Have you heard about the idea of choosing one word for your year instead of making New Year’s resolutions?
You choose one word that is your focus, goal, and mantra for the year. To choose your word, take some time to think about where your life is, how you hope for things to be at the end of the year, and what you need to add, change, or let go of in the next year to move closer to that dream. (A quick Google search will turn up multiple websites around the one word concept and articles by people like Gretchen Rubin on how they have used one word to focus and direct their year.)
So, here’s the extra art directive step: once you’ve chosen your word, make a piece of art about it. What would your life look like if you stayed focused on this word? What would you need to do or change? What would the result be? What will it feel like as you live out your word?
I think that doing art with your one word is a great activity for a couple of reasons. First, it gives you more time to focus on your word and what it would really mean for you as you spend the time working on your art. Second, now you have a great reminder of your intention – hang it up where you will see it often, take a picture and put it on your computer desktop, or slip a small copy in your wallet. Every time that you see your art piece, you will be reminded to recommit to your word and assess how you are doing.
My word for 2016 is “action.” I chose this word for a few reasons. In the first year after becoming a mom, I feel like I spent a lot of time just reacting, juggling things, and trying to keep up. There wasn’t always a plan and I definitely wasn’t always in charge of what was happening. So for me, the action that I want to take this year is proactive, not just reactive. I also have a tendency to get stuck in the dreaming and planning stage of things. When I want something to change or I feel stuck, I resort to internet searches and reading books and blogs, but it usually takes an extra effort to take that next step into action. My other blocks to creativity and productivity are being overwhelmed or lacking motivation. I will remind myself this year when I feel overwhelmed to just pick one task and take action – any step forward is still progress! And the cure for no motivation can be just doing something, not waiting until you feel inspired (this great article from Mark Manson pointed this out to me recently).
This year I want to feel a bit more in control of my life and grow my business in some significant ways, so my focus needs to be on action. I won’t get stuck in reading, thinking, and dreaming…I’ll take action and see if I can manifest some of my dreams.
I’d love to hear from some readers! What did you do this year for a resolution? Have you tried the one word focus?
Do you make art around your intentions or resolutions?
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Carolyn Mehlomakulu, LMFT-S, ATR is a therapist in Austin, Texas who works with children, teens, and families. For more information about individual therapy, adolescent and child counseling, family therapy, teen group therapy, and art therapy services, please visit: www.therapywithcarolyn.com.
This blog is not intended to diagnose or treat any mental health conditions. All directives, interventions, and ideas should be used by qualified individuals within the appropriate bounds of their education, training, and scope of practice. Information presented in this blog does not replace professional training in child and family therapy, art therapy, or play therapy.
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Great directive!!! I am an art therapist at a VA Medical Center and will try it tomorrow with the Veterans' Recovery Center, chronically mentally ill. Thanks! I'll let you know if you like…
Carolyn Mehlomakulu says
How did it go? I'd love to hear!
Rosalyn Olick says
I am planning on making a one word resolution collage. Thank you for the idea.
Parm Laniado says
Great Share. I am RELATIONSHIP THERAPIST with over 20 years of individual, couples, and family counselling experience. Its great to read this article.
Ann Stockwell says
Thank you for sharing your ideas. I love your idea about a one word new years resolution.
I am using it for myself- my word is CREATE 🙂
I will also use it for a group tonight.
Ann Stockwell, ATR
Carolyn Mehlomakulu says
Hi Ann – thanks for sharing! I hope you have a year full of creativity!