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Senior Correspondent

I love a new year – a fresh start, another chance to become a better me. You've gotta love continuous improvement. Several of my most life-changing resolutions have occurred at the beginning of a new year. There have also been years when my best intentions and resolve have resulted in frustration and disappointment.

It turns out that every new year 87 percent of us make resolutions and create new goals. By the end of January, half of those resolutions have gone by the wayside. By the middle of the year, most resolutions are long forgotten. I ran across this statistic in the book "One Word That Will Change Your Life." Authors Dan Britton, Jimmy Page and Jon Gordon suggest that we are programmed to create "to-do" goals, rather than "to-be" goals. And since most of us already have overwhelming "to-do" lists, stacking more items on top of our overachiever to-do lists is generally a prescription for failure.

One of my all-time favorite movies is "City Slickers." I mean, who doesn't like Billy Crystal? In the movie, he plays Mitch, a successful businessman going through a mid-life crisis. He and a couple of his city-slicker buddies go on a cattle drive chaperoned by Curly (Jack Palance), a tough, old cowhand. Curly reluctantly takes the boys under his wing and takes a special liking to Mitch. Curly likes Mitch so much that he decides to share the secret to life with him. Since Mitch's life is in flux, he is eager to learn from the old cowboy. Curly mentors Mitch to just find one thing –his one thing – and stick to it. Mitch, of course, wants to know what that one thing is, but Curly tells him he has to figure it out. What Curly could not offer Mitch was a process for discovering his one thing.

"One Word" offers an alternative to resolution setting, and it's simply this: discover a single-word theme for your year. Readers are led through a three-step process to discover their one word. When lived for an entire year, our word can positively impact six dimensions of our life: spiritual, physical, emotional, relational, mental and financial.

The one-word process promises narrow focus and broad impact. I think I will take old Curly's advice this year and discover my one thing.

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