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How To Create a Guiding Theme for 2010

Everyone has their own New Year’s ritual: creating resolutions or themes, embarking on a major decluttering of physical and emotional space, or perhaps casting all self realization aside in favor of football and hair of the dog all day long…

I used to be a resolution setter.

I would haul out those familiar goals year after year, and promise myself this would be the year! This would be the year that I would reach my goal weight, that I would meditate every day for 30 minutes, that I would stop watching television and refrain from eating sugar.


Those were my life changing resolutions.

Mix in the fact that I never actually managed to accomplish any of those resolutions for very long and you’ll see why I said I USED to be a resolution setter.  All I ended up doing was beating myself up over failing. And failing again.

My Negative Nellie had a heyday with my resolutions…

Perhaps I was setting the wrong resolutions.  Perhaps I needed to really investigate the “Why’s” behind my resolutions.  Perhaps it was just ridiculous to hold myself to such strict, all or nothing, goals. All I know is that I gave them up a few years back.

Of course, I still have goals.  I still work on creating powerful habits (such as meditating and watching less crap television) that allow me to live the life I desire.  But resolutions?  Out of here.

Instead, I create a Guiding Theme. It’s something I’ve done for a few years (See 2009- Live Deliberately), but this was the first year I sought some outside opinions on the best way to create a theme.  I signed up for an awesome Guest Guide Call with Cairene MacDonald at Third Hand Works and her life coach, Lisa Burkey and it was just what I needed!   Many thanks Ladies for the an awesome, jam packed call.

I was able to take the inspiration shared on the call and combine it with my own practices for this-

The Quick Guide to Creating a Theme for 2010

Ready? First, a little background:

  • Themes are different than resolutions. Obviously, eh? (As I just dismissed my sucky resolution setting practice…)  A resolution is a goal with a final result.  A theme sets an overall aim for your year.  A theme helps you move in a desired direction by drawing your attention to your 2010 purpose.
  • Themes should be inspiring. Don’t create a theme that overwhelms, underwhelms or otherwise bums you out when you say it.  Their power is in INSPIRATION.
  • Themes need to contain powerful language. Your words need to stick. Your theme should contain strong phrases, emotion-filled words that speak to you. The language should sparkle!

1. Visualize Your Way to Wisdom.

Start by doing the following visualization: Close your eyes, relax for a few minutes until your mind clears, and then visualize yourself talking to a “Future You”. “Future You” is yourself one year from now. Perhaps she has a new haircut, a new home, and new job. Perhaps she’s just wise enough to know what you need to hear to help you create an incredible 2010.

Approach her gently.  Sit down with her and share a drink.  Ask “Future You” how she is feeling about the past year, about 2010.  Ask her what she’s most proud of in the last year.  Ask her what you need to know to make this upcoming year a success? Ask her for words of wisdom. Ask her if there is anything else you should know. Listen carefully as “Future You” answers your questions.  When you’re done, thank her for sharing, and gently come back to the present.

(Visualizations may be hard without a guide, but do your best!  And I know, I know-  you’re thinking, “Mooooolllllyyyy– this is woo woo. I can’t talk to my future self. What?! That doesn’t even make sense. It won’t work…”  Maybe.  Maybe not. But it can be a powerful way of tapping into your own intuition.  When I led this visualization during the Release and Renew event (see Picture above!), there were several women with tears in their eyes at the end.  They gave up any notion of it not “working” and just tried.  I ask you do to the same!)

After the visualization, take time to jot some notes about what you learned.  This is all good fodder for creating a guiding theme!

2. Remind Yourself about the Awesome.

Creating a theme is about uncovering your authentic self instead of improving yourself.

Why?  Becuase lovely ladies, you are already enough.  You are already amazing and whole and AWESOME– your theme is just meant to discover or rediscover part of you that’s ready to shine! That needs to be seen! It’s about expanding or enhancing what is already true.

Embrace who you in this moment and cultivate a curiosity about what is yet to emerge. That is your next challenge. Spend some time journaling about the following questions:

  • What do I love about myself?
  • What can I praise myself for?  What am I proud of?
  • What are the values that I put forth and honor in the world?

3. Push it.

Your theme should require a healthy stretch from you. It should make you push it (whether that’s in action, faith, choices, slowing down, or creativity) a little bit each day.

There’s part of you that is just waiting to emerge and your theme allows it to come forward.   Your theme demands that you perform on a higher level, in a way to respects the authentic you– not the you that feels bogged down in to do lists, stressed out by your bitchy boss, or deflated by the latest first date disaster.

The you that knows what extraordinary things you’re capable of every single day.

To put this point in motion-  ask yourself a few questions as you mull over possible themes.

  • Does this theme call to me?
  • Does this theme answer the question:  “What is it time for me to do?”
  • Does this theme recognize the challenges and opportunities ahead?

4. Putting it all together.

I can’t really help you here.

Everyone has their own process for actually selecting a theme.  I start mulling over powerful language, scribbling phrases in journals/workbooks/napkins, and asking myself, “What is it time for?” weeks before the New Year.  I sleep on things, I journal about them, I decide on one and then a few days later change my mind.

All I know is that when you land on one- it feels right.  It physically settles into you and becomes the answer to tough questions.

From one Gutsy Girl to another- I’d like to share my 2010 Theme.

Go Big: Outrageous Faith, Empowered Action.

It’s calling me to stop acting small, to stop doubting my contribution.  It’s inspiring me to move forward in all aspects of my life: creating a extraordinary relationship with the Big Man, rediscovering my inner athlete, embracing my creativity in dance, art, writing, and of course going big here at Stratejoy.

My theme reminds me to trust myself and continue down this path I’m on.  But to do it bigger, bolder, with more pizazz that I ever have.

Go Big or Go Home!

My challenge to YOU?  Create a theme and then declare it.  Share it in the comments!  Post in on your Facebook Wall!  Post it on our Facebook Wall, for that matter!

Looking for a little more inspiration?  Check out these Tribe Member’s Post on Themes:

Heather Rae:  A Little Fancy Tickling and an All or Nothing Year
Ardith:  Believe in the Impossible
Erin: The Year of Personal Power

And I’ll leave you with this…

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”  –Marianne Williamson

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