Living Your Best Year: Choosing Your Theme

A new year always brings things into focus for me. In the past, I’ve sat down with my journal and written out a list of resolution. But, like many of you, the thought of setting resolutions is daunting.  I’m a list-maker and get giddy over calendar planning but I have zero motivation to set up resolutions only to fail at them terribly. 

I love podcasts and listen to/watch them regularly. As 2017 crept closer and closer, I noticed a theme amongst the hosts… Instead of setting a list of resolutions, many were choosing a word or theme for the year. Now that is something that I could get behind!

So, last December, I decided that I needed something to keep me focused in 2017 and I liked the idea of picking a word or phrase for the year. It’s about the only time that I can say that I’ve ever been trendy! I took out my journal and started writing out random thoughts of things that I could focus on. My mind went to all the regular things: better self-care, losing baby weight, eating out less… But I wanted to go a bit deeper. I wanted to end 2017 with something that would change my mindset. As I wrote things down, a theme emerged.

I settled on “choose joy.” This simple phrase, this intentional action, changed my life. 

I believe in the power of mindfulness and knew that I needed to find something to focus on other than my struggle with anxiety. If I was going to “choose joy,” I knew that it couldn’t be haphazard and I had to be intentional. 

I read about joy. I found quotes about joy. I eliminated things in my life that were hindering joy. Social Media, I’m looking at you. I took a break from social media for a few weeks and when I returned, I cleaned up my Facebook feed.

Then I took life one day at a time, choosing joy whenever I could. Big decisions, small decisions, all fell into the perspective of choosing joy. I saw my own outlook on life change and I know that being intentional with my theme for the year, I was able to journey through 2017 with a purpose. Looking back, I know it was one of my best years. 

So, you might be wondering why this worked so well. For me, choosing a theme as opposed to writing a list of resolutions felt freeing. I wasn’t looking at myself and picking out my flaws, I was empowering myself to dream. If I would devote a year to a theme, how would my life look different? I’m a bigger believer that perspective is everything! I would rather have a positive perspective on life, instead of starting the year and picking out everything negative about myself that I want to change. 

But what about 2018?

One of those things was returning to work, so with 2018 upon us, my theme for this year is SIMPLE. Not only in a material way, but in my mindset. I over-complicate things regularly and my hope is that I wouldn’t feel weighed-down by the hard things. I’m excited to see what’s in store for 2018 now that I have a focus for the year!

How are you approaching the new year? Share with us below!



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