• Beth Crumrine

Are New Year's Resolutions for you?

We’re almost to January and looking forward to 2021 with optimism. Will 2021 be the year we get back to normal? Let's hope so!!

Are you the type who creates New Year's resolutions? If you do, do you give up or forget about them halfway through January? You are not alone as only about eight percent of people who make resolutions actually keep them. Why not come up with a New Year theme? Setting a theme allows you to project what you would like from your year and let in—or take out—the things that don’t support your theme. It’s goal-setting that meets your needs.

Why a theme?

New Year’s resolutions seldom work. Too often we set “big changes” for ourselves, and we don’t take into account the need for novelty, the difficulty of staying with a task once it gets boring and the scheduling changes the resolution might bring to our routines. After a little bit of time, the resolution becomes too much and is left by the wayside.

With a theme you don't need to stick to it every day - making it perfect for busy professionals, parents and everyone in between! There are not boxes to check; you don’t have to guilt trip yourself. There is no task to fail at, no rubric to measure yourself by, and no waiting for next year to try again. Having a theme for the year is almost like setting a mantra. It serves as a guiding principle when making decisions and reflecting on events. Setting a theme removes the daily pressure of measuring yourself against something you wish you were and encourages a holistic approach to self-awareness.

Your theme can be an idea, a word, or a simple goal for your year - the key is to keep it as short as possible. By journeying through your year with the theme in mind, it can help you make day-to-day decisions or evaluate choices and short-term goals as they come up. Each one of these choices or short-term goals will help to build up and reinforce your theme as you go forward.

For example, if your theme for the year is Time, then perhaps daily choices are “What gives me more time with my partner?” or “Will accepting this invitation decrease time I can spend on my art or hobby?” It may be that a theme of Time includes building a new morning or evening routine. It becomes about how it is important for you to spend your time, rather than giving it away to activities that are unimportant to you or your family.

A theme allows you to constantly be working on adding more to your life not pressuring you to change overnight. Setting a theme still gives you some leeway to set mini-goals along the way with your life, so you don’t have to abandon goals altogether.

Pick your theme

January is a good time to pick your theme, though you can also choose another month or date that is significant to you.

Here are some tips to help you pick your 2021 theme:

  • Learn from the Past Year Review the last year and the choices you made without judgement. What did you do last year that you would like to do more often this year?

  • Clearly See the Present Where are you today? Is this where you want to be, are these the things and people that make you happy? Again, without judgement, survey where you are and what you feel is best for you.

  • Declare What Lights You Up Be honest with yourself about what makes you happy—not what “should” make you happy. Where is your creativity? Who brings joy to your life by their presence? If there is something in life you would want to do, what is that?

  • Decide on Your Theme Now, with the first three steps, decide on your theme. What is your joy, your goal, and who brings happiness into your life? Pick your theme based on what supports those answers. Not remaking yourself, but what theme will offer guidance and support for you.

  • Clean Up the Path Going forward, look at your choices in light of your theme. How does what you choose to do or include fit into that theme or support it?

  • Commit to Your Theme Some days, everything will fit your theme—and some days, nothing will. That’s okay. Keep your theme in mind when setting your daily goals and short-term plans. Use it to help move toward the things that make you happier and support your long-term goals, whatever they may be.

—adapted from Set Your Theme of the Year Before You Set Your Goals: Answer these questions to give meaning and direction to your life

Your 2021 theme is…

You might want to work through picking a theme for this year on your own, or you may choose to work with a trusted friend or professional. Unlike a New Year’s resolution, a theme has a lot of leeway and develops throughout the year.

One suggestion for our real estate friends is to discover a work/life balance by hiring a transaction coordinator to handle your paperwork and help with your communication throughout the transaction. This isn't about giving up control over the file, but it's about enhancing your communication so everyone is taken care of immediately whether you are on the road, meeting with a client or just enjoying some downtime - emails are responded to and acknowledged leaving everyone feeling happy. Hiring a TC shouldn't be a stressful addition but a calculated business decision to set you above the rest!

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