It’s a new start. A clean slate. A blank sheet of paper and a new box of crayons. What could be more fun… and inspirational? We’re coming out of the depth of winter’s shortest days and entering the hopefulness of the longer days of summer. We’re turning the corner from yin to yang. From rest to action. It’s a good time to ride the wave.

The beginning of the year, like the dawning of a new day, is filled with possibilities. Today’s early January morning broke with brilliant pink chiffon clouds filling the sky. Wouldn’t it be nice if the new year heralded its presence just as dramatically? Maybe it has. Did you catch it?

What do you do for yourself at the beginning of a new year?

Some people make resolutions. Some set intentions. Some are hung over. Some think it is just another day. I like to ask questions. I frequently ask, “What is trying to happen?” I ask it of myself. I ask it of my clients – especially couples in conflict since conflict always signals a change that wants to happen. Right now I’m asking, “What is my soul’s desire for 2014?” What are you inspired to ask at the start of your new year?

Developing Your Theme

A theme is a thread that will run throughout your year. It will inspire and direct your choices, actions and behaviors – when you use it. Your answer may not come fully developed. It may come in fleeting glimpses, or whiffs. If it doesn’t come easily, take the gist and rearrange it until it is worded in just the right way—a way that compels you to enter your future.

Here are a few examples:

  • The year of Financial Strength
  • The Vital New Me
  • Calm in Every Storm
  • Powerfully Persevering
  • Curiosity at Every Turn
  • Playful and Joyous

More Empowering Than a Resolution

To me, a resolution is pushy, like I can muscle and mold life into the way I want it if I work hard enough or discipline myself. I’ve never found that to work. Life is… well… unmoldable. It does what it does. I’m the one who must do the bending. A theme, on the other hand, is a “come from” place – a way of being. Living in view of ‘Financial Strength’ is a lot different than resolving to get out of debt.  A lifestyle created for ‘The Vital New Me’ is a lot more useful and empowering than “I will not eat any more brownies.”

Using Your Theme

After you have worded your theme in an empowering way, spend some time imagining how you will feel and what will be possible for you as you live it. I’ve done this enough years now to see how each year’s theme builds upon the last, wrapping around the learning and growth from the previous year like the rings on a tree. It’s a brilliantly designed growth and development tool. I think we go through this process whether we’re aware of it or not. When we are aware, our experiences have more meaning and become more powerful.

My Challenge to You

I’d like to challenge you to spend one of the first days of January 2014 exploring your theme for your year ahead. You can do this by writing about what you’ve learned from 2013, exploring visual images as you create a vision board/collage of things that are important to you, and letting those things inform your intuition so you can identify the red thread that will lead you through your life this coming year. After you find your theme I’d love it if you’d share it with me.

If you’re local, I invite you to attend my Dream Your Theme playshop In January of each year.  I will lead you through an expanding and inspirational process of discovering your theme. It’s inexpensive and very fun. Great for both men and women.