A New Year usually sparks feelings of anticipation and excitement, like the first day of school! Often, we spend time examining our lives, setting new goals, or making promises to ourselves about ways to improve or things we want to learn. This year, instead of setting a rigid resolution, consider choosing one word to guide you through the year.
Studies have shown that the decision to repeat a single word to ourselves can quiet the brain, allowing us to pause our thoughts and take a mental break. This choice may help bring clarity to our daily actions and keep us focused on who we want to be or how we want to live our life.
Words are powerful. They can inspire, encourage, heal, help, transform, create. A word can be an anchor, providing stability in the ups and downs of the day. Or it can be a compass, directing decisions and guiding steps. Words such as courage, faith, strength, adventure, calm, gratitude, focus. A simple word has the power to create possibilities in our lives and can help us to be intentional about creating positive change every day.
In today’s Wellness Wednesday, we explore the power of a word.
As a class, group or family:
- Start by reflecting on the past year. On a piece of paper, make two columns. On one side, write down everything that went well. You can write sentences, experiences, words, etc.
- On the other side, write down some things you would like to change or that you wish had a different outcome. Write whatever pops into your head. There are no correct answers.
- Now, read the side that lists what went well. As you read, ask yourself questions such as: What do I want more of? Does anything catch my attention? How do I feel reading the list? Highlight or circle three things that stand out.
- Read through the other side. While this column lists what you wish you could change, it is an important part because it helps you to learn what you want less of in 2022.
- After reading both lists, take a moment to think about what you wrote. Ask yourself: How do I want to feel at the end of each day? Turn over the paper and choose a few words, perhaps 5 maximum, that really identify how you want 2022 to be or feel.
- Read your words and start narrowing it down. As you read the words over and over, some will resonate more than others. Chances are, a word will make you feel inspired rather than interested to change.
- Once you choose your word, find a way to make it part of your day. Say it. Display it. Write it down or stick it in places where you will see it daily. Post it on the bathroom mirror, set it as a reminder in your phone, make it your wallpaper or background, frame it on your nightstand, include it in a vision board, or write in your agenda.
- Stay open to the possibilities that one word can unfold for you.
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer:
What area of your life needs attention? What is in the way?
Could picking one word help you reach a goal in the future?
Connecting to our faith:
“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
God has resolutions and plans of His own for us. We have a purpose and His mercies are new every morning – every new year – for us to start again (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Talk with God. He remains with us and we can put our trust in Him as we make this transition to a new year. When we bring our New Year’s plans and goals to God in prayer, we can be open to listen and intentionally embrace His invitation to live out His plan for our lives.
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3)
- Adult Book: “One Word That Will Change Your Life” by Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, and Jon Gordon
- Children’s Book: “One Word for Kids: A Great Way to Have Your Best Year Ever” by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, Korey Scott (Illustrator)
- Article: “The Power of One Word” https://someonetotellitto.org/the-power-of-one-word/
- Blog: “How Mantras Calm Your Mind” psychologytoday.com/us/blog/urban-survival/201508/how-mantras-calm-your-mind
Employees of LDCSB check out WorkLifeHealth from EAP Provider Morneau Sheppell.
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