Here’s Why Having a Theme For Your Year is More Important Than You Think

Dream - Theme

By Lynette Barbieri

Theme – An underlying topic of a discussion or a reoccurring idea. Giving a particular setting or ambiance to a venue or activity. A lesson the individual learns from the topic. The main subject that is being discussed.

Have you ever tried a theme approach to set up your year? At this time of year all you hear is people talking about their new years resolutions and setting goals and all that fun stuff correct? For me setting goals and developing an action plan for my goals was always much easier when I developed a theme for my year. It always helped me to visualize what I really wanted my year to actually look like. Keep in mind, before you pick a theme, you need to dream big. A big goal will stretch you and motivate you to work harder. Our objective when thinking big is to first of all think even BIGGER. Your theme should be designed to stretch you and help you to set goals that really matter the most to you. Our ability to dream big shrinks over time to fit into what we really think is possible. When you were a child what did you want to be? The president or an astronaut or a famous singer in a band? That’s because as children we think anything is possible, as adults we are more guarded. Try to think about your theme with child like enthusiasm. Just remember that anything IS possible because it is!

Why is a theme easier than just proclaiming your resolutions for the year or just setting some big goals? Instead of the typical resolution that identifies a concrete behavior, by assigning a theme to your new year it will help you to develop and visualize what it is that you are trying to accomplish more easily. Your theme should be a word or phrase that resonates with you and embodies something you really want to achieve and that makes you clearly identify what you want your year to actually look like. It helps to create a clear concise mental picture of what you want to go after and gets you  pumped up to go after it. Instead of defining specific behaviors that you want to do, as a resolution does, simply keep your theme in mind and allow your goals to unfold from there. This can be a very refreshing way to approach a New Year.

The key is to make sure it is something that fires you up. For example: “The Year of Significant Breakthroughs” or “The Year of Expansion” –  These are a couple I have used over the years just as an example. When I chose the year of expansion for instance, I had to develop my goals according where I wanted to expand to. My action plan was the steps I needed to implement that would get me there.  My theme kept me on topic and I stayed true to it at every training and workshop I did with my team. You have to stay on point and stick with your authentic message throughout the year so that every choice you are making will result in you getting closer to how you want your year to end up.

Use these 5 Questions to help you to choose the right theme:

  1. What do I want my year to actually look like?
  2. How will I feel at the end of the year when I accomplish these goals?
  3. What is the one key message I have to adhere to this the year to have this happen?
  4. Who can I align with to convey this message clearly throughout the year?
  5. What will I have to leverage in order to make this happen?

Now you can use your theme as a guide so you do not get lost along the way. The rest of the year, review your theme to help you make decisions to make sure what you are choosing to do is in going to support with what you are trying to accomplish. Your message, goals and action plan must be in alignment with your theme 100% of the time. I suggest after you choose your theme you create your vision board to help it to come to life. Hang it up somewhere so that you can look at it every single day to help keep you focused and inspired. Now you can start writing out your true goals and develop your action plan and you are on your way to making it the best year ever!


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