My theme for 2024 is ALOHA. For me, my theme is a constant source of inspiration that carries me through the year. It gives me clarity on what I want to achieve, how I want to live and provides a beacon for easy decision making. But, words are just words unless we give them context and purpose. I do that by creating a manifesto to add depth. To help, here is a glimpse into a bit of mine and also tips on how to design a powerful personal manifesto.
What is a Manifesto?
First, let’s define manifesto in case it conjures up less desirable meaning. 😉
A manifesto is defined as “a declaration of one’s beliefs, opinions, motives, and intentions.” It is simply a document that an organization or person writes that declares what is important to them.
Certainly, you can follow whatever process works to choose a word or theme and here’s the most important thing – it isn’t necessary to make it heavy and onerous.
And, you don’t have to share it with another human being if you don’t want to. Your theme, and manifesto if you choose to create one, is for YOU. I shout mine from the rafters because it solidifies it in my soul when I do that – and holds me accountable.
How to Design Your Personal Manifesto
This is a step-by-step process that I use to create my manifesto.
- Theme: Start by choosing your word or theme. Use whatever process speaks to you but if you are looking for guidance, look no further than right here.
- Values: Your values are your core, your foundation and everything feeds back to them. When you live according to your values, things will be harmonious. When you are not in alignment with your values, the road gets bumpy. So, please do an exercise to define your values. This one is what I use with clients and it is the best one I’ve ever found. Simple, yet clear.
- Realms: Pick realms that suit you. For my coaching clients, we use these 4 realms: Self, Professional, Relationships and Financial. In my manifesto below, you’ll notice I’ve changed it up for myself because it fits where I’m at in life better right now.
- Intentions: Set intentions for each of your realms. These are not resolutions or goals. Intentions are less rigid, more authentic, and less likely to be broken. This is all about how you want to FEEL. More on that next.
How Do You Want To Feel?
Well, the final of 4 steps to create your personal manifesto deserves its very own section – INTENTIONS! I love setting intentions. Here is how I describe it:
Intentions point you with more clarity towards your values and aspirations. Intentions focus on how you want to feel about any area of your life. Intentions are broader than goals. Again, intentions are not goals or resolutions. They are less rigid, more authentic, and less likely to be broken. When you set intentions, vision of success is clear, misalignment is clear, focus is intuitively clear and you can adjust your path accordingly.
What else? Intentions are powerful internal agreements that you make with yourself and express through your actions. Because, it’s all about actions.
My top tip is to make sure your intentions are concise statements that harness determination to achieve specific outcomes. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Instead of saying “I may” or “I want”, write it as a statement in the present tense – “I do ____” or “I feel _____”.
My Manifesto for ALOHA
Here we go! I break things down a bit because it makes sense to me but again, do what is meaningful to you. We all think differently in this big, beautiful world.
For me, what makes sense is to break it down with:
- My Theme and what that theme means to me – a short concise statement that is a brain dump of why my theme inspires me.
- My Values – a check to see if my values have shifted and they actually did for 2024.
- Guiding Questions – these are questions that I can ask to ensure that I’m living in alignment with my theme
- Intentions for each of my realms.
My 2024 Theme: ALOHA
It starts with clarity of what ALOHA actually means. So, a definition rolls into an overarching intention of how ALOHA will guide me through the year.
The spirit of ALOHA will guide me to live in harmony with myself, and the people and land around me – with mercy, grace and kindness. Aloha is an essence of being: love, peace, compassion and an understanding of mutual respect.
It was a transitional time for me in 2023 and coming out of a heavy cycle of loss and grief, I wanted to check in on my values. Sure enough, my values have shifted to better reflect what is most meaningful for me as I move into 2024.
I landed with these five values: Community – Fun/Lightness of Being – Happiness – Holistic Wellbeing – Kindness
My guiding questions for ALOHA are:
- How can I infuse aloha into all realms of my life: self, professional, relationships, community & legacy?
- Does this person/action connect me with a spirit of aloha?
- How do I want to spend my time and does this embody the aloha essence?
- How do I want to feel this year? Loved and loving, positive, useful, respectful and respected, gentle, peaceful, supported and supportive, fulfilled, relaxed, content, helpful, healthy, kind, with grace, a full heart.
MY 2024 INTENTIONS
I will be guided by the spirit of ALOHA to live in harmony with myself, and the people and land around me – with mercy, grace and kindness. Aloha is an essence of being: love, peace, compassion and an understanding of mutual respect.
SELF: My Intention for SELF – I fill my time doing things that bring me the essence of aloha.
HEALTH & WELLNESS: My Intention for HEALTH & WELLNESS – I make healthy choices that are rooted in the essence of aloha to support me mind, body and soul. This encompasses self-love, self-kindness and gentleness.
PROFESSIONAL: My intention for PROFESSIONAL – I love my work and make a difference to clients by giving them tools and knowledge to live their best life. Lighthouse thrives as a part-time business and I am content with letting the future flow.
RELATIONSHIPS: My Intention for RELATIONSHIPS – I infuse aloha into all my relationships. I dedicate time to relationships that energize me and are based on mutual respect and trust, meaningful generosity and unconditional kindness.
COMMUNITY & LEGACY: My Intention for COMMUNITY & LEGACY – My commitment to community is reignited. My ability to make a difference to the environment around me is a primary focus. I will find compassion as I dedicate time on storytelling to create legacy and fulfill one of my lifelong dreams.
From there, I have created high-level goals of what I want to achieve in each realm and of course, those will fulfill my intentions ….. or how I want to feel in each realm.
How to Design a Powerful Personal Manifesto
Let your theme be your inner compass. When you decide to choose a word or theme for 2024, it serves as an inner compass that tells you what you want to do, who you want to be and how you want to feel.
You’ll want to work through the steps of choosing a theme, identifying your values, forming questions that will guide you and setting intentions. And, you don’t have to do this alone. I have a whole toolkit of resources to guide you.
- Check out my website for free downloads. Specifically, the values exercise I shared earlier and a reflection exercise that you can find here. Tip for this exercise – set a timer for 2 minutes maximum per question! You may also find this article from Medium helpful.
- You’ll find my updated blogs that give you variations of how to set your theme, complete with ‘how-to’ advice and free downloads that walk you through it step-by-step.
- To bust through the overwhelm, you can also download my popular ‘Set Your Intentions for Your Best Life’ online course. This self-directed mini course is updated with fresh content, online instruction and worksheets that will guide you to chart your own course. Plus, me as your cheerleader!
- Lighthouse’s newest offering is Illuminating Words: Lighthouse’s Journaling Community. The inaugural group in fall 2023 was so successful that another 90-day program launches in January 2024. There is incredible power in journaling and this group is a safe space to explore, express and understand yourself through the words you write. You’ll also gain access to tools that will inspire you to set the stage for 2024 so the timing is perfect.
Lastly, putting yourself out there is one way to hold yourself accountable so please SHARE. Put your 2024 word or theme in the comments below or even better, share it on my social channels. Just look for the joyful photo of me amongst the sunflowers on Lighthouse’s Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn and tell me your word or theme!
Wishing you a new year filled to the brim with aloha love.