– By Karin Maloney Stifler

Set a Theme for 2014

What a difference a day makes.  Each January marks a “second chance” along the journey of life.  The New Year is a natural reflection point, and reminds us of the opportunity to hit the reset button and realize unfulfilled potential in our lives.  Setting New Years resolutions is essentially a tradition of promising yourself to do or be something different.  Hopes and motivation run high, at the starting gate to a new year, and we are inspired to make promises to be kinder, thinner, stronger, wealthier, smarter, or in some way better than ever.

Road Trip

Resolutions, like the good old standards “lose weight, get organized, and save more,” aren’t easily fulfilled.  Sometimes they don’t happen at all, despite good intentions.  The fear or expectation of failing to fulfill New Years promises deters many of us from even trying in the first place.  That’s precisely why my friend Patrick doesn’t bother to make resolutions.  He simply doesn’t expect to succeed.

So what’s a reflective, goal-oriented person to do?  Give yourself permission to forget resolutions.  Focus your hopes for 2014 ahead with a new approach.

Set a theme for the year by reflecting on one simple question: 

What are you craving in your life?

Give yourself time to test drive a few possibilities.  Then, imagine how satisfying your chosen craving will feel. You’ll know you hit the bulls-eye when your heart beats a bit faster, and you feel lighter, happier, and more excited about waking up tomorrow.  Once you choose a New Years theme, simply keep it front and center in your mind’s eye.  Then experience the exhilaration of adding something to your days that will make you and your life better.

This year marks the fifth time I’ve adopted a theme.   Last year’s craving was “adventure”, and did not disappoint like a resolution to organize ten years of family photos would have.  I will always cherish 2013 as the year of the backstage tour with Manchester United soccer friends, and the NYC marathon with my running buddy Diane.  Not surprisingly, I also came to appreciate the adventures in everyday life, like attempting yoga handstands, teaching my dog Toby new tricks, and riding shotgun with my newly licensed son, Ryan in the driver’s seat.

So what are you craving in 2014?  Here are some ideas for themes to get you going. 

  • Action – Acceptance  – Adventure – Bold
  • Challenge – Clarity – Commitment – Courage
  • Faith – Fly – Giving – Honesty
  • Jump in – Letting Go – Love – Peace
  • Resilience – Service – Simplicity – Truth

Wishing you a truly Happy New Year, full of what you crave!