choose your theme

What is your theme this year?

We’ve all heard about it.  We may have even been asked.  

“What is your theme for 2017?”

Now, maybe someone calls it “your word” or some other phrase, but the idea is the same.  A word or phrase that sums up what you would like your intention to be for the upcoming year.

It’s sort of like making resolutions, but on a broader scale.  Rather than listing out goals or resolutions for the year, choosing a theme or word for the year is about choosing your focus for the next 12 months.

Selecting a theme is a surprisingly useful activity and, done with thought and intention, can be a powerful force for your year!

The first time I chose a theme

The first time I chose a “theme” was in 2014.  That was right after my mom passed away, a year after my step dad passed and a year and a half after my dad passed away.  It was the end of a particularly challenging time in my life and I knew I needed to do something to take control back of my life.

I chose “Love.”  Having studied Psychology and NLP for the better part of my life I was well aware of the anger and resentment that could take hold.  I had coached many clients through their grief and sorrow, and was familiar with the unhealthy feelings that could inadvertently start to play a role in my life.

I didn’t want to allow that.

I didn’t want my family to have to deal with me like that.

I didn’t want to live like that.

So I chose “Love.”

I put a lot of thought into my theme that year. I had a lot of choices.  I would think of one, sit with it for a day or two, and see how it felt.  If I didn’t love it, if it didn’t resonate, I would move on.  

Once I tried on “Love” I knew that was the one!  It fit. Felt right. It didn’t feel like I was choosing it, or was going to make it work.

It just fit.

And 2014 was an amazing year of change, and growth.  I made and grew amazing relationships, not only with others…with myself as well!  

2014 was truly the year I fell back in love with life.

It was amazing, and at the end of the year, when I did my annual year in review, I realized that everything I had accomplished, the goals I had achieved, were all done with love.  

I was a believer!

Choosing a theme had become an art

So, for 2015 I had to choose a new word. Again, I went through the same process, and for 2015 my word was “Recovery.”

Funny. I didn’t really know what kind of recovery, but I knew recovery was the word that resonated with me.

So for 2015 my theme was “Recovery.”

Again, at the end of the year as I reflected back on the year I realized that, as in 2014, the goals I achieved and the changes I made related to my recovery.  Recovery from the stress, the anxiety, the pressure that comes with caring for aging parents.

Recovery from the habits that had to be built during that time but were no longer necessary. Recovery from the financial challenges created when I quit my job to care for my parents.  Recovery from the pain of loss.

It was an amazing year full of gifts and growth I would likely not have experienced otherwise.

As 2016 approached it was easy for me to find my theme.  “Intention.”  I was going to enter the year knowing my theme for 2016 was “Intention.”

And again, amazing results.  I achieved so many things because my actions all had intention behind them. I coached more people because my intention was to help people who were where I had been.  2016 was one of my best years to date!

So, as we usher in 2017 I have a new word. This year my word took a bit more work to choose.  I had a few false starts, but again, my theme ultimately chose me.  This year my theme is


And funny though it may sound, I am already experiencing a difference.  A difference in the way I approach my day, my experiences and my planning.

It’s funny. Pride is not a word I would ever have imagined would be a theme for me. Ever.

But as I said, it is the word that fit. I tried several on, several that I thought would be good, that I would like, that would fall in line with what I thought I needed to be doing this year.

And “Pride” chose me.

How can a word change a year?

Let me share a bit behind the concept. Choosing a theme word can be a very powerful experience, and it can direct and change your entire year.  And knowing that each year is a piece of your life, that means it can change your life!

Your theme for the year will help direct your attention. Chosen correctly and carefully, your theme can help direct your subconscious throughout the year. It will play a part in all of your choices and activities during the year, impacting your entire year.

So it stands to reason that choosing your theme word is important.  It must be done with consideration and intention. 🙂

As you try out different words notice how you react to them. Do you feel like you are picking a word, or do you feel like you are choosing a word that has meaning to you this year?

When you select a word, do you come up with reasons it won’t work? Is there push back that you notice, preventing you from giving full buy in to that as your theme for the year?

The key to having a successful year with your theme word is to be congruent about the theme you choose.  Make sure that all of you is in agreement with your theme.  If any part of you isn’t in agreement you won’t be able to get the full impact.

Once you are in full agreement, think about it for a few days. Notice the areas in your life that you think it may impact you. Imagine how your life would be if there were more of your theme word in your life.

What do you think?  How does it feel?  Can you see how things might change for you this year if this is your theme word for the year? What will change if this word plays a role in everything you do this year?

Do you like the results? Will these things get you the kind of life you want? Will you see the growth and advancement you’d like to see in 2017 with this theme?

If your answer to the above questions is yes, then you have likely found a great theme for yourself this year!

If you are unsure, or it doesn’t get you excited, you might want to keep looking.  

Once you find your theme for 2017, you will be amazed at the difference you will notice!

**To learn more about choosing your theme and achieving your goals register for the online workshop here.

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