Love 2014

Dr. Robert HoldenNew Year’s resolutions work, sometimes. They tend to work better if you set them more than once a year. They work when you stop trying to change yourself, and commit to being more who you really are. And they especially work when you tear up your long list of great expectations and good intentions, and focus instead on one thing at a time.

A few years ago, I decided to shrink my New Year’s resolutions list down to a single word. In the end, the word I chose was “love.” I made love my daily focus all through the year. I bought a Moleskine journal, and paid a local printer to emboss the word “love” in silver lettering. I went online and designed some small “love” stickers (the size of a postage stamp) that I stuck on:

• the bathroom mirror (to start the day right)
• my computer (to dedicate all of my work to love)
• the fridge door (to help me make loving choices about food)
• my wallet (because I love feeling prosperous)
• my wardrobe (to remind me only to buy clothes I love)
• the toilet seat (for help with letting go)
• the water filter (for loving the cells of my body)
• the car steering wheel (to help me drive safely)
• my cell phone (to speak with love and listen with love)
• the bedside alarm clock (to finish the day on love)

I ordered golf balls from my local golf club with “love” printed on them. I bought a wonderful hand-made needlepoint wool wall-hanging designed by Paul Smith called “Love.” I designed some “Love” T-shirts. You get the idea.

The aim was to bring a single, unified intention of “love” to everything: my day, my spiritual practice, my relationships, my diet, my leisure, and my work. Throughout the year, I experienced how my relationship to love influenced every other relationship in my life including my relationship to my body, to my friends, to my work, to money, to God, to sugar, to time, and to everything.

Focusing on just one thing changed everything. I was more present and less distracted. I was more conscious and less manic. I lived with intention. Each new day felt like a creative event. I felt more on purpose than before. I was more open. Most of all, I felt like love was showing me how to love and be loved. I was a student enrolled in a live inquiry that became more interesting and helpful as the year progressed.

Setting a New Year’s resolution based on one word has become a personal tradition. One year I chose “happiness,” another year “success,” another year “trust,” and last year I chose “miracles.” This year I have chosen “openness.” “I encourage you to try it yourself. Pick one word. And let this word be your compass, your north star, and your traveling companion for a whole year. As soon as you know what your word is, start making some stickers!

Happy New Year!




Robert Holden PH.D is the author of Loveability (published by Hay House).  His work on psychology and spirituality has been featured on Oprah, Good Morning America, a PBS specialShift Happens!, and two BBC documentaries. Robert writes daily on his FB page and hosts a weekly radio show for Hay House Radio called Shift Happens! 

  • Iva

    Thank you, Robert. I did the same. My word is worthy!

    • The Daily Love

      That’s a great one… We’re all worthy! Thanks for sharing, Iva! -TDL Team

  • Sandy

    Hi Robert, Thank you for your article. Last year the word was ‘simple’. I knew the ego made everything (it was allowed to) complicated & serious. I wanted to discover how to keep life simple, so it could flow & evolve. I understood I am love, everything else is made up. So, every time the ego flared, I would interrupt with, “But I am love”, this helped change my old conditioned patterns & repetitive head chatter to something beneficial. This year I will put my attention on, and be conscious to, a “positive attitude” (my word). Knowing my attitude is more important than outcomes. I, like you, put several things in place to remind me. I put a sticky note on the computer that reads “Give it to God!” I made a collage of people smiling BIG & laughing. I recalled several events in my life where pee-down-your-pants- laughter came about & refer to them often. I am also conscious to smile. I don’t deny when something sucks, I accept it. I just don’t get caught up in the drama or mind games knowing my self-worth doesn’t depend on a specific outcome. I surrender & let go knowing I can have a positive attitude in spite of it. Happy New Year!

    • Robert

      Hi Sandy. I love “simple”! My wife Hollie and I are big fans of Simplicity Parenting. We watch the wonderful effects on our children of keeping it simple. It works for them. And for us! Happy New Year.

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks for sharing, Sandy! Love your words for 2014. -TDL Team

  • Kim

    Most excellent Robert. I really appreciate your statement ‘instead of changing myself, just commit to being who I am.” So simple, so brilliant, not thought of it in that way. It reinstates my chosen word for 2014 –> BECOME. Become me – in my relationships, in my career, in my passions/desires, in my neighborhood, in my church, in my finances, in my eating, in my body/mind/soul. Just me.

    • The Daily Love

      That’s what this whole life journey is all about: becoming more of who you are! Thanks for reading, Kim! -TDL Team

  • Talya Price

    Awesome article Robert. Whatever you focus on grows? We choose what we focus on? Sometimes it is difficult to do that when you are distracted by the news and the BS society throws at you. However only the strong survive, I truly believe in that. You have to be mentally strong to become the best version of yourself. Focusing on the good things in live takes strength.

    • The Daily Love

      Right on, Talya! Wishing you the best in 2014! -TDL Team

  • carrie

    this is great! the last couple of years, my friends and i have had various themes each year…and it truly helped! there was the year of yes, the year of balls, the year of sparkle and the 2014 theme is heart…bc everything needs heart.

    • The Daily Love

      You know we love heart here at TDL! Thanks for sharing, Carrie. We’re wishing you the best in this new year! -TDL Team

  • Kevin Fox

    Love that Robert! What a great idea! Thank you!

    • The Daily Love

      Isn’t it? Let us know what your word is going to be, Kevin! -TDL Team

  • Eve4199

    After recently reading your book, I chose the word “love” as my word of the year. I will follow your suggestion of filling my life with tiny reminders. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Inspired by your words, every day I am loving myself more and better, and I know that in turn I will love others more and better.

  • Chris Assaad

    I LOVE this blog Robert. Thank you for your beautiful heart my friend. Sending love to you and your fam and wishing you all an amazing year to come. I’ll have to think about my one word and get back to you :)

    • Robert

      Hi Chris. Great to hear from you! Wishing you a wonderful 2014. I hope we get a chance to see each other again. Love from Robert, Hollie, Bo and Christopher. x

  • Andrea

    My word is *heal* I realized that no matter what, I need to heal the old wounds, let go of the past (do some more crying) and become ME.