Do New Year's Resolutions Work?

Do New Year's Resolutions Work?

Make mistakes


Many people take time at the New Year to start again, reset goals, intentions, looking forward to what's coming, consider the new challenges to overcome and old challenges to complete. A popular tradition is to set out some New Year's resolutions with specific goals you want to accomplish before the end of the year.

But how many years did you make a few solid resolutions and realize a quarter through the year they had been completely forgotten, and by the time Christmas Eve came, you only managed a small dent in the well thought plans?

Growing up we took time every New Year's Eve to write down our achievements from the year, what we were grateful for, and our next year's goals. This was a lovely family tradition and the memory of it makes my heart warm, but every year it was dismaying to once again realize I hadn't come anywhere near those goals from the previous year. 

So, I stopped doing it. I saved myself the stress and disappointment in myself of never achieving what I had set out to do.


A few years ago a friend asked if I would make her a One Word Affirmation tag. Intriguing I thought, what is it?? She explained it was a simple way to set the theme for the year ahead, by choosing one (or 2) words that summed up your overall focus, rather than trying to set out 'losing weight, learning a language, saving 10% of your income', you instead have a word that guides you through the year. 

So I said 'Yeh, that would be fun! And best of all, simple enough that even I can stick to it!'

She sent me her word, I decided on one for myself, and the idea was born. I put the word out and got busy in the studio stamping away!

2018 one little words


I usually start thinking about my next One Little Word sometime in October. I'll write down a few words that speak to me on a scrap of paper and keep them in sight on my desk as I reflect on them. 

Closer to the end of December I'll decide on which to use, and stamp it on a tag, choose out a stone from my collection that resonates and add it for an accent. Sometimes the stone matches the word, sometimes it doesn't, I don't usually choose the stone based on my word but based on what 'fits'.

one word tags


Once you've decided on your One Little Word Intention or Affirmation, putting it on a visual aid, like a tag, is an easy way to keep it in mind throughout the days and months ahead as you go about your daily life. When you pull out your wallet or grab your keys, or write in your diary, the affirmation comes back into focus and it strengthens your mind's resolve to work towards that goal. When life has become particularly challenging, seeing your word again gives you the strength to keep going forward and not give up.

(don't mind the crooked 2, that was my first round of stamping...LOTSA mistakes!)

one little word tag on key chain


Other fabulous ways people have visualized and documented their choices:

  • bookmark
  • artwork
  • scrapbook
  • mug
  • coaster
  • necklace pendant
one little word silver pendant

Some really cool ways to keep that word close at hand and in mind as you progress through the weeks.

If you haven't done this before, I encourage you to take a minute and settle on this year's One Word Affirmation and document it in some way that is easy for you to keep it visually at hand, and see how often you go back to that One Word throughout the year. You might be surprised by the strength it gives you to overcome obstacles, keep going forward and get you through to the end of another cycle around the sun.

One Word Intent Tags by Off on a Whim

Other Intent and Affirmation Ideas

200 Word Ideas | Jen Hayes


And I would LOVE to hear what One Word you chose and why. The backstory behind the words always fascinates me so leave a comment below and fill me in!


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