It's nine weeks into the New Year and the confetti, fireworks, and noise makers are a faded memory.
And so are your New Year's resolutions, according to an annual study by the Journal of Clinical Psychology. Of the 45 percent of Americans who make resolutions, only 8 percent achieve them by year's end; 29 percent quit by January 15, 36 percent by February 1, and 54 percent bail by mid-year. Though not as prestigious as the academic Journal of Clinical Psychology, the popular site WikiAnswers.com reports that a whopping 80 percent of people have abandoned their resolutions by January 20.
While statistics might be a good barometer of the success-fail ratio, they don't always measure the accompanying emotions behind the numbers: the self-recrimination, frustration, and disappointment of failing to meet our goals. Usually, we just clamp down on those feelings, let the hustle and bustle of life carry us forward, and tell ourselves we will just try harder next year.
But what if that doesn't have to be the case?
What if there was still a way to infuse the year with a sense of purpose and direction that we hoped the resolutions were going to give?
And what if all it took was just one little word?
Choose one word
It may seem difficult to think that one word will be the magic bullet that replaces a list of failed resolutions, but Alece Ronzino and the community at OneWord365 are proving otherwise.
In 2009 Alece decided to ditch resolutions and simply choose a word that would shape her year.
She chose risk.
It perfectly characterized the financial and emotional leap of faith she was taking by starting OneWord. She had gone through a long season of pain from her husband's infidelity, their divorce, and the loss of their non-profit ministry in South Africa (leadership development and AIDS prevention).
During that dark time, she withdrew socially, emotionally, and even spiritually—keeping her faith in God, but avoiding corporate worship and fellowship. When she tenuously published her first post for OneWord365 she had no idea she was starting a resolution revolution.
Today, the OneWord community has thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter, and its blog, representing more than 60 countries, and the growth has been exponential: more people have joined this past year than in all the previous years combined.