It’s the first day of a brand new year. The optimist in me loves new beginnings, so I’m a little giddy this time of year. I feel exhilarated and hopeful when looking at the clean slate before us all.

I know many people are all over the concept of making New Year’s Resolutions, but I discovered many moons ago that it’s just not my thing. I’m not sure why exactly but I think it has something to do with the way they’re typically made. You know, where people know they need to make changes but they kinda dread them, so they binge away knowing that in just a short time, they’ll have to quit or give up something they’re kinda enjoying. Blech!

The thing is, most of the time what people call resolutions aren’t that at all. Instead, they’re something they plan to give a go to for as long as they stay motivated and yet they know in advance that the change won’t last. It’s like a challenge of willpower. They wonder, how long can I last? And that’s just not a resolution to me.

I guess for me, once I’ve made a decision, it’s made then and there rather than for some time in the future. And of course, I prefer to enjoy my holidays and not cloud up the occasion by thinking of things to sacrifice once the clock strikes midnight on the night of December 31st. Pfft! I say, let me have my fun!

Now, what I do spend some time doing during the last week of the year is reflecting on how the closing year went (in my business and in my life), being grateful for all it held and deciding what needs some tweaking for the year ahead for me to grow.

Honestly, all of 2016 was a deeply reflective time for me, one where I didn’t love what was happening and as a result, there were some major life changes that came about along the way.

After my reflection week each year, when I’ve seen the tweaks I’d like to make, I adjust what needs to be adjusted and then set some intentions for getting more of what I want and less of what I don’t want in the upcoming year.

This year, following the lead of one of my mentors, Chris Brogan, I’ve come up with three words that I believe encompass my intentions for 2017. And they are:

Focus
Create
Flourish

I chose “FOCUS” because the changes of 2016 left me a little scattered and sometimes feeling as if I was wandering aimlessly, and unable to get some sure footing for my climb back up. I started in a bunch of different directions not wanting to stand still but lacking the discipline to stay the course and not feeling that the course was right for me in the first place. I almost chose “discipline” rather than focus, but the reality is that I know I have great discipline, what I’ve lacked is focus. So, FOCUS it is.

I chose “CREATE” because there are several things I have started that need to get finished, and several things planned that need to be started, and they all require me creating something. Focus is woven in here as well, but to move from idea to thing, I must create.

The third word was harder for me. I marinated on “LIVE, ” but it wasn’t jazzy enough to excite. It didn’t elicit an emotion from me, and that’s something I need for my intention words. I’m a feeler, and for me to resonate with something, I have to feel it. So I kept marinating and came up with “flourish.”

“FLOURISH” by definition means to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way. It means to thrive, prosper, do well, burgeon, increase, multiply, proliferate; spring up, shoot up, bloom, blossom, bear fruit, burst forth, run riot… Ding, ding! Word up!

The things I didn’t love about 2016, the things that fell apart, the things that led to those things falling apart, they all had to do with me making choices that didn’t support me and my well-being. I chose to run an old pattern of duty, responsibility, neglecting my personal standards and not upholding my boundaries with others. Not ok.

I chose “FLOURISH” because it reminds me to focus on the things that will allow me to feel grounded, healthy, filled with joy and fully alive again.

What can you do differently in the big beautiful year ahead to feel more joy and more alive in your life?