Forget resolutions. Try this instead.

The beginning of a new year has traditionally been a time where many people set resolutions. Lose weight. Exercise more. Stop one bad habit or another. Start a good habit.

Some people start the new year full of excitement and thoughts that this time will be different, and, for some, it is.

For many of us, however, it often doesn’t take more than a few days before the resolutions are forgotten or cast aside with the frustration of ‘falling back’ into the same old, same old. Habits are called habits for a reason; they become the habitual way we do something, and it can take concerted effort and support over an extended period of time to really make a change. In addition, sometimes resolutions are set because we kind of want them or feel we should want them. This ‘sort of’ wanting something is likely not sufficient motivation to keep going when we are tempted by our old habits or the road gets challenging.

What if you set an intention that better reflected what you truly want?

What if you could increase your focus for the new year without the need to set any half-hearted resolutions at all?

This technique is one I learned a few years ago and have applied since: setting a theme or phrase to set your direction for the coming year.

For me, this theme has helped guide decisions, sometimes consciously and sometimes subconsciously, reminding me of what is important to me.

Connection.

Faith in action.

Surrender.

Just to name a few.

And the word that jumps to mind for me for 2017?

Truth.

Real, deep, raw truth.

Not sugarcoated. Not diluted.

Not wrapped in social acceptability.

Not hidden, not centre stage.

Not truth that is popular today and gone tomorrow.

Not a truth to be held lightly, as I was once instructed in a training class.

Just Truth, with a capital T.

Divinely given Truth. A Truth that speaks to my soul.

And a desire from deep within to help others connect to their Truth as well.

Does having this focus mean I will never be led ‘astray’, never pulled towards things that don’t align with who I am, who I want to be?

If only…

I am human and will inevitably find myself torn between two competing options, probably a number of times.

Having this focus, though, will hopefully allow me to return to my centre, my soul, more quickly and more easily.

So as we approach 2017, I now ask you:  What word or phrase would you like to be your theme for the coming year? What will be your guiding principle, the foundation upon which you would like to make your decisions?

What will help you when you are uncertain which choice to make?

What would help you return to your centre, in a way that matches up with the person you are and the person you are striving to be?

Once you’ve decided on your theme word or phrase, put it where you will see it and be reminded of it frequently, like on a sticky note on a mirror, in your wallet, etc.

You can also use this theme to set more specific goals as well, goals that are very important to you and that you are committed to pursuing, even when challenges arise along the way.

I’d love to hear your themes, so I invite you share them below. And besides, sharing them in writing will help you internalize your theme even more!

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