on in 2020? Share your virtue with us below. We’d love to hear from you!