Words matter. One Word in particular.

As we begin the new year, instead of a resolution to act differently–lose weight, save more for retirement, spend more time with your kids–set a One-Word Intention for instead.

Why? Because creating resolutions doesn’t work.

How many times have you set them and failed, only to feel worse for having set them in the first place?

Resolutions are often made either glibly, with no real reflection or commitment, or secretly so that others can’t support us in being successful. And, they typically focus on what we’ll do vs how we want to be in life.

The result? We don’t take full ownership of our resolutions and we let ourselves off the hook, minimizing any real importance the resolution might’ve held for us.

The antidote?  Set an intention instead, a One Word Intention.


One Word Intention

Focus your One Word intention on a Way of Being that you’d like to live into in the new year.  Our actions, or what we do in the world, flow from the quality of person we are, or, to say it with incorrect English, how we Be in the world.

Intentions provide a framework for us to set priorities, use our time wisely, and align ourselves with the resources we need to fulfill on our goals. The process of setting and moving towards our intention serves as a declaration to ourselves, others, and the universe that we’re serious about our dreams and goals.

A strong, positive, and energized intention serves as an attractor in our lives, while it’s equally likely to repel what’s not in alignment with it.

Why only one word?  Because setting One Word brings about focus, clarity to what’s really important, and the creative energy of restraint to take effective action.

Your One Word will teach you a lot about yourself: how you block your self and get in your own way, how you engage in challenges, how you persevere over time, what conditions cultivate you at your best.

And, since energy follows attention, and attention precedes every action, and actions determine results .  . . . actively choosing your intention is key to success.


Setting Your One Word Intention

Below are some guidelines for setting your One Word. Click here One Word Intention Worksheet to find a worksheet to use during your reflection.

When crafting your intention remember  . . . .

  • It’s less about what you want to Do and more about who you want to Be in this year. Once you’re committed to moving in the direction of what you long to Be, the actions typically take care of themselves.
  • Intentions resonate within the arc of your faith in your future-Your One Word will inspire you to grow and move forward because at the core it reflects your answer to the key question, “what’s important?”
  • Intentions contain rich visual and emotional imagery-intentions that are specific in sensory details are most powerful–how do you feel when working on this intention? What sounds and smells and tactile sensations accompany you as you move towards your intention?
  • Intentions, unlike glib resolutions, excite your passions the most —being thrilled as you set your One Word intention will increase the likelihood that you’ll move towards it.
  • You really only need One Word. Resist the temptation to add two, consider a phrase, etc. Pause, reflect, listen for your One Word to surface-it will. Then post it in strategic places at home and work. Let your One Word work you.
  • Once you’ve reflected and selected your One Word, post it where you can see it every day. Share your One Word with trusted others. Live into it by keeping it alive each day.

Drop me a note below–I’d love to hear about your One Word!