“I’m going to lose weight.” 

“I’m going to pay off my credit cards.”

“I’m going to get a boyfriend.”

“I’m going to get a better job.”

Have you ever made these New Year’s resolutions, or something similar?

Well, I’m hear to tell you, to quote the 1990s-era weight loss program, STOP THE INSANITY. Resolutions made on January 1st don’t work and you can’t stick to them. But stay with me—not all is lost.

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According to Forbes, there are alarming statistics about New Year’s resolutions:

  • 40% of Americans make resolutions for the New Year
  • Of the ones who do, 25% of those quit after the first week
  • More than half quit after six months
  • Only 8% realize their New Year’s goal

Now, I am all for improving myself. I mean, think about it…do you want to be stuck in the same rut your entire life? I doubt it.

But the resolutions I listed above simply don’t work. They are too vague, lack a solid plan of attack, and aren’t easy to keep without guardrails in place. And as single women, it’s harder for us to find accountability partners if we don’t have a spouse or SO who sees us every day.

That is why I abandoned the notion of New Year’s in 2016 and decided to do a word of the year—one word that encapsulates my intentions and my mood for the upcoming year.

In 2016, my word was unbreakable. That came in handy when I lost my job and I had to keep my self-esteem high while looking for a new one. And I started this blog, which has become one of the biggest blessings in my life.

My 2017 word was joy, as I needed comfort facing the grim political shadow that cast itself on my country. Though I have fallen down on that one, especially during the second half of the year, I can look back and see where I went wrong and what I need for 2018.

Tenacity is my word for the upcoming year.

I have been lazy in several aspects of my life, mostly when it comes to my health, finances, and writing. So taking this overarching theme of tenacity, I plan to do the following:

  • Faithfully track my steps and eating habits at least five days a week on my Weight Watchers app
  • Attend at least one yoga class a week
  • Put $500 in the bank every month as I start to save for an emergency fund
  • Get my money invested with a financial planner
  • Write at least 100 pages of the new book I am planning, How to Dress Like a Skinny French Woman When You Are Neither Skinny Nor French (working title)

These are actionable, concrete, simple steps to take. In several cases, I have already set the gears in motion: I downloaded and played with the WW app, I have already interviewed several financial planners, and I have an outline for my book already written.

Notice that none of my goals have a specific outcome, except for the 100-page draft of my book. They are merely steps I know I can do to create positive momentum in the areas of my life I know I need work.

Here is the other important thing: There is a hefty amount of self-love involved in these goals. For example, if I go way over my WW points, I refuse to beat myself up over it. Food is not the enemy. I am not the enemy. And because I didn’t reach one goal does not mean I am a failure. I simply slipped up once.

So I will get back on the saddle and love myself anyway.

We hear so many negative voices in society: Why aren’t you married? You would look so much better if you were a size 12 instead of a 24! I can’t believe you have a bachelors degree and you get paid that little!

Ladies, the real estate in your head is far too precious to allow it to be taken up by the crap others throw at you. You are a beautiful, wonderful miracle. And you don’t deserve those ugly voices in your head.

So if you don’t want to do a New Year’s resolution, that is completely understandable! Or even if you do, don’t make it a big, lofty goal.

Instead, think of a word for this year you want to become. Remind yourself of it. Make it your screensaver. Get it tattooed, if you are so inclined. Personally, I get a small silver stack ring made from an Etsy vendor with the word on the side. That helps remind me what I am about this year, and where I have come from in previous years.

I wish you all the joy and light possible in 2018. I am truly thankful for each and every one of you, because you are the reason I do this every day. I have some fun articles and interviews planned for the upcoming year, but if there is anything you want to see covered here, please reach out to me @plusonewoman on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Or here below in the comments!