Since I see this as a safe space, I want to share a little secret with you, but you have to promise not to judge me… I’m not a big fan of new year resolutions.

If your eyes are already set on your 2021 goals, I hope I haven’t lost you. I have nothing against you AT ALL! New year resolutions just don’t work for me. In the past I’ve made resolutions only to break them within the first month or two; therefore, I wanted to share an alternative option to this yearly tradition.

At the end of 2018 I was 8 months pregnant and reached the stage where I kept thinking “can I have this baby already”. As the new year approached, I couldn’t be less interested in establishing complex goals with action steps or due dates especially with my track record with resolutions. Like most I reflected on the past year and thought about the one to come.

Around this time a colleague introduced me to the book One Word that will change your life by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, & Jimmy Page.  During our conversation she raved about her experiences of incorporating this concept, and ultimately the transformation it has had over her life. As I listened, I was drawn to the great impact and simplicity of this ideal. So, by the end of our conversation when she challenged me to join her by choosing one word for 2019, I figured, “what the heck, it won’t hurt to give this a try”.

So, what’s this whole one-word thing? Well, the concept is quite simple. The authors recommend you simply select one word and apply it to the following areas of your life for an entire year: spiritual, physical, emotional, relational, mental, and financial. That’s it… Seriously, that’s it. I don’t know about you, but when I hear folks sharing their new year resolutions or goals, I find that most people are trying to make improvements in one of those areas. So, why not make changes in ALL six simultaneously?

I spent a few days visualizing how I wanted to see myself in these six areas and kept being drawn to three words: calm, peace, and unbothered. Since the concept is to only commit to one-word I did what any reasonable person would do. I did a quick Google search and guess what came up? The word Serenity. The definition was PERFECT! Per google, serenity is the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. Almost the exact three words that kept appearing to me. It was just that easy. And that’s how I committed to living a life filled with serenity in 2019.

So how did I do? Since there weren’t any concrete boxes to check off, I had to be honest with myself about my progress. My transition into motherhood had the strongest impact on my word selection, but if you read my first post, you’re also aware of all my other changes in 2019. Despite a few bumps in the road which is to be expected I can confidently say I had more moments filled with serenity than anxiety, agitation, or chaos. So, that’s a win in my book! And the incorporation of the one-word concept was so impactful on my life, I decided to embark on the one-word journey again in 2020.

I entered 2020 optimistic and ready to be intentional in the six pillars of my life. This time around I decided to combine my love of goal setting and the One Word concept so I can have a tangible way to keep track of my progress. I did this by setting 3- month SMART goals with my word intentional in mind.

Since you lived in the same 2020 I did you are aware this was not the year any of us expected. This was a year like no other I have experienced and don’t think I would have been as successful in the six pillars of my life if I didn’t apply the One Word concept. Despite the twists, turns, and fact we’re still in a PANDEMIC I’m excited to share I met and exceeded my goals in some areas this year.

So, as I go into 2021, I am at it again. I’m selecting GROW as my one word to help guide my goals for the upcoming year. Since I don’t plan on going on this journey alone, I am challenging you to join me by selecting one-word of your own. I am going to be optimistic by thinking you are going to take me up on my offer, and since I am so optimistic, I have four tips to help you stay on track as we live out our words. Do you see how I’m already using we? It’s nice to be in this together.

  • Read: Even though the concept behind one-word is as simple as I’ve previously stated I still recommend reading the book. The book is a fast and easy read as it is only 90 pages and the authors even state it can be read in 49 minutes.
  • Visibility: To ensure you don’t fall victim to the out of sight out of mind effect post your word in a place(s) you are often so you can see it. I have a graphic of my word with the definition saved as a note on my phone, displayed as the background on my laptop, in a frame on my office bookshelf, and will add to my vision board. Your bathroom mirror, calendar, nightstand, journal, or car are other areas you can post your word. 
  • Set Goals: In 2020 I combined my love for goals setting by creating SMART goals centered around my one word for the year. So, I’m at it again for 2021!

If you’re unfamiliar with the SMART goals acronym it stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.  

I start by writing down my yearly goals and then break my large goals down into smaller digestible bites. So, at the beginning of January in addition to my BIG yearly goals I have my first 3-month goals as well. To ensure I’m on the right track around I review my 3-month goals around the 2 ½ month mark to celebrate my wins and uncover where I fell short, so I can make adjustments prior to creating goals for the next 3-months.

  • Accountability: Tell your friends! I find I am more successful when I have an accountability partner. For the last few years, I shared my word with a combination of people from my husband, mom, friend/colleague, and group of college girlfriends. Even though everyone did not join me by selecting a word it helped knowing other people were willing to hold me accountable. Prior to this post I shared my 2021 with my husband, mom, and two friends.

Whether you decide to choose one word to live by or have a new year resolution I’d love to hear about your plans for the upcoming year. Leave your word or 2021 resolution in the comments below.

Cheers to a successful 2021,


If you need any additional support as you navigate motherhood schedule a 15-minute consultation with Patience today. You are not alone mama.

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