Baby boomers have made a lot of New Year’s resolutions. But how many have we kept? How many have YOU kept? Liz Kitchens, who lives near Orlando in Maitland, Florida, and runs workshops and retreats focusing on issues facing Lady Boomers, has figured out how to make it easy to make a resolution… and keep it. Just One Word.
My partner in our Be Brave. Lose the Beige business, Jackie Sorensen, prescribed an exercise during a session with a group of Lady Boomers. She told them to identify a word that might encapsulate their yearnings and goals for the new year.
Jackie herself chose “courage” as a word she hoped to live with throughout 2014. Courage to face age-old fears inhibiting her in previous years, and courage to forgive those who might have been hurtful in times past. Liz then chose a three word sequence: “Pause, listen, and obey” the still small voice within her, calling her toward her true self. Another participant selected the word “savor” to remind her to be mindful of the present moment.
This might be an exercise you want to do for yourself because every baby boomer is at that stage in life when it might be helpful. Settle yourself in a quiet contemplative place and brainstorm several words that might be meaningful to you. Sift through them, live with them for acouple of days until you come upon one that might fit with your hopes and aspirations for the coming year. Let’s be honest, on how many January 1sts have we diligently written out resolutions, only to find them forgotten or overlooked in the ensuing months. New York times journalist John Tierney writes the following about New Year’s resolutions:
“On one hand, you are 10 times more likely to change by making a New Year’s resolution compared to non-resolvers with identical goals.
But … he goes on …
“Most people are not going to keep their resolutions all year long. They start out with the best of intentions, expecting they will find the willpower to succeed. By the end of January a third will have broken their resolutions; by July more than half will have lapsed.”
One website urges people to scrap the long list of goals and choose just one word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. One word you could actually remember and focus on every day all year-long.
Baby Boomer women, Lady Boomers as we like to call ourselves, tend to put ourselves on hold while we tend to the needs of family and friends. Be Brave. Lose the Beige encourages Lady Boomers to discover, or in many instances, re-discover, our own colorful spirits. Losing the beige is not just about color (although we are crazy about colors … all colors, the more the better).
Be Brave, Lose the Beige is really a life choice, a way of thinking about and viewing the world. Bravery might be required as you assert the need for time to engage in pursuits of your own choosing. Color and joy will begin seeping back into a life turned beige by all the obligations andresponsibilities we face on a daily basis.
So, if you want to make a resolution, resolve to choose you this year. Identify a word that sums up who you want to be and how you want to live.