Not New Year Resolutions But …

by Ruth on January 6, 2013

in Inspirational

It’s that time of the year again where people have either already made their new resolutions or are busy making them. Almost every blog I’ve read talked about it. At one point, I even felt stressed for not having done up my list. But when I tried to get down to it, the words just won’t flow. It shouldn’t be, I thought to myself. After all, I really know what I want to work on this year.

But there I was, feeling a tussle between the brain and the heart – the brain said go ahead and draw up a list of goals, the heart simply retorted “wait”.

Then I read a timely post by Lisa Byrne about how NOT to enter the new year. She wrote that “not only is it unrealistic to really prepare the soil for an abundant harvest in such a small window of time… but it doesn’t actually honour the whole season we are entering into”.

Her words resonated with me. I took her advice to “acknowledge, celebrate and honour” the meaningful moments of 2012 and not jump into action before I’m ready.

Out of those quiet moments of taking stock, visioning and waiting, I ended up with ideas to do some things different this year…

1. Not goal but FOCUS

This year, there will be no new year goals or resolutions for me.

Instead, I’m going to work on areas of FOCUS.

A thought came to mind the other day. Perhaps the reason why so many of us have difficulty in achieving our goals or keeping to our new year resolutions is not because we are ill-disciplined or lack motivation but that the whole thing about setting goals is not the best way to an improved life and self.

In general, I find that a goal tends to be restrictive and narrow; a focus, on the other hand, is more encompassing and offers room for flexibility to honour the ebb and flow of life and to change with them when the need arises.

Also, goal is usually very specific about a certain point in time and we feel stress if we don’t achieve it by the date. However, focus gives us a direction without a fixed date (as long as it’s within the year) and other specifications so this actually makes the process less stressful and more enjoyable. When we like what we are doing, we will usually be more motivated to keep it going. Meanwhile, we can also be more creative and open-minded about the options that come our way. In the end, it is likely that we will achieve what we first planned and even more!

For 2013, I have not one but four areas of focus:

Health and well-being – I’m working on boosting me and my family’s immunity; I’m also hoping to create a chemical-free home environment. With this, I guess you’ll see more posts on those topics here, sharing about what works for me and my family (hope that’s something of interest to you!).

Systems – Putting in place systems for my home and my work so that I can be more efficient and effective. These include things like meal-planners (hadn’t been consistent last year), better home organization (I can be quite disorganised and time is wasted on looking for things) and working out blocks of time for different activities in the day. In the process, I will also be eliminating the time/energy/resource wasters.

Finances – learning to better manage my finances, plugging leakages, being more mindful of my spending and looking at improving my income.

God – Walking closer to God and inspiring my family to do the same. I hope to be regular in church and settle down in a fellowship group.

2. ONE WORD for 2013

Another first that I’m doing in 2013 is to choose ONE WORD for the year to guide me in what I do throughout the next 12 months. When I shared this idea with a friend, she commented that it’s like a theme for the new year. So I guess you can see it that way too.

For me, the word ‘COURAGE’ came swiftly to mind. At first, I pushed it aside, thinking of other words like Simplicity and Mindfulness instead. However, the word kept returning and I can’t help but to give it more thought.

Then I realised it made sense. There are some things I plan to do this year that will require much courage from me. I will be pushing myself out of the comfort zone, I may do things that’s unconventional, so yes, I need courage.

How about you? Do you make new year goals/resolutions or are you doing something different this year as well? Do you also have a word for the new year?

I wish you an awesome year fill with all things good and beautiful!

Image courtesy of FrameAngel,

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Kless January 7, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Inspiring! =) Let’s all have a great 2013!
Kless recently posted..Mum’s Diary: A Nervous Start To Primary OneMy Profile


Ruth January 8, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Thanks Kless, may you have a splendid year!


Jus January 7, 2013 at 10:26 AM

That’s an interesting way to look at it, having areas of focus instead of goals! I guess for myself, having goals just helps to push me forward a little, since I need concrete ideas in my case! Happy new year and a blessed 2013!
Jus recently posted..Weekend wanderings: Time with youMy Profile


Ruth January 8, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Have a blessed year too, Jus! Whether it’s goals or areas of focus, I think what matters is if we have the diligence to carry it through :) I hope I do!


June January 7, 2013 at 10:33 AM

I can’t agree with you more, Ruth. I think goals and aims have their place in life, but a bit too much emphasis or pressure on this may rob us of the joy of fulfiling and achieving them. I like your areas of focus, and share some of them too, namely health, finances, and God. Let’s work on these together, and may the courage that you need be found, at the right time. Be blessed in 2013!
June recently posted..Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013My Profile


Ruth January 8, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Glad we share some things we want to work on this year! Let’s encourage each other on this journey :)


pc January 7, 2013 at 3:47 PM

It is an interesting way to push one self to work and achieve for the year. I really like it and motivated. I am, still drafting mine (in my head). [I blame the messing house at the moment ;p.]

I hope courage will lead you to the next great level of your work. A blessed 2013 to you and your family.
pc recently posted..Thankful 2012 (II)My Profile


Ruth January 8, 2013 at 8:29 PM

Hope you get your home organised soon! Sometimes decluttering helps with gaining clarity too :) Wishing you an awesome 2013!


Alison January 7, 2013 at 4:23 PM

I like the one word idea for the year. I tried it last year with my word, Calm, and it anchored me throughout what proved to be a crazy, hectic year.

So this year, I decided to do the same and when I was thinking about it, it just leapt out at me. Mine is DO. And not just do for the sake of doing, but mindfully and thoughtfully.
Alison recently posted..Do. Or When The Easy Becomes DifficultMy Profile


Ruth January 8, 2013 at 8:33 PM

I love your One Word! Do – so simple yet so powerful too. I love what you said about doing mindfully and thoughtfully.Love it! Love it!


Ana Gaby January 7, 2013 at 9:35 PM

Ruth, this is fantastic! Focus has kind of been unintendently my “word” of the last few weeks. With so much going around it’s easy to loose focus and end up doing too little or too much of something. May God give you strenght and courage in everything you do in 2013!
Ana Gaby recently posted..Joshua’s Nautical First Birthday PartyMy Profile


Ruth January 8, 2013 at 8:36 PM

Thanks Ana! I’m learning to be more focused and at the same time achieving what I hope to, at a pace that’s in sync with the ebb and flow of life :) May you have a stellar 2013!


Martine | Mom. Wife. Blogging Belle. January 9, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Love this post, Ruth! I agree about focus: I’ve aligned my personal goals for this year to my one word (“enrich”), which means I am focusing on making these goals truly meaningful, truly purposeful. Like I said on my blog, I would like to look back at 2013 as a year when I became healthier, wealthier (yes, God!) and wiser. I believe that my personal goals focus on these concretely. Happy New Year!


Ruth January 14, 2013 at 12:18 AM

Martine, I like how you’ve aligned your goals with your One Word (love the word you’ve chosen)! Here’s wishing you a healthier, wealthier and wiser 2013!


Sisters from Another Mister January 22, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Oh yes, I love your approach, and I too, could do with COURAGE …
Especially with the year I am anticipating, or rather dreading as I review the big picture. Perhaps that is why I chose EMBRACE, because I have to deal with it head on, and I know there will still be much good. It is all perspective, and being in the moment … and I need to take it all in and make it my own xxx


Ruth January 23, 2013 at 8:14 PM

I love the word Embrace! Sometimes, the best way to handle the challenges in life is to embrace them instead of resisting. Having a positive attitude is what counts! Wishing you a wonderful 2013!


Openkitchenconcept January 23, 2013 at 5:20 PM

You’ve really inspired me with this post! Have been reading a few posts of yours here and there and recently, I realised you are someone I know! I’m an ex colleague of your husband.. only realised it as I read your profile and saw the photo.. no wonder you looked familiar! Haha.. such a small world.

Really enjoy reading your blog.. will continue to follow..
Openkitchenconcept recently posted..10 Tips for a New Mom – Part 2My Profile


Ruth January 23, 2013 at 8:16 PM

Thanks for connecting! So glad we are in touch again :) Maybe we should do a gathering soon! Would love to meet your baby!


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