Words to Live By: An Alternative to New Year's Resolutions

I've always found the process of setting and measuring progress on New Year's resolutions to feel forced and to be a set-up for guilt.  This year, in addition to reflecting on my year (as I do every year), I will be creating my personal Words to Live By (WTLB).  To borrow from the business world, WTLB can be thought of as a personal motto; to borrow from the spiritual world, WTLB  can be thought of as a personal mantra. Some examples of Words to Live By:

  • Always be me
  • Think, then speak
  • Remain present
  • Breathe, listen, act

WTLB help you fill in the blank, "When in doubt, _______."  They are an always-available, always-relevant personal accountability system; they help you to course-correct in the challenging moments of everyday life.

Words to Live By are:

  • easy to remember; you don't need to write them down
  • applicable to all aspects of your life; you don't need one set for home and another for work
  • doable in the moment-to-moment; you don't need to measure your progress quarterly or annually
  • descriptive of how you want to be, not things you want to do

WTLB reflect what you need to be most mindful of as you walk through this next  year of your life. The words you choose may be based on learnings from the past year -- "I need to listen more" -- or a new intention that you are creating for yourself -- "I will remember to breathe when I'm stressed."  Your WTLB are the words you think you will most need to hear, most often, at the most critical moments.

It is likely that just by thinking about it for a few minutes, you will come up with some possible WTLB.   Good luck, and have a happy New Year!

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