At the beginning of every year many people create a list of goals for the year we call "resolutions."
So many start off the year eating healthy, hitting the gym, putting themselves on a budget, etc.. But, we all know how well that goes. Most don't last more than three months, IF they make it that far. New Year's Resolutions are by and large, a huge failure. So, why do we keep making them, only to end up frustrated with ourselves, yet again? Hmm, I don't know. Maybe we don't know what else to try for self and life improvement? I have found over the past few years there is a much better way. Every year, I skip the resolutions and instead focus on a theme for the next year.
There is something about having a theme that keeps me focused and continuing to take action throughout the year that fits within that theme, and at the end of the year I can look back and see how much I was able to accomplish.
What exactly do I mean by theme? Well, I look at what it is I want to improve in my life and choose a theme accordingly. I like to keep it broad enough to not be too strict about specifically what I am to be doing, but narrow enough to give me a sense of direction and focus.
Themes have been words such as Expansion or Growth, Self Care, Free Time, Create, Health, Independence, etc.. It is best to choose one word (or two if necessary, i.e. "Free Time") with an overarching theme for what area of yourself or your life you want to improve. You can create a plan for yourself within that theme to break down the steps of how you will make it happen if you like.
The reason I find themes to be so effective is that, throughout the year, if I find myself getting off track, I can think about my theme word and start taking action again without kicking myself for not being as consistent as I'd like. If your theme is health, you don't have to go all in with a new and overwhelming workout schedule that will burn you out. It is easier to just start taking baby steps doing things that are good for your health and building from there. It takes the pressure of specific goals that may be not realistic off.
If you get off track, just remember your theme and start doing whatever you can that gets you there. You'll be surprised when you look back at the end of the year and see what you accomplished for yourself.
What have I accomplished with themes? I started a successful business, got on a regular workout routine, bought a house, turned traveling into a hobby. This year I'm cheating a little - my theme is Organization and Optimization, only because those two words go hand in hand with what I need to bring into my life. I have reached a lot of goals and created a beautiful life, but it's time to bring it all together so everything flows smoothly and is more manageable.
So, give it a try this year and see how it does for you. What is your theme for 2019?