This blog post was written in early January. If you go to http://www.ruthamos.com.au/podcast you can hear the chat I had with Scott on Ultra106.5 about it at the time. I know I’m posting it on here a little late, I guess it is just another of those things that I’m slowly getting into order.
It’s that time again. Time for new year’s resolutions. Time for new year plans. Time to think ‘new year, new you’ or some such thing.
We do it each year, and as John Dickson says, it’s not really a bad thing. Resolutions are built on hope, he says. And hope is better than the alternative. Living hopefully is a good thing.
So I’m not pooh-poohing resolutions. But I am going about things slightly differently this year.
I’m going with a Year Theme.
I got this idea from the podcast, Cortex, hosted by CGP Grey and Myke Hurley. They have been doing themes each year since 2016 (I think). And Grey has done it for a lot longer.
OK, what is a Year Theme?
It’s an idea, a thought, a direction that you want the year to go. It’s a bit like having a word for the year, which is another idea I have seen around the place. But with a theme you are not limited to one word, so you don’t have to do the extreme hyphenation I did in 2019 when it was the year of give-it-a-go.
It is not a goal, or something that you cross off. So in that way it’s not like a resolution. It’s not ‘lose 5 kg’ or even ‘exercise more’ or anything like that. It’s an overarching idea that you can use to measure your activities against and see whether they fit, whether they are something you should be doing.
Your year theme could be something like, the year of adventure, or the year of diversification, the year of stabilisation, the year of less, the year of fun, or the year of prayer or worship.
What is my theme for this year?
My theme is ‘The Year of Order’.
Last year was quite chaotic for me. Both my children got married, for one thing. And for another, we renovated our house to make a little home for our son Caleb and his new wife. And there were other things as well (of course) that added to the chaos.
I decided back in November that I wanted 2021 to be much more ordered. Calm. Peaceful.
I am using this theme to help me decide what to do and how to do the things I do.
OK, we’re two weeks in to the year, so there’s not a big sample yet. But here are some things I have done so far because of the theme I have put in place:
I have taken control of what I do on the church roster. Up until now, Moz and I have just gone with what we were given on the roster, unless we had some big prior engagement that meant we couldn’t serve in some way. This year, we looked at the months in advance and blocked out some Sundays when neither of us are on any jobs, so that we can just sit in church and enjoy each other’s company.
I have sorted out some cupboards and given things to the Salvos. Part of this is due to not having as much storage space now that we’ve renovated. But partly this is due to my year theme and trying each day to do something that adds order.
I have organised my calendar so that I have one day a week to work on my creative projects. A day with no coffee dates and no day-job work. And I’m trying to batch the other things I do each week so that my focus isn’t continually changing.
Daily I am asking myself in my intention questions (more on this later), ‘Have I done my best to create order today?’ And I’m keeping track to see how I’m doing. I hope to keep you updated as the year goes on.
It’s never too late to put together a year theme. Unlike new year’s resolutions, you can come up with one at any time and apply it to any block of time that you like. It can be a year theme, but a quarterly theme is a really great idea too.
We’re heading into the second quarter of 2021 as I write this, and I’d like to let you know that I’m still following the theme. One of the things Moz and I have done as part of this is to plan out each quarter in advance, booking in times to work on our house, times to go away on adventures, and occasional Sundays when neither of us is on a church roster so that we can actually sit together. And I sorted out my filing cabinet yesterday. So this year’s theme is really working for me.
Do you have a year theme? Or has this post made you think of one? I’d love to hear what yours is. Let me know in the comments, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit me at https://www.facebook.com/RuthAmosAuthor