Well, are you as ready as I am for the new year? Let’s face it, 2020 was a cracker jack. And, although we still face challenges in the coming year I’m always excited to make plans. This blog is my favourite to write every year because I get to share my hopes for the future. Here, I share my theme for 2021 (and how to choose your own)!
Because, I love the feel of January. After all, it’s like starting a new book with endless plot possibilities.
So, how do you turn the page for a fresh start? Do you choose a word or theme that sets the tone for your new year? It’s mainstream to do so now and in fact, you may be tired of how many people are on that bandwagon. But I’m here to tell you — it makes a difference.
A theme should be 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.
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR OWN THEME
The reality is that life gets faster all the time. We always want to be moving forward. Never stagnant. But, one of the most valuable planning tools to determine what you want to create and where you want to put your energy is to hit pause and reflect. In looking back, you can celebrate your successes, ponder what didn’t work so well and then set the stage to move forward.
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 2020? And yes, in spite of the weirdness of this past year there are always wins and accomplishments to celebrate.
What didn’t work so well and why? Bonus tip: this isn’t negative but rather, a sign to acknowledge, accept and then let it go.
Who was a positive force for you in 2020? What was a positive force for you in 2020?
That might be all you need but if you want to dig deeper, you can download this reflection exercise and work through it on your own. Note: this exercise is amazing so take a look.
HOW I CHOSE MY THEME FOR 2021
About 10 years ago, I started choosing a word or theme for the next year. Back then, I contemplated what I wanted to achieve and how I wanted to feel but really, it was a word that just occurred to me. It felt right and kaboom – there it was. If that works for you, bravo.
But, I’ve actually taken it deeper and the process is longer for me now. Of course, I reflect on the previous year and once I’ve landed on some thoughts of what my theme might be, I delve into my guiding principles and goals …. and all that ties into my values. It is so much more than just a word or theme that pops into my head – it is my guiding light for the entire year. I’m always intrigued that after landing on a theme, it seems to trickle into everything around me. It’s like a beacon to let me know I’m on track.
And, because I believe in walking the walk and not just talking the talk, I’m hoping to inspire and motivate you by sharing my reflection on 2020 and then rolling out my 2021 theme. Stick with me here – it sounds like a lot but there is a definite flow of ease to it.
MY 2020 REFLECTION
My theme for 2020 was ‘IMPACT’. Impact is a lofty word with big connotations so I hesitated to choose it but remember I mentioned beacons that let you know you’re on the right track?
Well, one of those beacons was from a book I read last year – Margaret Wheatley’s ‘So Far from Home’. I’m paraphrasing but she wrote that people increasingly see themselves as wise trailblazers out to change the world whereas the most impact actually comes from focusing on inner work and within your community.
That rang a loud bell in my head – ding ding ding. We see it a lot these days and in turn, we idolize so many ‘changemakers’ that maybe don’t have it all figured out after all. You know who they are…. the book authors and influencers telling us how to be brave, find love, be true to ourselves… and so on.
For me, Wheatley’s concept resonated because my 2020 theme referred to the impact that my choices, decisions and actions would have on me and those around me.
And, that is the power of a theme. It prompts me to ask qualifying questions when making decisions and choices. When launching a new product or service, I ask myself: “What will be the impact on my clients when they take this program?” “Is this sustainable and wise for me at this juncture?” And from a personal perspective: “What will be the impact on me if I take this on?” or “How will it make me feel?”
It worked for me! I was particular about taking on new clients so that I had more energy and focus for the ideal fit – yup, and could have a greater impact.
Plus, I took an incredible (and intensive) course through Tara Mohr that gave me clarity how I want to live my life and the message that I want share with clients – in other words, the impact I want to create in their lives. And that will be front and centre in the 2021 mentor program that launches next month.
AND THERE’S MORE
Still, nothing could have prepared me for how my theme of ‘impact’ would fit into my personal life. Little did I know that theme would manifest amid huge challenges that hit hard as soon as the new year rolled around.
Accordingly, my desire to have an impact inspired me to launch Lighthouse’s coworking sessions for my community when the 2020 pandemic hit. We are still connecting online weekly to create connection and community – and yes, impact.
And then heartbreak hit. We said goodbye to my dear sister in November and in the months leading up to that, I was called on to support her and my family. Bringing myself back to the concept of ‘impact’ helped me do what needed to done. When I waned and felt I couldn’t do it, I realized that my sister trusted me to have a meaningful impact and counted on me to help her leave this planet in peace.
I had no idea when I chose the ‘impact’ theme that it would buoy me to navigate my way through all of it. I share this story of reflection to show you that sometimes your theme presents itself differently than anticipated but nevertheless, it serves as a foundation to move you through it all. It can simply take a leap of faith and a dose of trust.
So while my 2020 theme helped me manage my changing world in unexpected ways, my theme for 2021 will build on that and hone in on what I put out to the world in a different way!
MY 2021 THEME
And now, I’ve chosen Live With Intention & Gratitude as my theme for 2021. It lights me up! 💥
It originates from the trend of intentional living, which is basically a lifestyle driven by awareness and choice that aligns with your values. I see it as an inner compass that naturally tells us what we want to do, who we want to be, how we want to feel, and even things we want to learn. In other words, to live on purpose and to take deliberate action.
And, gratitude feeds into my desire to live with intention – an add-on, if you will. Gratitude has always been a deeply ingrained virtue of mine but with the loss I’ve experienced in 2020, I need to reconnect with what it brings into my life.
Intention and Gratitude.
However, what’s a word or theme if it doesn’t lead to action? Once I go through the process and land on a theme that resonates, I build actions or goals to fulfill that theme. Let me break it down and give you a sneak peek into it.
For me, to live with intention I set goals for a balanced lifestyle. At this stage of my life, I need to be deeply fulfilled with my work so I have to be very intentional in what I take on. I have a list of questions that will guide me through that and if the project or client doesn’t meet that criteria, it is a clear no. What’s more is that it is so much easier to say no when you have those questions to quantify if it fits into your plans.
Next, gratitude. I’ve set a goal to show signs of gratitude every month and written down what that looks like. For example, in January I’m going to nominate a worthy woman for an award to acknowledge and thank her for doing such meaningful work. In February, I’m going to celebrate my husband during his birthday month and I’ve made a list of exactly how to do that. And so on……
Notwithstanding, things change. Life happens so it is okay to shift gears if it feels necessary to do so. However, by setting intentions of ways to fulfill your theme — let’s face it, you have a fighting chance.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
Do you choose a word or theme that sets the tone for your new year? Or, perhaps you want to but need some guidance.
It can be tough. I get it! I’ve worked hard over the years to create a process that works for me and I’m thrilled that people find it useful too. Whether you want to keep it simple and nudge yourself along or would like to delve deep, here are a couple tools for you to use.
- Read my short and sweet blog. It will guide you through steps to create your 2020 theme.
- Take it deeper with my ‘Set Your Intentions’ online course. Complete with 3 modules with worksheets that take you through the process step-by-step. And I’ve discounted the price to $21 – it’s huge value that will give you a road map to make 2021 count.
Finally, putting yourself out there is one way to hold yourself accountable so please SHARE. Put your 2021 word or theme in the comments below and of course, reach out to me if you need an accountability partner. I’m here!
Wishing you a happy, healthy and harmonious new year!