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Your Word of the Year is About a Journey Not a Destination

At the end of each year, it seems everyone is talking about making New Year’s resolutions, setting goals, and giving tips on how to make it all happen. Picking a word of the year should be different.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. So we start making plans and dreaming about what we would like to accomplish in the coming months.

Sadly, however, research tells us (especially gym owners!) that most of us will give up on our New Year’s resolutions by January 15th. We lose interest, get busy, and get discouraged.

So what do we do?

It’s a question I’ve been wrestling with again this year as I pick my word for the year. How do I stay motivated and focused once the excitement has worn off and the hard work begins?

Your Word of the Year is About a Journey Not a Destination |

My New Year’s Word (2017) is Purposeful

As I have worked on my overall vision for this year and what things I want to accomplish in my health, relationships, spiritual walk, and in my business, the word Purposeful kept coming up. So I adopted the word again for this year.

Last year I wrote about the four lessons learned in picking a New Year’s word. Thankfully in looking back at that post, I see that those lessons still apply.

  • Lesson #1: It’s okay to adapt and change
  • Lesson #2: Pick actions to support your word
  • Lesson #3: Regular reviews and reminders (are VERY important)
  • Lesson #4: ??

(Okay that is funny, I just realized I titled that post “4 Lessons Learned”, but only listed three – wonder how tired I was on that day? Oy!)

This year I thought it would be a good idea to expand the list with a few more lessons learned.

Lesson #4: Little by Little is Progress

This one comes courtesy of Lara Casey of The past six months has held some pretty significant hurdles including finding (and buying) a small fixer upper for Bailey and me followed by some health issues that have slowed both me, and the renovation schedule way done.

On the days I’m frustrated, tired, and wonder what in the world I’m doing, Lara’s concept of “Little by Little Is Progress” comes to mind. So I pick a small task to tackle that will help keep my goals and projects moving forward.

Some days this means taking 10 minutes to fill in the holes in the wall and be one step closer to painting it. Or maybe it is brainstorming a short list of blog post ideas. No matter what you pick, the point is to take action, at lease one small step that will keep you moving forward.

It’s hard to remember sometimes, but, small daily actions build up over time to produce significant results.

"Little by little is progress" ~Lara Casey

Lesson #5: Release Your Unrealistic Expectations.

It is so easy to get caught up in the fervor of starting the year with a blank slate. We get caught up in grandiose plans and expect to see giant leaps and bounds of progress right away. No wonder we fizzle out!

We expect so much from ourselves and get incredibly unrealistic in what we can accomplish during the day, week or month. As a result, New Year’s resolutions become burdens.

Each year it becomes more apparent that I need to look closer at the expectations I place on myself. And now with the health issues that have sprung up, I need to be more aware than ever before, of how I manage my time and energy.

These limitations force me to get real about the unrealistic expectations I tend to place on my schedule. Well, most of the time anyway, I’m still working on this one.

Lesson #6: Picking a Word of the Year is About a Journey Not a Final Destination

When the overwhelm hits, and it feels like I’m not making as much progress as I had hoped, it’s time to remember that picking a New Year’s word is about a journey. Not everything has to be completed by some arbitrary date that is entirely unrealistic.

The word we pick for the year describes a journey. This one word can help us make daily purposeful decisions that keep us moving forward, even when the going gets tough. It’s about knowing that some days will work the way we planned and giving ourselves grace on the days that don’t.

Do you pick a Word of the Year?
Share yours in the comments below.

Want to dive more into picking and using a Word of the Year?
I’ve got a couple of podcasts episodes for you that might help.
You can listen in or read the transcripts to each episode at the links below.

Episode 31: Word of the Year or New Year’s Resolutions? Which one do you need?
Episode 32: I’ve Picked My Word of the Year… Now What?

More on Picking A New Year’s Word:

8 thoughts on “Your Word of the Year is About a Journey Not a Destination”

  1. Purposeful is a great word! I should always add it to my word. This year “Trust” came to me.
    It seems that the older I get, the harder that becomes. I am being more purposeful in studying scripture and noting quotes from others and images that deal with trust. I purchased a notebook and working on adding an entry or two each day.
    Praying for your health to return.

    1. Thanks for sharing your word Elaine! I’ve been looking at ways to keep my word in front of me so it doesn’t become “out of site out of mind”, have been considering a notebook too to journal about my word. I think this might be the start to a new blog post 🙂

  2. I went to Staples and found an inexpensive college ruled notebook with impressionistic feathers on the cover.
    This has become really perfect since there are so many Scripture verses about taking refuge under God’s wings. I learned that one of the words for trust means “to make someone a refuge”!
    You are so creative Marta , I know you can create a cover if you don’t find one that serves you well.

    1. That is a great idea. My Aunt just started a word study on the word trust and refuge sure comes up a lot, thank goodness! I do love that word.

      And, yes I’ve made covers before for my journals, and I’ve been inspired by the Reset Girl on YouTube she is a planner lover and journal maker, she has inspired me in getting more creative in a way that works for me in my journals.

  3. I’ve thought about this for the past month and believe my emphasis this year is on connection. Learning more on how to make, maintain, strengthen, and renew connections in my life.

    1. Connections is a great word Mary, it can also be a hard word. Being purposeful in my relationships and building community is definitely a facet in my word for this year.

      How will you go about learning about your word? It is an area I struggle with especially when life gets super busy. Would love to hear about what you are learning and how you will act upon your word this year.

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