I've only ever managed to keep one New Year's Resolution: the one where I resolved to stop making them.
And I'm not even joking.
But I know I'm not alone. In fact, an article I shared in one of my very first blog posts suggests most people abandon their resolutions by January 19th of each year.
Knowing this, a few years ago I adopted an alternative to making a resolution that a friend and former colleague shared with me. Instead of making annual New Year's Resolutions, my friend chooses three words that serve as her theme for the year, and I've found this approach generally works better for me.
Last year, my three words were Focus, Actualize, and Thrive.
But if I had to give myself a grade on how I did, I'd be generous in giving myself a "B".
Why? For the same reason I'm willing to bet nobody reading this can recite their company's mission statement without looking it up: if something isn't front and center every day, it tends to be forgotten.
In fact, I think the only reason I managed to earn myself a "B" grade (instead of an "F") is that I truly wanted to Focus, Actualize, and Thrive last year... so I naturally tended to lean towards choices that allowed me to do those things.
But could I have more actively pursued my three themes?
My themes for 2022 are Create, Gratitude, and Better.
I want to CREATE more in 2022. Not just this blog, which I do plan to continue. I want to create more memories with my family by being both more available and more present. I want to create music, by spending more time at my piano. I'd like to finish creating at least one of the three (!) books I currently have in various stages of progress in Scrivener. I'm also thinking about a podcast, and a digital course, and a few other things that might help me create some wealth... but I won't get ahead of myself. The big question for me next year is this: what can I do to create more in 2022? We'll see.
I want to show GRATITUDE more often, and remind myself to be thankful for everything I already have instead of coveting the things I don't. To help with this, I've already restarted my Gratitude Journal, which is an idea I'd humbly encourage all of you to steal.
And I want to do (and be) BETTER. Some might say this is too much of a "catch-all" to be a useful theme, but I look at it differently. I'm not going to try and become an Olympic athlete tomorrow... I'm just going to try and be a little more physically active. I'm not going to suddenly turn into a business development guru... but I want to get better at seeking out and securing amazing consulting clients instead of waiting for them to find me. I'm not striving for perfection in anything... I'm just looking to be a tiny bit better tomorrow than I was today, at everything I do. Simple, right? :)
To help keep my themes front and center this year, I've adopted a simple, low-tech tactic: I've made myself two identical tent cards, each containing these three words.
One will sit on my bedroom nightstand and will be the first thing I see when I wake up.
The other will live in my office, where I spend most of my time during the day.
Then, whenever I have to make a decision or decide how I should spend my time, I can look at my nearest tent card and ask myself which choice will be most consistent with these three themes.
A year from now, will I be able to give myself an A+ on how well I "lived my themes"?
I don't know... but I can certainly strive to do better than a "B".