My 2024 Theme (and how to choose your own) – Cathy Goddard, Lighthouse Visionary Strategies
This is one of my favourite blogs to write every year because I get to share my hopes for the future. And, along the way I can offer up strategies for you to do the same. Let’s get started so I can share my 2024 theme (and how to choose your own)!
Oh, FULL DISCLAIMER here: this blog is also an accountability piece for me. Once I hit ‘publish’, I’ve shared my theme and the commitment to fulfill it. 😀
WHY CHOOSE A WORD OR THEME?
A theme is a word or words that resonate with you and embodies something that you want to amplify in your life.
When you set goals or make decisions – or when you feel misaligned in life – your theme is a foundation that will guide you to stay true to what you want to create.
For me, choosing a theme serves as an inner compass telling me what I need to do and how I want to feel. My theme nudges me to look at things in a simpler way and encourages me to do the things I want to do in my life – and to use my time wisely. It’s actually quite magical in its simplicity.
ROLLING YOUR THEME INTO ACTION
Of course, themes are a great guide but action is what it’s all about. Certainly, life can derail all of us. But, if you lay out intentions of how you want to feel in all your realms and set a few goals that help you fulfill those intentions, things will get back on track for when you’re ready to tackle them. Your theme brings you back to it time and again. And the actions you create are always rooted in your values and how you want to feel.
So, here are the steps in what I consider my proven process.
- Theme or Word
- Setting Intentions
- Break it into goals
You can grab free worksheets for these steps on my website so download as many as you need.
START WITH REFLECTION
It may seem counter-intuitive to start a planning process for the new year by looking back but, it’s an important piece. By looking back, you can acknowledge your challenges (to let them go and not repeat them) and to celebrate your wins (so you attract more of that good stuff).
And, this is the great thing. It doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, here are three questions to kickstart that reflection process for you.
What did you accomplish in 2023? Even if you didn’t achieve all you set out to, there are always wins and accomplishments to celebrate. Be gentle with yourself and move away from self-blame and judgement. Instead, focus on those achievements.
What didn’t work so well and why? This isn’t meant to be negative but rather, a sign to acknowledge, accept and then let it go.
What was a positive force for you in 2023? Who was a positive force for you in 2023? This can give you inklings of what and who you want more of in the new year.
These three questions may be all you need but if you want to dig deeper, you can download this reflection exercise and work through it on your own. This exercise is amazing so take your time with it.
MY 2024 THEME AND HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR OWN
Because I believe in walking the walk, I’m hoping to inspire and motivate you by sharing my 2024 theme. And of course, it’s that accountability thing for me!
This can be a lot but it doesn’t have to be so stick with me here. Personally, I use the process I created in my Set Your Intentions for Your Best Life online course to guide me through some exercises to choose my theme. From there, I break it down into a mini manifesto that delves deeper. You don’t have to do that or as they say, you do you. If that is too heavy, it’s okay. Just use your theme to contemplate what will give you what you need in the new year.
For 2024, I landed on ALOHA as my theme and it always starts with clarity of what that 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.
Next, I ground that intention with questions that guide me to fulfill that theme.
- 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.
I dig deep in my 2024 manifesto and if helpful to you, this blog will provide you with steps to design your personal manifesto too!
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
In case you think it’s all too rigid, the truth is that it is meant to be fluid. Shift gears if necessary. However, by setting intentions of ways to fulfill your theme — let’s face it, you have a fighting chance.
Of course, we all need help now and again so here is a list of tools and resources that may help.
First, you’ll find some great worksheets to download for free on my website. One of my favourites is a worksheet that will help you identify and clarify your values. Values are the foundation of everything we do!
Another amazing resource is the methodology I created (and use every year) – Lighthouse’s hugely 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, it includes me as your cheerleader to guide you through it all step-by-step.
Lastly, 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.
Here’s to a year of peace, love and compassion. Happy New Year!