After many years of trying, I gave up setting New Year’s resolutions. The lack of air in my tires by month 12 was pathetic; it made the act of facing another set of resolutions deflating and unpalatable.
So, I put on my thinking cap and crafted a more sustainable solution. I decided to declare a theme for the year. Instead of trying to “do” something, I decided to have more of something. Little by little, I’d string activities and small moments of intention like beads on the thread of my theme. Over a year’s time, a bounty of progress and satisfaction in one specific area of life was harvested.
Here’s a blog I posted on the topic way back in 2011: Step Away From Resolutions
You can get the skinny on how to set a theme from this previous blog or the instructions below. I encourage you to take special note of the client stories and experiences flooding in this year. You’ll find examples of BadAsses who are doing it—individuals who embrace an anti-resolution theme-setting practice.
How to Pick a Theme for the Year
- Allow the thing you most need and want to occur to you. Don’t force it. Typically a theme appears because of a void (something painfully nudging you to fill it’s needs or wants).
- Pick an icon to remind you of your theme.
- Declare your theme to those around you, checking to see if they’ll keep you honest by asking questions about your experiences throughout the year.
- Set tiny little dates with yourself to observe and connect with your theme. For example: The year of laughter found me placing a Happy Buddha on the staircase landing. As I moved from my bedroom down to the main level of my home, I would pat his head or belly and laugh out loud.
- Make the theme enjoyable!
- Keep it simple.
People who are Doing It!
Watch . . . Andrew Carruthers’ Journeyist vidblog – Letting Go To Create Space For What Is To Come
Read . . . SoulSalt’s very own, Shannon Dee’s vulnerable and honest explanation of how she works a theme into her busy life:
“2015 was a year filled with welcomed change. You know when you just get tired of doing what you’re doing and you know that things need to change? 2015 was it. We had already put the plans into action at the end of 2014, but 2015 sealed the deal.
Simplicity was the word for last year. And simple it was. Downsized homes, spent more time with our kiddos, simple date nights at home cooking with each other or playing games. We got back to the basics—our roots. I learned (am still learning) to say no and not feel guilty about it. I really tried hard not to fill my life with obligatory events, activities, etc. I needed to re-boot and filter out the nonsense in my day-to-day life. Me time was very much needed. And with the help of my lover and my boss, I was reminded often and kept accountable because I had shared this idea with them. (Nothing like a good swift kick to the ass every now and again.) Thank you Lyn and Scott. I needed that!
Creativity was also my word. I had forgotten how much I enjoy creating things. It’s the only way this brain of mine stops going non-stop. So I did little projects along with finally designing a house to my taste, instead of having “resale value” in the back of my head. I finally feel like I can relax in my own house. I actually REALLY like it! It finally feels like home! What a concept! We just might live in a house for more than two years this time! And again, I’d send pictures of my projects and report in to Lyn just so she knew I was doing what I said I’d do. Thank you Lyn for humoring me.
So in 2016, I’m going to keep simplicity and creativity and add healthy. Scott recently made the comment to me, “something is something,” meaning even if it’s just a run around the block, I did something. Being a mom and working full time, sometimes we have these grand ideas of 60 minute workouts 6 days a week and dropping 20lbs by April. Let me tell you, that crap doesn’t happen here. So I’m going with the idea of just doing something. Even if it’s only 15 minutes here and there throughout the day, I’m doing it. And I’m sure my amazing support group and bad ass boss and husband will again be there to support me and hold me accountable because that’s what they do. (I can’t believe I’m putting this one in writing—it scares the crap out of me!)
So here’s to 2016: Healthy, Simple and Creative! (I really like the sound of that!) Happy New Year!!”
Make It Happen . . . Ines Schwemmer, a colleague of my partner, posted this and tagged me on her Facebook page:
“ . . . You know your secret list of things to want to do or wish you were doing? . . . you know . . . people to see, places to visit, sports to try out, books to read, dishes to make, stuff to build, things to learn, etc. Whatever it is that is calling your name from your to do list: MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Wishing all of you a Happy New Year 2016.
What’s your Motto?”
Evolve Your Goals Around a Theme . . . Social-prenuer Andrea Lang inspired her network with this Facebook post:
“Statistics prove only a small percentage of “New Years resolutions” stick. (Look at the gym after March) 5 years ago my life coach taught me to choose a word for the year instead . . . Then evolve goals around it. Our salon word is #fearless and my personal words are #joy and #simplicity. We all have a matching mantra bracelet as a reminder for the year! What’s your word?? #happynewyear #cheersto2016
A Note From Yours Truly . . . This year I broke rank and moved away from a single-word theme. Pulling an idea from Elizabeth Gilbert, I doodled my three-worded theme. Somehow in my mind and heart they all tie into what will make 2016 happier, richer and healthier than last year.
The New Year is here, and as you can see many of us are ready. How about you?