From resolution dissolution to one word

December 29, 2021

Do you have a New Year’s routine of setting resolutions, breaking resolutions and repeating the process year after year?  Do you experience resolution dissolution? If so, you may find yourself asking, “Why do I even bother to set a resolution because I’m basically setting myself up for failure?”

Fear not New Year revelers!  At Orbis we have an easy solution to your resolution woes!

One word

Recently our entire Orbis team met to participate in a One Word team building activity. Instead of developing New Year’s resolutions, we each endeavored to select our very own revelatory word, to ground us and provide us with intention, as we launch into 2022. 

The work required introspection, articulation, and collaboration, and authenticity.  As the activity leader, I was incredibly impressed with the high level of self-actualization our team possesses.  They posed innovative ideas, showed their originality, acknowledged others’ contributions, and walked away with a clearer vision of who they want to be in 2022. 

The goal of the activity was to spend time exploring each of these growth areas:

  • Reflecting
  • Visualizing
  • Creating
  • Reviewing
  • Refining
  • Regrouping
  • Committing
  • Celebrating

As a result of the activity, each team member was able to walk away with one word to guide them into the next 365 days. Read on and I’ll guide you down the path to finding your own, personally edifying One Word.


I do believe that God gave us a large windshield and a small rearview mirror for a reason.  We need to be forward thinking.  Let’s face it, even though the rearview mirror is small it serves an important role in our driving and our life.  While many of us are very driven people, we still benefit from taking a moment to reflect on our lives. Having clarity about where we have been can help us make decisions that are true to ourselves as we go forward. As you reflect, here are some questions to consider.

  • What characteristics would you like to exemplify in your life?
  • How do you typically feel at the end of your day?
  • How would you like to feel at the end of the day?
  • What could you use more of to enrich your life?
  • What could you eliminate from your life?

Take time to delve into your thoughts about the above quandaries. One strategy you may want to use is to write a one sentence summary response to your thoughts on each question.  Underline words that reflect who you aspire to be in one color and underline words you would like to move away from in another color. The point here is to start acknowledging what you really want in life…one word at a time.


Have you ever heard the expression, “silence is golden?”  Whenever I hear that expression or see a golden sunset, I automatically think of the Robert Frost poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay.  Maybe that is why silence is valued like a precious metal.  It is rare and fleeting. 

In this activity I encourage you to give yourself the gift of silence as you visualize your perfect day otherwise known as your perfect daydream.  

What would that look like to you?

Where would you be

What would you do?

What would be said?

Who would be with you?  

What glorious input would you gain from your five senses?  

How would you feel?

Get comfortable. Take 3-5 minutes of uninterrupted silence and give yourself the golden opportunity to immerse yourself into a full fledged daydream of your perfect day. Bon Voyage! Sweet dreams!


Welcome back from your visualization activity!  I hope you went somewhere extraordinarily wonderful! Now comes the fun part where you get to express yourself and those sentiments you experienced in the perfect daydream activity. 

Here is the rule with the creating activity.  You MUST be authentic.  Express yourself in a way that works for you.  You do you!  You can write a list, create a word web, draw word art….the sky’s the limit!  The goal however is to uninhibitedly write down words that represent what you felt during your daydream experience and what you seek as you move into the new year.  Be creative! Be innovative!


Reviewing, refining, and regrouping

I bet you created some great words and some interesting representations of who you are and what you want to hold near and dear to your heart as we move into the new year.   As you review your creation, what lights your fire?  Are there any words that spark interest? Go ahead and mark those important words. You might even start to see groupings of words that relate to different themes. See if you can refine your creative word project and code words that are associated with key ideas.  You might want to use different colors or symbols to regroup words into varied themes.

Now that you have had a chance to interact with your words, let’s unveil some more work to come a little closer to discovering the One Word that will have a significant impact on your daily life in 2022. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the 5 most impactful words you see on your word creation? 
  • Why are they important to you?
  • What themes emerged?
  • Are there any parallels within those themes?
  • What themes were the most impactful to you and why?

Committing and celebrating

At this point on your quest to find your one meaningful word to guide you through the year to come you have completed a lot of introspection activities.  Now it is time to bite the proverbial bullet and select your One Word.  

Trust your instincts.  The word you picked is just right for you.  If you need to take it out for a test drive for a couple of days to make sure you were true to yourself, that is fine.  Just remember that sometimes we may not be 100% sure that the word we selected is good enough or a true fit.  I’ve found that sometimes we choose the word and sometimes the word chooses us.  The universe may have something to teach you.  Go with it! Commit to your word and celebrate your progress as you work to become your most authentic version of yourself!

Let us know!

We would love to hear from you.  What is your One Word?  How is it serving you as you navigate the new year?  What has your word taught you?  Please feel free to reach out to any of our Orbis team members to share your word and your personal growth!  We would love to celebrate your success!

If you’re really up for the challenge, post your word in the comments. ↓

LeAnn Smith
LeAnn is passionate about learning. Her servant leadership style helps others realize their true leadership potential. She earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Master’s in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Her experience spans the spectrum of education from elementary, special education, coaching, K-12 administration, and consulting. LeAnn’s drive and ambition for high performing organizations is also reflected in her personal life as a professional barrel racer.