For the last few years rather than creating a long list of resolutions (that quite frankly I never do), I instead have a word of the year. I still have my big goals and quarterly goals for the year, but I focus on a word rather than resolutions.
For example, my resolutions used to be, quit smoking, quit drinking, eat healthier etc, but I failed so quickly into the New Year and never quite managed to get back on track. So I created a habit and a focus on one word for the year.
This year my word is NOURISHMENT.
In previous years my word has been:
Before I came up with my word for this year, I’d realised that I had been writing down and talking about the word ‘nourish’. So I sat with it for a while and it just felt right for all Four Core-Ners of my life:
For me, it’s more than just nourishment from a food perspective, but from a self perspective I wanted to nourish my body and mind more. Whether that was more learning, more meditation, more yoga or more breathing practice- doing things that felt nourishing.
From a self perspective, I’ve stopped a lot of my Netflix binges and now listen and watch things that are better for my mind and more uplifting. I’ve looked at what I am eating and don’t drink alcohol.
I wanted to nourish and nurture my relationships and have deeper and stronger connections with my loved ones.
From a work perspective, I wanted to nourish and nurture my relationships with my clients and create more of a community and share more of this core-led message.
From a world perspective, I wanted to nourish my wider community and the world.
If anything is not aligned to my core and doesn’t nourish me, I don’t want to be doing it.
That said, I am human and so I haven’t always been nourishing myself and I don’t get it right all of the time.
Over the last few months I set myself some big goals and deadlines. I had a certain number of people I wanted to come to my Power Up event, I set myself a goal to rebrand and relaunch my signature Programme, I had a deadline date in mind to launch my new book and some changes I wanted to make to my website and membership group. But over the last couple of months, I have over stretched myself. I’ve still been taking my breaks and sticking to my bedtime routine, but I certainly haven’t been getting it right all of the time.
When I was reflecting on my word ‘nourishment’ I recognised that I hadn’t been sticking to it as much as I should, as I had overstretched myself with work.
In February we went away and I came home with food poisoning and I couldn’t eat for 10 days. When I could eat properly again, I was craving junk food. What would have been nourishing would be to eat the healthy soups and salads and breakfasts that I normally eat, but I gave in to my cravings for a couple of weeks, until I made a change.
This is my old default behaviour for when I’m not aligned with my core. This stuff isn’t always easy and I don’t always get it right. I may not fix it quickly enough, but I’ve got the awareness now and I can recognise the need to change and look at what is causing this to happen.
Like many of us, if I don’t catch that I’m out of alignment straight away, I can go to a place of comparison, jealousy and fear. We are only human after all.
Sometimes I choose to do something that is not in alignment, and I choose to do it because my ego steps up and I convince myself that it’s what I need right now.
My core will say to me go for a walk at lunch time, but my head will say to me sit and watch Netflix.
My core says get some sleep, but my head says nope get that work finished.
I know the difference between the 2, I teach it and train it; but I still don’t always get it right. It can take effort to break these old behaviours and habits and to stay on a core-led path. It could feel like it’s too much sometimes and we want to give in because it’s easier.
The path I walked on before, during and after my burnout was a path full of unhealthy habits of long hours of work, wanting to succeed, big goals and wanting recognition- these are my old habits and this path is very well worn.
I have a choice as do you to which path we follow and I will always come back to the core-led one no matter how long I have been choosing the easy path for. Ultimately I have a choice and every choice has a consequence and I can keep choosing to walk towards success and away from guilt and burnout, or I can choose to walk towards guilt and burnout and away from success (my definition of success)
After every single detour, I choose me again, again and again.
I choose a core-led way because that’s where I know I am more calm, more aligned, more successful, I create more ripples, I support more people and I drive more change. I know that I am happier and healthier when I am aligned with my core.
I know what the other path leads me to as I’ve experienced it- burnout. I believe that I will never reach the point of burnout again, but I also know that taking this unhealthy path and unhealthy choices are not aligned with me. So very quickly I can reach a point of anxiety, guilt and overwhelm when something is out of alignment.
Don’t forget if we fall off our path, we can always step back on.
Which path do you want to choose?
If you have had loads of resolutions and not managed to stick to them, maybe try and focus on a word instead. Pick a word that can apply to different areas of your life and something that resonates with who you are at the core.
In 2013 Kelly had a successful leadership career, yet she was burned out, exhausted, and missing out on life with family.
Determined to enjoy the success that she had earned, she's learned to create a life of balance and boundaries that is also highly successful. Today at kellyswingler.com, Kelly helps women leaders all over the world to prevent and recover from burnout without giving up their career or jeopardising their wellbeing.