Happy New Year

In New Year on January 2, 2010 at 10:09 pm

I’ve always been susceptible to the sort of navel-gazing and resolution-making that comes with new years and new decades. It can be a healthy and productive pastime, so long as you don’t take it all too seriously.  The challenge is going about it in a way that actually results in more than a list of upcoming failures.

A few years ago, a friend introduced me to a new concept: Rather than making resolutions, she sets a “theme” for the new year. For example, she might declare it to be “The year of embracing technology,” or “The year of financial sanity.” Granted, that didn’t result in the list of “concrete goals” and “measurable objectives” so many “life coaches” recommend, but it does offer a context for making decisions. It gave her focus. She knew she couldn’t ignore other aspects of her life to pursue this focus, but she did a great job of rallying around that focus and putting it into action. Concrete goals had a way of emerging from the process. At the end of the year, she typically had incorporated the “theme” into her life in such a way that she no longer had to think about it. As a result, when the next year came to pass, she didn’t really abandon the old theme — it simply moved into the background as part of normal operations. And the new theme took center stage.

In a way, this process begins to resemble the strategy-setting process embraced by corporations and other organizations. Instead of listing first the tactics they will execute in the coming year (the equivalent of the ubiquitous “lose weight,” “save money” or “get a better job” statements so often uttered at midnight on Dec. 31st), they consider the larger strategies they’ll implement to pursue their primary objective (the equivalent of most people’s one ongoing resolution: To live a better life.)

So, if you were to set a theme for 2010, what would it be? What rallying cry would you keep in mind in order to push you toward the individual victories you seek? What one, simple statement would you use to guide your decision-making?

I’m still formulating my theme, but when I land on it, I’ll post it here. And then, a year from now, I’ll see how well it served me in 2010.

  1. See, I knew you’d have something to say!

    As far as my theme for 2010, I’m thinking about “Greener living.” Reaction?

  2. I like it. And it’s one we’ll have to share … holding each other accountable or, to put it another way, nagging each other. Recycle, reuse, repurpose, all together.

  3. Glad to read your blog. I’m sure you’ll have lots of interesting things to say!!

  4. welcome to the ‘sphere. nice looking blog… even better content.

  5. The year of not being selfish?

  6. Good to see you blogging – I’ll be a frequent reader. My theme for this year is getting enough sleep (in spite of working more hours). I think what’s going to give is tv time….

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