Well, 2021 was one for the books. Am I right? Who knew that we would still be living with this pandemic and all the challenges that come with it? 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 2022 (and how to choose your own)!
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.
But, 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 2021? 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.
What was a positive force for you in 2021? Who was a positive force for you in 2021?
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 2022
About 12 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 2021 and then rolling out my 2022 theme. Stick with me here – it sounds like a lot but there is a definite flow of ease to it.
MY 2021 REFLECTION
This time last year, my state of mind was at an all-time low but working through my reflection, I landed on to ‘Live with Intention and Gratitude’ as my theme for 2021. Because I was struggling emotionally and physically, it felt like such a lofty theme for me. But, remember I mentioned beacons that let you know you’re on the right track?
Well, one of those beacons was knowing in the deepest part of myself that I needed to make changes. I had hit rock bottom after the death of my sister in November 2020. She was my hero and best friend and the final months with her had taken a toll on my physical and emotional well-being. Frankly, I was in trouble. I needed to recapture the essence of who I am — and that is very much enveloped in both intentions of how I want to live and show up… plus the very root of gratitude.
So, the process of reflection and choosing a theme served as an inner compass telling me what I needed to do and how I wanted to feel. It was crystal clear – I wanted to get back to living on purpose and with intention. To remember my blessings in spite of the deep losses and restore my innate sense of gratitude. And, to take deliberate action.
You see where I’m going with this, right? Rolling your theme into action is what it’s all about.
Setting that foundation led me to the goals. What did I do? On January 1st, I started a program focused on healthy eating and lost 25 pounds in the following months. The bonus was feeling better physically, emotionally and mentally. I asked myself some big questions about my business and decided to let a lot of it go and only do what filled me with contentment. I focused on reading about indigenous issues and although I had been on that learning journey for 3 years, I jumped in with deeper intention.
There is much more to my 2021 experience but that is a sampling to show the power of a theme. The best part – it equipped me to be gentle with myself through the grief and consider longer term changes. Look out 2022!
MY 2022 THEME
Recognizing that I’m in a big transitional stage in my life – cue the big milestone birthday 🤩 – I’m ready to reignite the joy factor in my life.
That’s why my 2022 theme is JOY TRIGGER.
I want to embrace life in a joyful way. Honestly, joy, wonder and happiness have always been deeply ingrained virtues of mine but with the loss I’ve experienced, I need to reconnect with what it brings into my life.
Once I started researching the term ‘joy trigger’, I discovered that Ariana Huffington actually used it a few years back.
“It’s not enough to be productive. It’s not enough to be successful. I need my joy triggers. Joy triggers are not rational. Bring them into your daily life, because I really believe that it’s all a part of how we can bring balance into our life—getting joy from simple but beautiful things,” says Huffington.
YES! That’s right – I NEED MY JOY TRIGGERS.
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, a pathway to awakening joy will be to continue simplifying my life in three different ways.
First, to reduce my exposure in the digital and media world. It’s toxic and unhelpful.
Next, to avoid overscheduling. I’m ruled by my calendar and I will continue the work I’ve done to free up my time and to be more spontaneous. There are many layers to that: setting boundaries, saying no, saying yes, carving time to do what is joyful to me… even the little things.
Finally, do the big things that I have been procrastinating on. Although maybe not particularly ‘joyful’ tasks, not doing them is squashing my joy so get ‘er done. I need to update my will. I am going to write that book that is in my heart. I am going to finish my office renovation to create that joyful environment I’m yearning for.
And yes, I have action plans and timelines to achieve those things.
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 2022 theme.
- Take it deeper with my ‘Set Your Intentions for YOUR Best Life’ online course. Complete with 3 modules with worksheets that take you through the process step-by-step. And I’ve discounted it to $22 for 2022! It’s huge value that will give you a road map to make 2022 count.
Finally, putting yourself out there is one way to hold yourself accountable so please SHARE. Put your 2022 word or theme in the comments below or even better, share it on my social channels. Look for this joyful photo of me on a diving board 👇 on Lighthouse’s Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
And of course, reach out to me if you need an accountability partner. I’m here!
Wishing you a joyful, healthy and harmonious new year.