Hopefully you will be able to tell me after reading this blog post 🙂
For around five years now, I’ve been brainstorming words that thematically represent what I want to accomplish for each year. It has been such an amazing experience that I decided to write a blog post about it. I hope this helps you this next year. This is an excellent way to organize your life around an area where you’d like to improve. It’s been a fun adventure, especially throughout 2015 when my theme was—you guessed it—adventure! As much of a fan as I am about setting goals, I do think that the journey and who you become in the process is the biggest value. That’s why I came up with the theme idea.
If you want to explore a new way to set goals and do some self-improvement work, then keep reading to find out how having a theme word can benefit the year ahead.
What is a Theme?
A theme is not a goal or an objective, it is the overall tone that your life will take for the next 365 days. It should be something that you are emotionally, physically, and spiritually invested in. While it should align with your goals, it is not a goal in and of itself.
You should really think through what area of your life you want to work on throughout 2017. Also, think of how focusing on that theme can impact the people around you. This step is VERY important. Choose something that speaks to you, that makes you feel excited—even if that excitement comes with a dose of fear. Anytime you grow, it is because you stretched beyond your comfort zone—that’s what growing is. Fear is a normal part of the process.
Here are few examples from what some of my clients set last year.
– Self love , Grit, commitment, fire-breathing, Perseverance, Adventure, Beast-MODE, Engage, Selfish.
Why Themes are Important
The awesome thing about having a one-word theme is that it helps you to focus on an area of your life where you want to see real growth. Is there a fear you’ve been wanting to face? Address it with your theme word.
Do you feel you have something to give back to the world? Then, Maybe giving is your theme this year!
Unlike a goal, it doesn’t demand anything from you. You can think of it this way: the theme is the road ahead of you, the goals you set within the theme are the vehicle that moves you further down the road. If the journey teaches you something, you’ve made it to your destination: a better you.
To give you a better idea of how this works, I’m going to share how I worked through my themes in the past.
2012 : GOALS
2012 was the year of setting goals. This is when I began using themes. Around that time, I noticed I was having difficulty setting goals and seeing them through to the end. After some thinking, I realized I had a fear of failure that was holding me back. So, that year I set my first theme: goals.
2012 became all about setting and meeting goals. While I didn’t meet all of them, I did meet some of them. I kept my focus on creating and executing goals, and I learned to push through failure and fear.
Honestly, that’s what it’s all about. You may not meet every goal that you set for yourself, and that’s okay. So long as you grow during the process of trying to meet them, getting closer to who you want to be, you have succeeded.
2013 was the year of giving. I felt particularly blessed this year, but also at the same time a bit depressed. I was really trying to identify what would create happiness for me. Then I realized that seeing other people smile made me smile. Seeing other people happy, made me happy etc. There is many details to this. BUT for now, Just know that I dedicated the whole year to focus on proactive giving.
I learned that giving doesn’t mean money. You can give people your time, A hug, A listening ear, encouragement, Love, Advice etc.
Throughout this year, I came to realize something. I realized that, sometimes, growth happens when we focus our energies on helping others more than on our own personal needs. We all have those times when we need to focus on ourselves. If you’ve been doing this for a while, and you’re still feeling stuck, think about shifting your focus to see where you could help someone else.
It’s amazing how answers come to you more easily when you’re not focused directly on the problem. Give it a try and see if it works for you too.
My theme for 2014 was knowledge, and so my year revolved around the acquisition of new information. I probably read over 30 books that year, and I attended a lot of seminars and conferences. Unlike 2013, when I experienced growth through helping others, this was a year of growing my ability to help others.
That’s because I actively use the knowledge I have to add value to the people around me. Whether they’re clients, friends, family members, or even a stranger on the street. We all have gifts, and we all have different ways of understanding what we learn. It may surprise you how much you could help another simply by sharing what you know.
2015 was another year of facing my fears, and it was one of the best years of my life.
I’ve always been afraid of certain things, such as water, height, horses, etc. I pushed through a lot of these fears in 2015. I tried learning how to swim, I visited over 20 states, went on a 30-day road trip, took a boat tour with alligators, hiked Pike’s Peak and the Grand Canyon. I went ziplining, participated in the Spartan race, took a trip to Vegas, and generally seized the day however I could.
I’ve always wanted to be an adventurous person, but fear held me back. When I reminisce about 2015, the word “wow” comes to mind. People describe me as adventurous now, but a lot of them don’t realize how that happened. I made it happen.
And, while I didn’t overcome all my fears in 2015, I did push through some major obstacles. Every time you do that, push yourself past what you believe you can do, you become stronger. Inner strength will take you far in life, and you build inner strength and mental strength by facing the things that make you want to just hide and lock yourself up in the room.
Honestly, this year, I had a clear vision that I needed to do more so I can take care of more people around me.
Hence, I decided that my butt needed to work harder, sleep less, have a little less fun, etc. I wanted to see how much more growth I am able to generate and how much more contribution I am able to make.
This year, I committed myself to explore my potential. I decided that I don’t want to cruise through like I have in the past year. I found myself adjusting my goals because I didn’t want to step up. I took last year to pause a little bit to rejuvenate and I decided that I was ready to hustle this year. I wanted to maximize my ability and potential with my business, my relationships and every other area of my life, and BOY did I ? lol. I think if we have the capability to do something that others don’t, We have the moral responsibility to maximize that ability so we can help the people who don’t have that opportunity.
To do less than you best is to sacrifice the Gift – Steve Prefontaine.
2017 Will Be the Year Of:
For some reason, I’m coming back around to knowledge. This time, however, I want to be more focused on sharing the knowledge I’ve acquired as well as catching up on all of the certifications and books I have put aside over the last year. This is another good lesson: As you focus more on one thing, you would need to know that some other things will lag a bit.
I am so excited for 2017!
I am going to finish reading 15 books and will complete at least 4 certs (PN, NCFI, SGX and FAI ). I am also planning on blogging more often, doing a lot more community workshops for my clients, and kicking off some of my online projects. Be on the lookout for some exciting STUFF. I am PUMPED!
Alright back to you!
Your Challenge of the Week
The last thing I want to share with you is a call to action. This week, I challenge you to put a comment in the box below and share what your word for 2017 will be.
It should be something you are going to feel invested in on every level. Take your time and think about it for a bit. Ask yourself where you want to be better, or where you feel like you’re holding yourself back in life. Go from there. Whatever door you choose to open with your theme word next year, a new you is what waits on the other side.
While you’re looking for that new you, consider that anything you do to improve yourself inevitably improves the lives of everyone around you. This is because your bravery can lead others to step out on a limit they would have never tested without your example.
So, above all else, remember this:
No matter how little your light is, let it shine. Nurture that spark until it turns into a flame, then let that fire burn so brightly that it influences other people to do the same.
RISE AND LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE.
Your Friend and Coach.