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Develop a Theme That Inspires You

by Wendy Hearn

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Published on this site: January 2004 - See more articles from this month

As the New Year begins, it's inevitable that your thoughts turn to the changes you want to make or the things you want to achieve this year. You may have
thought about New Years' Resolutions, even though you know they generally don't work. A New Year is like a clean sheet of paper, ready to start afresh. So if setting New Year Resolutions doesn't work, what does it take for you to focus on what's important to you? The first step is to have a clear idea of this year's aims. An effective way is to set intentions for yourself to bring about what's most important to you. Then condense these aims into a "theme" for the year.

Your theme will be personally meaningful, it needs to come from your heart and to inspire you. As you concentrate on the idea of a theme, jot down any ideas which may occur to you, even if they don't appear to make sense at first.

Your theme will reflect your vision, but whereas your vision is big and much more than you'll accomplish in your lifetime, your theme is about the part of your vision you hope to achieve in the next year. Your theme needs to be a fun thing and something to experiment and play with. Make your theme outrageous;
a step out of your box.

Your theme can relate to any area of your life, personal or professional and it should impact your whole life, even if this wasn't obvious when you set the theme. My theme for this year is with my business. The theme "be in the moment and trust myself" felt right because of what is important to me and my vision. This was missing last year and it would be healthy for me to embrace it fully. It later occurred to me that this same theme would impact the way in which I interact with my children and in my personal relationships.

Your theme needs to feel so natural that you wouldn't need to 'try' and hold yourself accountable to it. However you may find it useful to set up a reminder
system to say it as often as possible and post it in many places. After all, if the time comes when your theme isn't working for you or needs changing, you have
that choice. Tie your theme into who you are and not just what you want to 'do' or 'have'. Whatever you want to 'do' or 'have' will come more easily when you
shift to 'being' that person. I've heard of some people who have set a theme for the year of, say, 'travelling more'. A great theme but until you shift who you are as a person, it's not likely to happen without struggle. For instance the theme of
'travelling more' may require that you 'be adventurous' or 'be courageous'.

A theme keeps you focused and is there to touch base with regularly. Focus on your theme first thing in the morning for a clearer direction to the day rather
than drifting. When I feel unsure of something, lack direction or feel unfocused, yet need to make a decision or use my time more effectively, these are all occasions when I need to 'be' with my theme and decide what's my next step.

Acknowledge yourself daily for being with your theme and record the results in your journal as a means of inspiration. Each day, check that your choices,
decisions, and most importantly, your actions are in alignment with your theme. During the day and at the end of it, reflect where you were in touch with your theme and where you weren't. This will give you clues about what you need to change in your life. One of the habits I'm working on with my theme is to 'be'
with my theme before I 'do' anything. Even if I don't do this all the time, at least it's increasing my awareness more often.

What I want for you is a theme for this year that inspires and excites you and reflects what's important to you.

Wendy Hearn Personal and Professional Coach She works with business owners, professionals and executives to discover and unlock their own inspiration, to effortlessly take the actions required to have the success they desire. To receive Wendy's fre^e newsletter, send an email to:
[email protected]

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