I stopped making New Year’s resolutions many years ago.
They never worked for me.
The exercise program resolution never lasted past February. The eating healthier resolution never made its way through the holiday leftovers. And the lose 20 lbs. resolution never really got started. I could go on with this list, but you see the pattern. Resolutions always left me feeling guilty, frustrated, and discouraged.
In 2012 I changed my idea of how to begin a new year and decided to pick a word. One word that would be my theme for the year. Guide my actions and give me an intention. That year, my word was ‘Health.’
I would ask myself daily if I was creating a healthier life for myself. I would ask myself if the action I was about to take would put me on a path toward health or a path away from being healthy. It was a small nonjudgmental nudge for me.
I printed out the word Health and put it on my vision board. I put it on my bathroom mirror. I would write it as I doodled. I tried to incorporate it into conversations. That year I didn’t turn into the vision of perfect health, but I made better choices. I read and researched healthy habits. I caught up on physical tests and appointments I had avoided. Health became part of my life.
Since then, my words have included:
Focus -when I needed to become more aware of how I was spending my time;
Completion- when I realized I had projects I had begun and never finished;
Sincerity- when I wanted to live in a space of being sincere in everything I said and did;
JOY- when I needed to move into living a joyous life;
Intention- when I wanted to not just live, but set daily intentions about how I wanted to live; Self-love- when I was doing a great job of loving others but not myself;
Fun- after a car accident and a year of physical therapy and sadness I just needed to have fun!
Some years I struggle to find the perfect word. Some years the word jumps out at me. Some years they come to me during meditation. This year, the word was in my heart. It throbbed through my mind with every push of blood through my veins. I didn’t have a choice – this word found me.
Hope- an optimistic state of mind.
An expectation of positive outcomes.
A cherished desire of anticipation.
A feeling of trust in the future.
What I need this coming year, what we all need this new year, is Hope.
I hold hope that friends and families will once again join for holidays and family dinners. That birthday parties and celebrations will become joyous again.
I hold hope that the anger and division subsides and we once again join in unified ways that increase stability and harmony in our country.
I hold hope that the freedom to own our beliefs is accomplished with respect and honor for others who may hold a belief that is counter to our own.
I hold hope that children can once again gather in the school hallways, laughing and chatting with friends. I hold hope that elementary playgrounds are filled with rosy cheeks, running and playing without fear of being too close.
I hold hope that restaurant tables will be filled with happy faces and small businesses will overflow with shoppers. I hold hope that employment will become stable and breadwinners will be able to pay rent or mortgages and feed their families.
I hold hope that health returns to our people, our communities, our country, and our world.
I hold hope that smiles are wide, handshakes are earnest, and hugs- oh those hugs- are long and meaningful.
Do I believe that a page turn of the calendar will magically create an idyllic world where the weather is perfect, daisies dance, and the bluebirds sing songs? No.
But I do believe humans cannot live without hope.
Even a small glimmer of hope will keep our lives moving forward and our hearts reaching for what is to come. My wish is that the small glimmer will gain strength and grow until it is a powerful light calling to us. Shinning on us.
For this new year, it isn’t a resolution that will guide me.
It is one word.
The word is Hope.
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Pennie’s Life Lesson: “We cannot survive without hope.”
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There is a certain magic about where I live both physically and spiritually – on the crossroads of Spirit and Brave.
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