It’s funny… As my life becomes more frenetic, I’ve found myself more consistently making time in the early morning to catch up on my RSS feeds.
This morning, I saw Megan Poorman’s post about setting a theme for the year, instead of writing resolutions. She writes:
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.
Megan’s themes are short, action states. For instance, her them for 2018 is “Take ownership.”
But the idea of a theme also called to mind a TED Talk by Shonda Rhimes on her “year of saying yes”:
(Her book is Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person. Check out a short review here.)
Inspired by these, I’m setting a theme for 2018:
Year of building
Megan notes that setting a theme requires self-reflection, which usually means time to think. Yet my theme materialized almost immediately, perhaps because life events have prompted considerable self-reflection.
In the next 2 months, I’m taking a new job in a new city, where my partner and I will co-habitate at last after 4+ years of a long-distance relationship. So 2018 means building a new life together. Building my cred and reputation with a new team and boss. Those are givens. But it’s easy to focus on what’s right in front of you and to neglect other elements that are critical for finding happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment. I need to build a community and network outside of work and family. I want to build my fitness and wellbeing. I want to find ways to serve communities.
Building takes different forms. The obvious is creating something new. But it can also be adding on to or adapting foundations and structures. It can be re-building structures that perhaps were damaged or neglected a while.
Building requires prioritizing. It’s not just about making something pretty or flashy. It has to be structurally sound and functional first.
And building takes time. It’s a complex process. It takes a while to create something that will last.
When you watch something under construction, sometimes it looks like little has changed for weeks or months, despite the hours of work going in. Then suddenly it’s something that looks like the start of an edifice. You can begin to see the progress each day. Then it seems to stall again. But there’s work being done out of the public view.
So here’s to patience, perseverance, and creativity. And a year of building in 2018.
What will your theme be?