Why I’m swapping New Year resolutions for one little word

Lately I’ve seen a few people blogging about their OLW for 2017. An OLW stands for One Little Word. I found a link on a blog I regularly follow which took me to Ali Edwards website (http://aliedwards.com/). Ali Edwards is a designer, blogger and workshop instructor. She is also an author of four books about memory keeping. I totally agree with her that “a single word can be a powerful thing”.

Whilst I haven’t signed up for the workshop myself, I decided to select a word which I will carry throughout the year. Ali states on her website “There’s no right or wrong – your word might find you or you might select it based on what you hope to bring into your life in 2017”.

So this year I decided to forego the usual list of resolutions which I merrily write out before the year ends (and then promptly forget within a few weeks into the new one). I chose a word and that will be used as a guideline for the next 12 months.


Instead of my usual list consisting of “go to gym more often, eat healthily, learn to say no, learn to say no without guilt, stop over-thinking, step outside my comfort zone more, declutter, stress less and laugh more” I’m just using one word to remind me to do all of the above and more.

We live in a society that urges us constantly to achieve/accumulate/spend/see and quite honestly be more. More has become the norm. From more time spent on social media to more money spent on things we don’t need, it is exhausting keeping up with the endless cycle of ‘extra’ we are supposed to be adding each day.

So here is where my OLW comes in. Content is what I aim to feel in most situations. My goal is to climb into bed each evening feeling content with what I’ve achieved during the day. It doesn’t have to be huge and profound. It can be knowing I went to gym and ran an extra 10 minutes when I didn’t feel like it at the time. Or it can be the knowledge that I chose a healthy treat at the supermarket instead of a family sized bar of chocolate. Or I skipped the glass of wine and instead focused on drinking the recommended amount of water that day. That I put down the pair of shoes I didn’t need and bought a book that I can spend hours enjoying. It could be that I helped someone in the best way I could. Or I walked away from an unpleasant situation. Staying true to yourself is more important than getting the last word.

I aim to feel content in my decisions going forward. The mental gymnastics of “did I do or say the right thing?” is exhausting and robs one of happiness. Content ties in with a goal of mine which is to live in the moment. How many of us are constantly fretting over the past or worrying over the future and letting the present slip by silently? Yes it is easier said than done but I need to start somewhere and right now seems like a good place!

I would like to end the day knowing I’ve done something that added to my marriage, relationships and friendships. That I gave 100% at work. That I made healthy choices. That I learnt something new and look forward to putting it into practice. A day filled with positive things and few regrets. And that is what will make me content. Everyday won’t be perfect but instead of mulling over what doesn’t go right, I need to focus on what does and move on with a heart filled with content.

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