Resolutions became extinct for me a number of years ago. I got tired of laying out sky high goals in a NYE champagne induced fever. That never worked out. Shocked right? Instead I started doing a Theme for the year. This set my intention and focused me without setting unattainable resolutions that only served to make me feel worse about myself when I didn't reach them. Please understand. I'm not criticizing you if you make resolutions. I know they work for some people. It's just that through my work as an Org/Biz Strategist and Executive Coach I've spent a lot of time helping people create intentions and set goals. I've watched lots (I mean crowds) of people fail at this. In order to reach your goals you need to follow the SMART rule: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-boxed. This is when resolutions are most effective. But what if you want to create a more encompassing transformation? This is where setting a Theme (or Word) for the year works far better.
How does setting a Theme work?
I think back about the previous year--what I've transformed and what I'm still longing for. I then come up with a few words that articulate the transformation I'm looking for in the coming year. Usually I start with a couple and then one emerges as the clear winner. Let me give you some examples to illustrate this a bit better. Here are a few of the words I chose for the past year.
2005: Money (self-explanatory)
2oo6: Grown-up (also pretty explanatory)
2007: Love (self and otherwise)
2008: Focus (how I used my energy, thoughts & time)
Photo Note: The sign in the photo was made by a dear friend who wanted to give me a reminder of my align theme last year. I highly recommend reminders of the visual and other sort.
Doing a Theme for the year has allowed me to create amazing experiences and growth. When I look back at each year I am amazing and all the transformation. It feels good.
Repeat after me. Themes, not Resolutions. Ready, Set...Transform!