Have you chosen a theme for 2019?
I know it sounds corny, but trust me: if you do it right, setting a theme for the year can have such a positive impact.
I've been doing this for the last few years. I've found it to be a fun and helpful encapsulation of what I want the new year to bring.
Having a theme for the year, in the form of a special word, a motto, theme song or image can help to keep you in touch with your goals and dreams, and guide you in your decisions and choices this year.
So what is your theme for 2019?
To help you choose, ask yourself: how do I want to feel this year?
And then ask: How can you encapsulate that in a word, a song, a quote, an image or anything else that you can keep in mind as you choose your way through 2019?
My theme for 2018 was HEALTH FIRST. I chose it because I'm a card-carrying type-A recovering workaholic with a long track-record of putting work, deadlines and achievement ahead of sleep, healthy diet, self-care, stress-management and my personal relationships. So my theme for 2018 was a great way to continually remind myself to prioritise my health, and especially not to sacrifice sleep, exercise and healthy food choices in the name of work, stress and general busy-ness! And as with previous years, it was a great touchstone to keep me on track. And it manifested in ways I hadn’t anticipated, for me and for my husband too! I thought my theme would just impact my small day-to-day habits like food choices. But it prompted me to take a broader look at all aspects of my health and wellbeing. My husband and I ended up doing the rounds of a whole bunch of medical specialists. We had our cardiovascular health assessed, and our eyes, we had DEXA scans and we even had coloniscopies (there’s a whole post on that coming up!). We also started tracking our daily steps, heart rate and sleep with Fitbits. These were all things I would have pushed down my list of priorities if HEALTH FIRST had not been front-and-centre as my theme for 2018.
Every year, my theme has kept me on track and improved the quality of my life. So now I’m on a mission!
A theme for the year can be an incredibly helpful tool if we put some careful thought into it - and keep it in mind throughout the year!
My 2018 theme was so helpful that I was very tempted to keep it for 2019. In a way I am, as every theme I have for each new year gradually entrenches its way into my life so that it has become a core guiding principal by the end of the year.
But in the end I decided to add in a new theme. It builds on my 2018 theme and this year it’s a double whammy - a word and a phrase.
Word of the year (OK two words): TAKE ACTION
I chose it for two reasons. Firstly, to remind me to constantly take action to move forward in my business and career. And secondly, to remind me to spring into action and get my exercise out of the way first thing in the morning. I find that if I don’t do this I can get too busy and miss out on my workout.
Phrase of the year: PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION
I chose this because, to (very roughly) quote Voltaire, “perfection is the enemy of the good”.
Like most lawyers, I’m a serious perfectionist. And that’s great to an extent. It means that we produce high quality work, get amazing results for our clients. But the downside is that we can spend too much time planning and strategising. And because our standards are so high, we can become overwhelmed at the effort we need to put in to achieve perfection - so we procrastinate. And procrastination is such a toxic waste of life.
And do you know the best antidote to perfectionistic procrastination? You guessed it: taking action!