New year’s resolutions, if you ask me, are overrated. How many times have you tried setting one in place only to give in with a months or even weeks? They’re just so easy to blow out of proportion, making them so demanding that there’s just no way you’ll be able to sustain that big of a change in the long run.

My recommendation: set a one-word intention for the year.

Think of it as a central theme to your story over the next twelve months. If you’re seeking growth in your life, identify one essential way in which you feel you have the potential to growth and find a single word for it. 

The beauty is in the simplicity. Your one word can act as your compass needle: it’s far easier to make decisions when you have one primary principle to consider. It acts as an umbrella, actually, that then encompasses many different areas of your life.

To give an example, my word of last year was “abundance.” My intention was to address this sense of scarcity I felt myself stuck with nearly all the time: there never seemed to be enough money or time or energy to go around. I worried about whether I’d have enough work, whether I was doing enough to strengthen my business, whether I was spending enough quality time with my wife and friends, whether there were enough hours in the day or days in the week to accomplish all I wanted to. 

Coming back to this intention of recognizing abundance and shifting my mindset to invite a greater sense of “enough” did wonders. I wound up with more students, more progress within my business and creative work, more income, and a great enough sense of space in our household for a new member of the family, who is due to join us this month. Keeping hold of my “abundance” intention helped me to recognize when and where my needs and our household’s needs were already being met, when it had been easy to overlook before. And it helped me to make way for more.

For students starting to look ahead at college, what do you want out of the end of your time in high school? What do you need to be ready to make the most out of it? Independence? A sense of direction? Stronger focus? Clarity of the vision you have for your future?
For parents, how do you want to make the transition? A greater sense of peace? Trust in your student to navigate the process of leaving the nest? A tighter sense of collaboration with your student? Patience?

I can’t for the life of me remember where or from whom I learned the one-word intention, but that person deserves credit. With whatever thoughts you have put forth for the new year, try this one and see what sticks.

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