Every year, (as detailed in last Wednesday’s post, just behind this one) I pick a broad theme, instead of a regimented list of narrow goals. Then, I do write down a few loose goals that fit in context with the theme.
I’ve declared 2012 my year of Love. And, one of my goals is to expand my business. How do those two intertwine? Well, one of my goals is to do more public speaking — because I love that work – as a way of growing my business.
Once I have my theme, and a loose idea of some of the things I’d like to achieve, I draft some notes around those goals and scrutinize them to make sure they fit in with my theme. For example, I looked at how this theme of Love fits in to my work and decided I was going to pursue more of the work that moves me — like public speaking. I am more productive this way, when I’m aligned spiritually, physically, and mentally.
Then, instead of writing down every regimented step behind each goal, I simply pick one and do it. I don’t plan much beyond that first step. After that, I take at least one inspired action each day, in keeping with that theme and the goal and then see what happens next. I take consistent daily action toward my goals, but I don’t always know what that action is going to be — until it happens.
This means I stay open. I’m always looking for new ideas. And I worry much less about the how things are going to work out and just evaluate what makes sense to do as I go. This allows freedom and expansion and new things to enter my life. These almost always yield great possibilities that I’ve never thought about before.
In other words, I stay focused on the “what” part of what I want to accomplish, rather than the how. For example, I know I’d like to have more public speaking gigs to talk about personal development. How that’s going to happen, I don’t know yet. I trust that the how will reveal itself as a I take my smaller, daily, inspired actions.
This feels exciting and interesting. It’s fun. And, it’s productive. I’ve accomplished many goals this way. I’ve used a theme to lose weight, stop biting my nails, increase my income, and write a book. In every case, unexpected opportunities, amazing people, and new ideas evolved throughout the process.
With the theme in mind, I find everything becomes easier. It’s easier to make decisions because when things come up I look to see if they apply to the theme. If they don’t, I take a pass. And, probably the most important aspect of this kind of goal progression is that it keeps me going. I persist. Because even when challenges emerge I’m reminded that I am doing what I love and that will make it easier to prevail. It can work for you too. Consider these three points before picking the theme you’ll use to guide you through 2012.
1. Lead with an expansive quality. Be open and pick a theme that is broad and all encompassing — such as love. One year I went with theme “Say Yes” to remind me to embrace new situations, even when I felt afraid. Go with something that can infuse your relationships, your health, your job and the other important aspects of your life.
2. Be clear and short. Pick a theme you can say in one or two words. Patience or courage or enthusiasm. Whatever it is, keep it clear and after arriving at some possibilities sit down and jot notes around what that theme means to you, what it would look like, where it shows up in your life. Remember, this will be your focus for the year, so pick a theme you can live with.
3. Pick something that feels good. If it doesn’t get your excited, you’ve picked the wrong theme. During my year of flow just thinking about it and saying it out loud reminded me of all the possibilities the Universe offered, if only I would step into the “flow” of what came into my life. It was fun to think about.
Think of the theme as the Big Idea, that will keep your intentions focused on the other things you truly desire in your life. Not only will you achieve your goals, but unexpected benefits will come into your life and lead you to your greater purpose.