Yearly themes provide general guidance and freedom for decisions throughout the year. I briefly detail where I first heard of the concept and my theme for 2019.
I first heard about the concept of yearly themes from the podcast Cortex. A recent episode explored their new themes for 2019. The idea allows one to shift goals and priorities throughout the new year, but provides direction and guidance for these decisions. Previous themes they explored titled “The Year of Less”, “The Year of Redirection”, and ”The Year of Stabilization”.
The key reason I prefer themes pertains to looking back and looking forward. My previous resolutions were both optimistic, and did not allow for changes to life structure. The idea of resolutions or goals require specific parameters for the best measurable and actionable results. Rather than coming to the end of the year a failure, a theme allows you to recalibrate on the fly as the unexpected happens.
This also fits other habits I am attempting to incorporate in my life. Previous articles and books I read expressed the benefits of a weekly review. Each week rather than seeing a pass/fail on the steps towards a resolution, I see where I acted according to the yearly theme and continue with that process.
The Year of Little
Rather than having big overarching goals, this year I seek to take little baby steps in specific directions. A little bit goes a long way. By the end of the year, these little steps compound to produce big results. While I’m being vague about the specifics for personal reasons, focusing and following through on incremental improvements allows me to achieve easy wins initially. Getting a small win in one aspect of my life pushes me to get another win to gain momentum or pivot in a different aspect of my life. In theory, this creates compounding affects as one win or little habit leads to another.
But how will I know if I truly accomplished little steps and didn’t just pivot from one little thing to the next, with no follow through? Here are a few high level goals at the beginning of 2019 because I can’t help myself…
- Read 12 new books
Using Audible I should be able to read, take notes, and review 1 book per month. With my commute time to work, this shouldn’t be over-reaching.
- Renew or Memorize 52 verses.
I’ve previously written about the use of Verses, an iOS app. I have since removed everything and started new, since I didn’t really keep track of what I was doing. This way, I will either be adding new verses, or, more likely, shoring up verses I previously memorized.
Finally, one way I plan to keep up to date with little habits I’m trying to create is through Productive, considered the Best Habit Tracking App for iOS by The Sweet Setup. I put it in my dock to display how many items are still due. Once I check them off, no more badges appear. It creates a tiny nudge and visual reminder when I unlock my phone.
Have an idea for a theme this year? Thoughts of something missing? Connect with me on twitter @toddheitmann and send me a DM.