A Word instead of Resolutions

Every time a new year starts, one of the most common questions that people ask is, “What are your resolutions for the year?”. As much as I would like to reply like Calvin in the comic below, I know how useful resolutions can be.

I have been making resolutions diligently every year, at least ever since my dad introduced me to the concept when I was a little over eight years old. Over the years I have managed to fulfill quite a good share of them. But ever since I entered my twenties its become exponentially harder. Life seems to change so much over the course of the year that I haven’t been able to stick by them. Maybe I am just bad at making adult resolutions and anticipating what to expect over the year. But in a nutshell they don’t seem to work for me and in fact cause anxiety and disappointment by the end of the year from not being able to live by them.

I recently read a well written article on BuzzFeed about how my generation has become the burnout generation. I can relate to that. Resolutions just become an extension of the already long to do list. So when this year began a couple of weeks ago, I was clueless as to whether I should even spend time thinking about resolutions knowing that it might not work out. But, when a post by Melinda Gates ended up in my inbox about how instead of having resolutions she chooses a word for the year, it felt like the perfect answer to my problem. It’s a very simple idea, you pick a word which serves as the theme or encapsulates everything you want to do in the year. This simple yet powerful idea seemed easy enough for me to do. Melinda Gates’ word for the year is grace. While I read the reasoning behind her choosing that, I started thinking about what my word for the year would be. After a week of careful deliberation and thought, the word that emerged out was – dedication.

Dedication by definition is the quality of being committed to a task or purpose. In a world which is so stimulating it is hard to focus on a simple task. By the time I get over the initial fascination for something and have reached a low point, another new and exciting idea pops up on my phone. And, before I know it I have given up on my last task and started trying this new shiny thing. It’s a vicious cycle which ultimately results in feeling unfulfilled. This could be anywhere from sticking to a new workout regime or even a new hobby. There’s a joy in seeing something through that is hard to replace and hence this year I want to stay dedicated to any idea, hobby, habit or anything that I decide to try. Of course, life happens and sometimes I can miss out on doing something as often as I wanted to but dedication isn’t about performing something perfectly but being able to pick up where I left off as soon as possible.

In the process of choosing my word for the year I was able to identify exactly what I wanted to work on. I hope that this word will serve me well and help me become a better version of myself. So if you have been struggling to nail those resolutions down, maybe give this idea a try and see if it works for you.

Feature Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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