How to Make Your Own New Year’s Theme

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If you’ve been here for a while, you know I do a thing called a New Year’s theme every year. This all started because I don’t like New year resolutions. I have nothing against them personally, I just know that they don’t really work for me. If I have a goal I try not to align it with the new year. It just seems like it’s too much pressure. But here’s the great thing. Whether you are team New Year’s Resolutions or not, you can and should come up with your very attainable New Year’s theme. And I’m going to show you how.

First, let’s talk about what that means. In this context, a theme is a characteristic in your life, typically I like to stick to an internal characteristic, that you’d like to improve. It’s not really a goal, it’s just a word or phrase that you would like to embody more in the coming year. For example, one year I focused on gratitude. During that year, I did quarterly check-ins and focused on ways to improve that area of my life. I made a gratitude jar, took time to focus on all of the reasons I had to be grateful and even read books that had to do with my theme.

So to sum it up, the theme of the year is going to be some area of life that you want to improve. You have to be able to measure your progress. You also need to be able to check in with yourself over the course of the year. This theme will direct the decisions that you make during the year.

So how do we do this thing? I’ll show you.

Take time to self evaluate

In order for this to work, you need to be honest with yourself. Seriously. Take a piece of paper and a pen. Or if you’re more high tech open a google keep list. Now sit and think. Ask yourself these questions, but please be honest. No one else has to see this… you don’t have to share. It’s ok to be this honest with yourself. It’s actually necessary, because you can’t improve if you don’t realize where you need to improve.

What areas in my life are a struggle?

Take time to think about where you struggle. Which areas of life see more difficult?

What are some of my flaws?

These are things that show up time and time again in your life. They make you stumble. Or maybe it’s a pattern that you find yourself repeating. What are those things? And not the ‘flaw’ that you might give in a job interview, you know the one that sounds like a flaw, but really still makes you look good? Look deep.

If I met me, what would annoy me?

Sometimes the things that bother us about other people are issues that we ourselves have. You ever notice how sometimes it can be hard to get along with someone who has a similar personality? Name those characteristics.

What don’t I like about myself?

Now this may sound blunt, but we all have things about ourselves that we don’t love. So what are those things? What do you want to change?

If you feel comfortable, ask a close friend or significant other where they think you need improvement.

A loved one might be able to offer valuable insight. I’d suggest only asking someone who means the best for you. And I’d also only suggest asking if you can handle the answer.

Where do I want to be, this time next year?

Where do you see yourself? What do you embody? What have you accomplished? Now think about what is stopping you from getting there. But of course it can only be something that you have control over.

Find the most pressing problem and make that your New Year’s Theme

Ok, so now you have this list of unflattering qualities. But that’s ok, this is the fun part. Now we get to decide which one is most important. Which of these characteristics, if improved would make your life better? Or which issue bothers you most? Which issue is hindering you from being your best you? Choose one.

Now if for some reason, you have a tie, at least try to narrow it down to two or three before you go to the next step.

How could you improve

Now, hopefully you have picked your New Year’s theme. Now think about what it would take to improve this area. This is where you come up with your plan. Is there a book that will help you improve in this area? When I was doing gratitude I read The Grumble Free Year by Tricia Goyer, and it was a huge help. Is there a class that you can take? Or maybe something you can do on your own time? Is there a person who has a lot of the quality you’re hoping to gain? Can you talk to them and get some advice?

Really consider what you need to improve. Research it if you need to and really come up with a concrete plan.

If this area in your life improves, will you know?

Make sure you can measure improvement. This is the only way you’ll know if you’ve made progress. When gratitude was my theme, I was able to judge my progress by my initial reaction to things. When I realized I was looking for the positive in situations, I felt like I had made progress. Some areas of like are more measurable than others, but whatever your New Year’s theme, make sure you can measure your success.

Well that’s all for this time. Drop those New Year’s themes below! I’d love to see what you’re working on this year and even provide encouragement if I can.

Happy New Year! I wish you health, joy and peace. Make life sweet and learn all you can!

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