Happy New Year, dear readers! I’m not gonna lie; we all thought 2020 was bad and 2021 would be better, but at this point, it honestly feels like we’ve just been through one huge, horrible, double-length year of anguish and uncertainty. After all that, the holidays and typical year end frivolity just didn’t feal right, or real, or appropriate. Now that we have made the transition into 2022, albeit battered, bruised and tired, it is time to regroup and refocus with our own and others’ sustainability in mind.
Many people make resolutions for New Years or write personal or professional goals at this time. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a bit of an uneasy relationship with goals. I have been trying to put my finger on why and it basically boils down to the fact that in order to have a goal, you need to define an outcome in mind as well as metrics to determine the extent to which you have succeeded at achieving said outcome. In my life, I have never related to this process; honestly, it feels very backward. Even if you have a solid personal or professional mission, vision and values defined that you are comfortable with, I feel like there’s something missing between those concepts, which are inherent to you personally and goals which can be a little more ethereal, arbitrary and transitory.
New Years resolutions are a lot like goals, but are generally even less well-defined. I resolve to lose weight, eat better, exercise more, improve my relationships, get a promotion, get a new job, play more, start a business, yadda yadda. These are all well and good, but each of these have been repeated over and over, with little effect. In order to make a resolution stick, it really needs to be turned into a goal, but neither of those is directly related to your mission, vision and values directly. They are kind of free-floating, separate.
So it occurred to me what I needed to resolve this dilemma. Mission, vision and values are universal, all-encompassing and resolutions and goals are too disconnected. What I’m missing is something in between. Something that will function as a combination of my values and the shifts in and movement of time. As we come out of pandemic life, there is so much to do, and so much we all need to come to terms with in order to move forward. So I want to find a THEME for the year, something that keeps me motivated, putting one foot in front of the other, aligned with my mission, vision and values but without a clear endpoint in mind. A theme will allow me the flexibility to be creative and yet stay in motion in a direction, without getting bogged down and overwhelmed and just plain stuck.
To that end, I have settled on the theme I am going to operate under for 2022. These concepts represent the combination of my overarching values and what I feel I am being called to contribute to the universe right now, at this time. This is absolutely subject to change. I may come to peace with some goals supporting this theme, but I am not going to hold myself to that if goals continue to be too challenging to the point of being inauthentic to me. I refuse to set personal goals for the benefit of anyone else, and I do not believe I require goals in order to make progress, even if that progress is immeasurable. SMART goals only measure what you decide to measure, not the whole of what progress is made.
So without further adieu, my theme of 2022 is: engagement, healing and restoration. I will work to find new ways to stay engaged with the universe to support my own healing and restoration, but also with the whole-hearted belief that I, too, have something to offer, that I can aid in others healing and restoration through my engagement. I’m certain big steps will be taken, though I cannot predict or describe them now. I may not be able to describe them until they happen, or possibly even when they happen. I will resist my propensity for intense (emotional) risk-aversion and will continue to connect with others in an authentically non-transactional way, in the interest of promoting our collective healing and restoration. When we heal ourselves and others we know, radiating that intention outward, we will also contribute to healing our society and 🌍.
Does the concept of an annual theme resonate with you? Want to join me? If so, what is your theme for 2022?