With less than a month left of 2011 it’s time to start letting go of resolutions. That’s right. I’m a big proponent of staying free and clear of New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I advocate the practice of allowing a “theme” to guide your year.
Resolutions tend to be fueled by an emotional, knee jerk reaction sort of desire. Consequently this brand of motivational fuel burns quickly resulting in the early death of many a New Year’s resolve. I admit that the practice of setting an annual theme is not for everyone. However, it has become a solid and stabilizing practice that has afforded me and many of my clients with just enough structure to nurture a productive, year-long self-improvement.
If you’re interested here’s how we do it:
In a meditative moment (you may skip this step if you know your theme already) discover what theme is begging to guide your year. It might be something you want or need to have such as:
The next step is to find or designate an Icon for your theme. Typically this entails selecting a physical object that can become your visual reminder. It becomes a friendly reminder to align with your theme through-out the year. Sometimes it helps if the object is relatively new or recently refurbished. The key is that the energy of your icon should be a good match with the new resolve embodied within your theme.
If your theme is “Finding Laughter” a Happy Buddha statue might become your icon. If “Attracting Wealth” is your theme, you might consider carrying a $1,000,000 dollar bill around in your wallet.
The final step is to place your icon in a predominate spot. As you encounter the icon, allow it to remind you to align your actions with your theme. Some people keep a journal of the large and small steps they took to remain true to their theme. At the end of each year they find it productive to review these notes, acknowledge their personal growth and prepare for next year’s theme.
If you’d like to step away from New Year’s resolutions and join our “Theme-based” practice, I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to post your themes, related pictures and experiences here!