The new year hits hard and fast, doesn’t it? Even so, I love the feel of January. It’s like starting a new book with endless plot possibilities.
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 2019?
- What didn’t work so well and why? Bonus tip: this isn’t negative but rather, a sign to acknowledge, accept and let it gooooo.
- WHO was a positive force for you in 2019? WHAT was a positive force for you in 2019?
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.
MY 2019 REFLECTION
My theme for 2019 was ‘light and free’. I chose that theme to accommodate a non-negotiable need to rebuild my body and heal injuries. That meant putting myself first ~ focusing on my well-being ~ working smarter and not harder ~ being comfortable with hitting pause.
Part of my planning process for 2019 was also recognizing that I wanted revitalized energy for my work. I’d been dragging and just putting the same thing out there and wasn’t getting the results I wanted in my business. You know that quote attributed to Albert Einstein: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”? Yup, that was me. Stuck in a rut.
Little did I know how that theme would manifest amid huge challenges that hit hard as soon as the new year rolled around. A family crisis that required me to step up, my husband’s extensive business travel and then heartbreak when our sweet fur boy died.
I had no idea when I chose the ‘light and free’ theme that it would buoy me to navigate my way through all of it. It also nudged me to reignite my passion for my work and in turn, filled a huge void. I jumped into an exciting rebrand of my business and hit my stride working with some amazing coaching clients.
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 2019 theme helped me manage my changing world in unexpected ways, my theme for 2020 will build on that success and hone in on what I put out to the world – both personally and professionally.
MY 2020 THEME
And now moving into 2020, I’ve chosen IMPACT as my theme. Impact is a lofty word with big connotations so I hesitated to choose it but 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.
One of those beacons is from a book I just finished reading – Margaret Wheatley’s ‘Far Away from Home’. I’m paraphrasing but she surmises that people have put themselves in to the role of change makers, in that they have ideas or concepts that can change the state of the world and solve everyone’s problems. Wheatley theorizes that the most impact comes through focusing on inner work and within your community.
This rang a loud bell in my head – ding ding ding. For me, my theme refers to the impact that my choices, decisions and actions will have on me and those around me. That means when launching a new product or service, the qualifying question is: “What will be the impact on my clients when they take this program?” And from a personal perspective, the qualifying questions might be: “What will be the impact on me if I take this on?” or “How will it make me feel?”
And IMPACT weaves into the facilitation program I started last fall. The amazing Tara Mohr’s book, ‘Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead’ resonated with me and I saw an opportunity to take her concepts into deeper learning and to use these strategies in my coaching work and Lighthouse’s mentor program. Why take on a 6-month facilitation course at this point? Because I have BIG plans to amp up impact so it fits perfectly with my 2020 theme.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
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 can have a huge impact. Ohhhh..there’s that word again.
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.
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 FOR YOUR BEST LIFE’ online course. I’ve left the early bird price of $27 and trust me when I tell you that it’s huge value for what you get.
Putting yourself out there is one way to hold yourself accountable so please SHARE. Put your 2020 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!
Cathy Goddard is the founder of Lighthouse Visionary Strategies, offering customized one-on-one coaching, an award-winning mentor program and innovative online programs. She writes Lighthouse’s blog and is a feature columnist for Pique Newsmagazine.