In the past, I would set goals and make New Year’s resolutions this time of year – and that worked out okay I suppose. I’m not knocking either one of those processes; but the really great stuff that happened in both my personal and professional life was neither a goal nor a resolution. It was an intention.
Set your intention
It starts with a thought like, ‘Gee, I really love to travel; I wish I could do more of that’. Then it becomes an intention: ‘This year, I intend to travel more’. Focusing on this clear intention throughout the year (and not diluting it with several other intentions) becomes the theme. It’s a word or phrase that describes, in a nutshell, what you want to be or have in 2015.
What’s your theme?
When I choose my theme for the year, I find images and words that reflect it, and put them up where I can see them throughout the day (on a board directly in front of my desk). Then, when opportunities come up that fit the intention, I say ‘yes’. I don’t let excuses like ‘I don’t have the time or resources’ get in the way, because I believe it will work out – and it always does. You’ve often heard me (and many others) say, ‘what you focus on, you attract’.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
– Mark Twain
My theme – and how it manifested this year.
This past year, my theme was travel. In January, we were invited to a family wedding in Mexico. We said ‘yes’ and had an amazing time. We also spent time in our condo in Florida that month. An out-of-the-blue business opportunity the previous month covered the extra expenses.
In March, my theme came up in an unexpected way. I was hired as a spokesperson for the ‘Importance of Vacation’ campaign. Talk about validation!
In April, we made another trip to Florida to celebrate my husband’s retirement. That was followed by a long overdue visit to my homeland, Cyprus, and my husband’s parents’ homeland, Malta. We were away for the longest stretch ever, an entire month. We stayed in my parent’s home, and relatives and friends generously fed and entertained us.
Over the summer, I went on a road trip with some girlfriends and visited Montreal, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City, Auburn Hills, and Columbia (MD). We were away for almost 2 weeks – and had the time of our lives.
In October, my friend invited me to NYC for the weekend to attend a private event which featured a performance by one of my favorite singers, Adam Lambert. At first, I was hesitant because I had a work commitment the next day and was concerned about flight delays. But I remembered my theme and said ‘yes’. We traveled without a hitch and had the most amazing time.
The experiences I collected in 2014 have created some of the best memories of my life. And to think, it all started with an intention.
My theme for 2015 – and how you can choose yours.
This year, my theme is creative expression. I intend to nurture my inner artist. I’ve always wanted to learn to draw and paint, but my perfectionistic tendencies seemed to get in the way. I’ve made some strides in that area now, and as I shed my need to perform perfectly and let go of my fear of making mistakes, I’m free to be my authentic self.
While I was in the process of writing this blog, one of my coaching clients synchronistically mentioned she wanted to live more simply in 2015. As we talked more about what ‘living more simply’ would look like for her, it occurred to me that often times a theme requires a perspective shift rather than a long list of what to do and what not to do. It’s a way of ‘being’, which is more sustainable and probably takes much less energy than ‘doing’. Some other themes my coaching clients have chosen include: ‘self-care’, ‘be positive’ and ‘be real’.
What’s your theme for 2015?
I know the holidays are a hectic time. But by taking a few moments to do this simple act, you can positively affect the quality of your year – and your life. You don’t have to figure out the ‘how’. Trust that when you are moving in the right direction, what you need will flow towards you. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this, so please comment below – and don’t forget to share your theme if you have one.
Happy holidays everyone and see you in the exciting New Year!