My Theme for 2012

2012 Action Catalyst ThemeTheme not Resolution

I didn’t make a resolution this year. I’ve made them in the past and they worked, but this year I wanted to set a direction for my growth, my learning, and my life instead of resolving to quit / start something.

I have no idea what 2012 has in store for me. I’m at a very free, open, growing stage of my life where I am open to new. So instead of creating a resolution that restricts my growth to a certain area I am instead setting a theme that will encourage overall growth in many areas.

My Theme for 2012 is…

Move towards success.

Plain and simple. But not so very plain and simple. This theme brings is accompanied by a multitude of questions:

How do I define success? What areas of success am I focusing on? Where do I draw the line? (and a whole lot more)

A few weeks ago, success was the topic of the Winter Salon (here’s a recap). I wasn’t really sure what I thought about success, how it is measured, or what it means for my life. Needless to say I learned a lot about success, myself, and my journey in this fantastic discussion. Here’s what I came up with:

Success is…

Freedom: At this point in my life, success means freedom to learn, to grow, to move, to learn, to grow, to be me. Freedom is about not being too tied down, too restricted, or too settled on a wide, zoomed out view.

Agility: This is similar to freedom but is on a more focused, zoomed in view. Agility is the daily version of freedom, to make spontaneous, spur of the moment decisions. Overarching freedom allows me to have agility: agility contributes to continued freedom.

Growth: Growing by reading, talking with people, learning from experiences, failing, pushing my comfort zone, trying new, being open.

Balancing Contentment with Ambition: This is a new concept for me. I used to dream really big, have huge plans for the future, and set awesome goals for 10 or 20 years down the road. But after the Salon and further contemplation I realized all of those far away dreams take me away from today. They aren’t bad but they take away from the love and enjoyment of everyday life.

Application

So, I have my theme, but how do I apply it daily?

I didn’t start this theme on 1/1/2012. I actually started sometime in early December when I began thinking of what my New Year’s Resolution would be. I didn’t need a numerical significant day to start changing my life, so as I started thinking, I started doing. I grow and live on a daily basis so why wait for a whole new year to adapt a new strategy?

I began this new way of thinking in early December, poking it to see how it would pan out. It’s been a significant change, for sure. I don’t know how it will evolve over the future but here are a few ways I have began applying this thinking:

Doing what I want to do / love and not forcing myself to do these same things. “I don’t have to, I get to.”

Going with the flow. If something doesn’t feel right, letting it play through without forcing it.

Being more in tune with my own thoughts / actions and listening more to my inner.

Tracking daily success by making a Success / Sucked list at the end of the day. (More about this coming soon)

Objectively looking at how I spend my time.

This theme doesn’t have a metric, isn’t measurable, and there’s no time limit. From a goal setting view it’s probably one of the worst goals that someone could set.

That’s why it’s not a goal: it’s a direction.

It’s all encompassing in all areas of my life and because of that it is actually harder than setting goals and reaching them. Laying in bed at night and knowing that today wasn’t a success is much more difficult to deal with than laying in bed and knowing that although I didn’t reach my goal today, I still have tomorrow. If you failed today, there’s no getting that back. It forces me to constantly consider if what I am doing contributes to a successful day. A full Thought will come about this idea after I have more time / experience with it.

Experiments

On top of this theme I am also going to launch 12 one-month experiments that encourage me out of my comfort zone. Similar to “Don’t Care” every month I will pick an area that needs focus and outline a plan / experiment for encouraged growth. There will be more Thoughts about this coming soon, too!

Overall, I am truly looking forward to another great year full of life!

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