I fucking hate New Years Resolutions. They’re well intended declarations but mostly, they’re just wild “one day I’ll do it” hopes and dreams. Aspirations usually forgotten before the midnight Veuve is empty… for that reason alone, they suck.
Instead of pronouncing to friends and fireworks that “this year I’m going to…” I live to a different theme every year; a word that guides my decisions, actions and goals. In 2016 I’m turning up the heat with the theme of Change.
You might argue, as I did with myself over a few G&T’s, that we’re always changing, so how can change be a theme; but here’s the tricky thing about change – it’s not actually that simple.
We do change every day – we have kids, break up relationships, fuck up our lives, holiday somewhere new, buy a house, get married, unfuck our lives, change jobs, cities, genders, lifestyles, haircuts, habits and opinions. We do it because we can, to earn more money, learn something new, be happier, take on a challenge, feel alive, try a new perspective and a thousand other motivations… but how much do we really reflect when we make these changes, do we really know why and how often do we make reflecting on and changing ourselves a conscious priority?
Prompted by a pretty fucking low 2014, my theme for 2015 was “Happy”; It wasn’t about smiling 24/7 (that’s unrealistic and frankly a bit fucking cray), it was a prompt to consciously create more happy moments. I’ll be honest, I fucked it up a bit and didn’t crush it as I would have liked, but I did make more of the everyday; I did appreciate more; and I did do, and see, things differently; I did create more happiness in myself and in others; it was successfully less fucked than 2014.
My “Happy” theme also forced me to reflect on behaviours and beliefs that were fucking me up, the things that needed to change to reach a goal of this happiness evolving from a conscious choice to an unconscious reality. And here’s why themeing your year rocks it over goals alone, they are guiding and iterative – what you do and learn one year influences your next in unexpected ways. Goals are important and provide lessons, achievement and self satisfaction but themes add a fucking sparkle to your purpose and create greater self awareness. What you discover can be surprising, and they open endless opportunities to learn and grow ( or brighten up your life, making it more fucking awesome).
With the theme of Change, 2016 will be as interesting as it will be fucking tough. It will be a challenge. My travel history, social life, work life, self talk and soul are all in need of a good shake up, so my goal and ass kicking there starts there. I don’t know exactly what will change or how, but it’s time to shake the fucking foundations.
Will you trade your resolutions for a theme and a fucking awesome year?
Goals are important to living your theme. Once you have decided on your theme check out these 7 simple goal setting tips for success from the psych view
Choosing your own theme..
Choosing your theme is actually pretty easy, it just may take some time, inspiration and self reflection to get there… but it’s fucking worth it.
Gretchen Rubin (Author and thought leader in Habit Change & Happiness) shares some of her past themes here , and expand your vocab at thesaurus.com)
- Identify one key aspect of your life that you want to develop, and understand why.
- 2. Sum it up in one word and write it down ( up to 3 words if you have to).
- 3. Once you’ve decided, consider some actions you can take and goals to set to help you live your theme all year.
- Check in with your theme and goals regularly to stay on track