A Better Way To Start The New Year

A Better Way To Start The New Year: Use a focus word & tiny habitsPin
A Better Way To Start The New Year: Use a focus word & tiny habits

Updated 12/18/2023. This post contains an affiliate link.

Pick a “BE” Word for the New Year

It’s that time of year where we’re being inundated with New Year’s resolution and goal setting advice. I’ve been caught up in this process for many years and nothing really changed in my life. I’d have success for a month or so and then everything would unravel. Months later I would remember my goals/resolutions and feel guilty, and beat myself up, because once again I had messed up.

This year I’m going to do something different! Christine Kane describes the problem of New Year’s resolutions this way:

“The reason most resolutions don’t work is that they address only one level of your life. The DO level. It’s the DO-HAVE-BE model. “I will DO this thing.” (i.e., Lose weight) “So I can HAVE this other thing” (Self-Esteem) and I can BE this thing. (Confident.)

The average New Year’s Resolution doesn’t address the core of the issue – the “BE” level.

The best order for creating positive changes in your life is the BE-DO-HAVE model. This means you start from the BE level. When you begin changing on the BE level of your life, then the DO level and the HAVE level follow more easily.

When you start only on the DO level, then all the blocks on the BE level will often become the obstacles you can’t overcome.”

So this year I am looking to my heart on the BE level to find a word to focus on. Those who champion this approach to the new year, suggest taking time to think about what you want for your new year. Christine Kane gives the example of having a cluttered home. Instead of saying I want to get uncluttered or organized she suggests that the focus needs to be on “Release,” since we are holding on to stuff when we have clutter.

How I Picked A Word For the New Year

The first word I came up with was seek, because I have some major things changing in the future that require information to make decisions. But I didn’t feel like this got to the heart of the issue. It was more of a DO action than a BE. I thought well, I need clarity, but what in me would allow that clarity and then it hit me. I need to focus. I tend to be distracted easily and to drift from one urgent thing to the next. Yes, what I needed to do was focus on what I wanted my future to look like.

Being a Christian, I also wanted to focus on what God wanted to speak to me in this new year. I discovered this verse in the Bible and it’s message to leave the past behind. The past has been a heavy weight to carry. Is this an issue for you as well? I now have both a word and a scripture to guide my journey in 2017. You can select whatever word and/or saying that speaks to you. I’d love to hear what word you select and why in the comments below.

Focus on this one thing: Forget the past and look forward to what lies ahead. Press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3: 13-14Pin

Resolutions VS Tiny Habits in the New Year

Then I thought about all those things that I know I need to do for my health. I know I need to move more, eat better, and lose weight. My experiences in these areas are pitiful. I ran across the idea of Tiny Habits on a Ted Talk by BJ Fogg  a couple days ago. It was a revolutionary idea to me. Mr. Fogg instructed us to pick a task that we do already and add a tiny habit to it. For example, he decided to do 2 push-ups every time he went to the bathroom. He says that he is now up to about 70 push-ups per day, because once he got used to doing 2, he naturally started to do more.

Yesterday, I decided to walk for two minutes after every time I use the bathroom, since I need to move more. I did well early in the day, but forgot by the evening. Today is a new day. I’m going to put a note on the bathroom mirror to remind me. This just might work! What tiny habit would you like to try? Let me know in the comments below and we can share our success or “oops” stories.

New Year HabitsPin

Wrap Up

Even though I originally wrote this post in December 2016, I’ve used this information to pick a word for the new year ever since. Last year’s word was the phrase “Let Go.” I found this phrase very helpful in releasing old habits, and thought patterns from my past. If you’ve always tried to make resolutions, and been disappointed with the results, try picking a focus word for the new year, and incorporating some tiny habits into your life.

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Till next time, Kathy

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By Kathryn

I'm a writer, disabled registered nurse, and former home school parent of 6 children ages 19 to 32. I'm also a domestic abuse survivor.


  1. Great New Year post! I’ve heard lots of people choosing a word for their year now – it seems to be a hot trend! I love your chronic illness take on it. My word last year was Focus, because I tend to try to do too many things at once and needed to remind myself to focus on one thing at a time. Totally agree with your approach to tiny habits, too (love that term!).

    Found you through Chronic Illness Bloggers and am sharing your post!


    Living with ME/CFS

    1. Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment. It means a lot to me. I debated about the word Focus for last year. I also get distracted and end up going in too many directions at once. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. LOL!

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