A Word For The Wise

Failing to plan is planning to fail–or so my mother told me.  With the start of a new year, plenty of folks are making plans which are doomed to fail.  These “plans” are resolutions.  Perhaps resolutions are not the right plans to be making; maybe we simply need a word.

The dictionary definition of a “resolution” is a firm decision to do or not do something.  Unsurprisingly, according to statisticbrain.com, the top resolution made at the beginning of 2017 was to lose weight.  See how skinny everyone is at the start of 2018?  No?  Well, that tells you how successful the losing weight resolution was.  Sure, the resolutioners had the best of intentions, but who can resist Valentine’s candy?  Of course, that’s assuming that the resolution even lasted until mid-February.  Raise your hand if you were watching the Super Bowl at the beginning of February while quaffing water and snacking on celery sticks.  Didn’t think so.

One way not to break a resolution is not to make one.  If Statisticbrain.com is to be believed, 42% of Americans NEVER make a New Year’s resolution.  While these non-committal Americans did not go down in flaming defeat, they did not achieve any goal either because none was identified.  You simply can’t reach a goal that is never set.

On the other hand, 41% of Americans, at least so statisticbrain.com says, usually make a resolution.  That’s less than half of our fellow countrymen who even make a stab at achieving some goal.  Aren’t we a motivated lot?  The inspired 41% who do make a resolution do not have good results from having done so.  Only 9.2% of that 41% felt that they were successful in achieving their resolution.

What’s up with this poor success rate?  Well, we may aim high by setting a goal, but perhaps we are aiming TOO high.  One is doomed to failure if the set goal is unrealistic.  While you may want to lose 30 pounds, perhaps 10 is more doable and might still allow you to gastronomically enjoy the Super Bowl.

I’ll confess that I’ve had varying results with past resolutions.  A few have been successfully achieved.  Others were mere pipe dreams.  I’m hesitant to say that the blame for the lack of success is my fault.  Surely it is more likely that the problem can be found in the plan I used to set/achieve my goals.  Yeah!  The problem is with the method (resolutions) and not me.

Apparently some other smart cookies have reached the same conclusion as I have.  Cue the trendy effort to choose a WORD for the year.  Who needs a bunch of words, i.e., a resolution, to help us?  Let’s simplify and make things easier to grasp and follow.  All we need is one word.  If you fail, then you probably didn’t select the magic word.

How does this word way work?  Assuming you want to lose weight, you might want to choose the word “exercise.”  If you want to quit smoking, you might choose the word “breathe.”  If you want to get your act together, you might want to choose the word “organize.”  Unfortunately, this approach seems a bit too simplistic to me.  A word is good for the big picture, but don’t you need a few more words with it to achieve success?  Wouldn’t some definitive steps for reaching your goal be helpful?

I’m going to keep an open mind and try the word approach this year.  Settling on one word is difficult, but I have cleverly chosen one with more than one application.  My word is “word.”  Yes, “word” is a four letter word, but I think it is one of which my mother would approve.

So what do I mean by “word?”  The first application of “word” is with my writing.  I love to write, and writing, of necessity, involves words.  Lots of words.  In a previous year I wrote a manuscript with approximately 81,600 words.  I want those words to be published so everyone can have the opportunity to read them.  Publication won’t occur without great effort and probably some rejections along the way.  But on my word, I am going to give it my best shot to see my book in print.  Not only will I need to market my words, but I’ve got to get all those words out of my brain and down on paper for several other writing ideas I have.  My word, I’m going to be busy with words!

The other meaning of the word “word” relates to my faith.  I want to read through God’s word again this year.  I want a deeper relationship with The Word who was there in the beginning.  I want to spread the word about The Word hopefully through both my written words and the words that I speak.

Upon reflection, maybe having a word of the year is the wise way to the word “success” in achieving goals.  We might be getting so bogged down in details and planning for our goal that we fail to focus on the goal itself.  It should be easier to remember and focus on a single word.  Will you give me your word that you’ll take this challenge to have a word for the year with me?

Just WONDER-ing:  What word would be a good focus for you this year?  Why?