As we step firmly into 2016, it’s New Year’s resolution time.
I used to do the resolutions thing. I’d make a long list of tasks I pictured myself accomplishing and start plugging away. You know…
Or, um, thirty.
Then around late February I’d realize that….
It’s never going to happen. Like really, NEVER. I’m good at goal setting for a day or week, but much longer, and I’m overwhelmed.
Resolutions work wonderfully for many people. My amazing co-blogger Cayenne discussed of her resolutions late last month. I love how she looked at what worked for her the previous year and extended it into 2016. An amazing way to set goals.
Still, it’s never worked for me. Just like we all plan a novel or story differently, we all plan a year differently (and some don’t plan at all—check out this article about living goal-free).
For me, the New Year Resolution revolution occurred four years ago when someone in passing mentioned a New Year’s Theme.
Theme instantly registered with me. It’s one aspect of writing I’ve always loved, so it felt natural to carry it over into my life.
A New Year’s Theme is simple—instead of setting goals, I encapsulate what I want to accomplish for the year in one or two words. Last year, my theme was finish. So many things were unfinished in my life, and I wanted to focus on reaching The End. The word propelled me—from finally querying a novel to finally getting those kitchen cabinets painted to reading books that had always been on my to-read pile.
This year, I’ve settled on thrive. To take all those things I finished last year and continue to grow and stretch. Two years ago, my theme was learn. And I took advantage of every opportunity to learn that year—I attended classes, read blogs and how-to books, learned about everything from history to novel structuring to container gardening.
The key is to find a word that both resonates with your life and represents an area where you would like to grow. A tidy, little package that is a banner for what you hope to achieve.
So, what are those things? Do you set New Year’s resolutions? Does a New Year’s Theme resonate with you?
Some theme-y examples: