Why I'm Saying "No" to New Year's Resolutions and Picking a Word of the Year

Why I'm Saying "No" to New Year's Resolutions and Picking a Word of the Year

Posted by Kezia Calvert on 9th Jan 2023

As we wrap up the first week of 2023, and for many, the first week of Dry January, I find myself pondering a few things:

  • If I could embody the woman I want to be this year, what would she be like? What qualities would she possess? What are her hopes and dreams for 2023? Who does she want to spend her time with, and what does she want to spend her time doing? What imprint does she want to leave on the world?

Now, these are big questions, ones that deserve special care and attention. They line up with many of the questions I reflected on in early sobriety when I was trying to determine my ‘why’. The difference between then and now is that I would have never had the attention span to focus on some of these harder questions when I was still drinking. Alcohol created a toxic buffer between me and my authenticity. It blurred all the edges and dulled my senses, leaving my intuition buried beneath a mountain of doubt. Excavating all the truest parts of me is likely to be a lifelong process, but at least now I’m doing everything I can to lead the healthiest life possible.

But, let’s get back to these questions. How do I put into words the kind of woman I want to show up as this year? For me it comes down to my core values: Being a loving, present, and reliable parent and wife. Practicing honesty in all my relationships. Being a good neighbor and friend by helping others in any way possible (while still putting my own needs first). Being diligent with my recovery work both in my own recovery, and in acts of service towards others. Choosing kindness over judgment. Treating my body with loving kindness.

Figuring out your values doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does require you to sit down and think about all the little moments that often get skipped over in favor of the bigger picture. Think about your proudest moments, once you’re able to shed light on thess you’ll soon see the values beneath each moment. Reflect on areas where you would like to grow, and extract the values from these growth areas. Bring to mind the people who have influenced you the most, see if there are any values that they hold that ring true for you as well. These are just a few ideas for gaining clarity on your values. Grab a pen and paper, or open a new document and get to work!

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions, I have never felt a connection to them. I believe that as complex human beings we are constantly evolving and changing. I love the thrill of knowing that on any given day I can wake up and change the direction of my life. I’m not constrained by a lofty goal that oftentimes is more about what society tells me I should aspire to, and less about what feels true to me. I find myself gravitating towards intentions rather than resolutions. Having an awareness of my daily/weekly intentions feels supportive and nurturing. An example of a daily intention might be: today I want to show up to my group fitness class with an open mind for trying challenging exercises. Or, today I want to be open to the possibility of finding connections in new places. Curiosity is a great place to start when it comes to intention setting. Don’t overthink what comes out, trust that the Universe/your Higher Power is shining a light on all that is already yours.

In recent years there’s been a shift towards choosing a word of the year. While I’ve witnessed many amazing epiphanies and much growth come out of these word choices, this is another practice that just doesn’t work for me. That is until this week when I stumbled across someone on social media sharing that he chooses a word of the month. This I can get behind! This comes back to the idea that we are constantly evolving and changing. So here we are, eight days into 2023 and I have yet to choose my word of the month. But I have a few ideas and I’m confident that pulling a tarot card and having a mini journaling session will illuminate what my word is!

I hope some of these meandering ramblings sparked a thought or idea for you. I would love to hear from you at: or on my website:

Happy New Year!

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Photo byCathryn Lavery onUnsplash


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