For the past two years, I have been doing something unique regarding a New year resolution.
Instead of having a fixed goal in mind that I must accomplish, I would opt for the direction I wish to have in my life in that particular year.
I would choose a ‘Year Theme’.
Once I was clear about the theme, I would then decide on what my goals should be with regard to the theme.
So, in December 2017, as I sat thinking about an year theme for 2018, I wondered,
‘I have been having all these dreams that I have not pursued as seriously as I should. How can I have fresher, bigger, more ambitious dreams if I do not fulfil all the dreams I already have?’
And that’s when I decided to have the theme for 2018 :
That was the direction I wanted to head in. I wanted to pursue and fulfil all my dreams in the year 2018.
Which dreams/ goals should I aim at, was the next question.
I had chanced upon a TED talk by Patti Dobrowolski, where she endorsed the concept of drawing your future.
So I took a Post-It leaf and got to drawing.
The image you see at the top of the post was what I ended up drawing.
Here’s a list of what I had drawn :
1) Start your own website
2) Run a half marathon
3) Learn to swim
4) Finish a draft of a Book
5) Train your Ears
6) Find time to practice Drums
7) Be able to touch your head to the knees
8) Go on a Bicycle Tour
9) Start the Power of Everyday project
I took the post it and pasted it on the cover of my journal to serve as a daily prompt about the direction I must head in.
As 2018 draws to an end, I realised that I have made great progress with the year theme.
I started my own website this year and have been blogging regularly. I’ve completed two half marathon runs, I finished writing a draft of my first book, I went on a 7 month long bicycling adventure, and started The Power of Everyday project.
However, I could not really work as much as I would have wished to in the other four areas, the goals I couldn’t pursue to fruition.
While I did go to learn to swim for a month, I am not able to swim just as yet.
I did practise Yoga regularly, but it will take me another year to reach the pose (Paschimottanasana) I had drawn on the post it.
And since I was on the road for most part of the year with no access to drums, I could not practice regularly or work on ear training.
But even if I could only finish 5 out of 9 of my dreams, I have space in my mind to dream big, to dream anew.
The progress I’ve made this year on a personal front has been incredible !
From what I learned from this year’s experience, having a year theme helps channel your energy in one direction.
More important than having a New Year Resolution, or a set of goals, is to have a clear sense of direction, a year theme.
The theme can be about how you want to live your life in the new year,
what you wish to change, which area you want to improve on.
It should be short and easy of remember.
Also, drawing your goals in a piece of paper in line with the year theme helps to have structure and homegenity in your pursuit.
I highly recommend the drawing exercise.
A visual reminder that you draw yourself is the best map to reach the abode of your better self.
In the end I just have three things that I wish you do :
1) Create an Year theme for 2019
2) Write the theme down on a Post it and draw your goals in it
3) Paste it at a place so that you have to confront your goals everyday, maybe on your desk or on your journal
This activity is about setting a clear agenda and inching gradually in the right direction.
I can tell from my own experience that it will help you by leaps and bounds.
So, if you’re ready to bring a positive shift in the direction of your life, get thinking about the theme, and get drawing !
I will share my year theme for 2019 on the 1st of January 2019.
I hope by then you’ve decided on yours,
And we can start the new year, with our respective themes guiding us towards constant betterment.
To our collective growth !