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Picking a Theme for Your Farm-Fresh Year

Goal Setting with Themes - LivingHomegrown.com

Do you ever pick a theme for your entire New Year?

If the idea of goal setting makes you squirm…consider picking a theme instead.

A theme can be less daunting than picking a bunch of goals or writing out a page of to-dos.

It is like a GPS guide post without laying out the whole map on how to get there.

It is just your beacon to help keep you on track.

Although I have previously set themes for seasons within my years, I have never set an over all theme for the entire year.

In fact, I would say most of the time the universe does the picking for me. I just sort of let the year unfold a universal theme without any input on my part.

Last year ended up like that. And it was terrible!

If I look back over hard times, 2015 sucked for me on many levels.

I had a family medical emergency that started in May, many months of living away from my children to care for my father and then the year ended with the loss of my beloved father in October.

So, I could easily look back and say the theme for a hard year like that was to “beat Theresa down to her knees“.

But I am trying to have a different outlook when the cards deal me a tough time.

I want to use what I learned about myself during those tough time to look forward with new eyes on the future

And one of the ways to do that is to pick a theme before it picks you.

Goal and Theme Setting - LivingHomegrown.com

Picking a Theme:

Pick a short phrase (1-3 words) that will encompass what you want this current year to be for you. The theme can take several forms.

It can be:

  • Just one special word
  • Several words that each focus on different parts of your life: health, family, business
  • Or a short phrase

Here’s what I mean….

If I use that hard year of 2015 as an example, I would say my theme for that year was: Resiliency.

It was the theme that the universe had picked for me.

And if I had the brain power while in the middle of my family’s crisis to even think…I probably would have picked that word as my theme myself.

Because I believe that if I had that word (or theme) written on my computer, on post-it notes or even just out where I could see it while I was trudging through my dreary days of 2015…it would have helped me.

Heck, it helps me now as I come to grips with what I went through.

The word resiliency is hopeful, positive and builds me up rather than pulls me down.

It it sounds better than having a theme of “life sucks” – Ha!

So that is why I now always pick a theme for every year.

setting themes - LivingHomegrown.com

What’s My Theme for the next year?

My theme is Restoration.

I have come to realize that I have a lot to restore in my life.

I am focusing on restoring my:

  • Health after too much stress
  • Life, business and garden after putting so much on the back burner.
  • Family’s heirloom orchard in Northern California. After spending 4 beautiful days there pruning fruit trees (and thinking about themes), I realized that the orchard project keeps me grounded. Working there is always incredibly therapeutic.

Picking a theme for the year - LivingHomegrown.com

So I Challenge You:

What is your theme for this year?

What do you want to work on, be a part of, or build this year?

Pick something…a word or a short phrase…that has meaning for you.

Right it down. Post it on your computer or on your bathroom mirror.

And tell me what it is in the comments.

I would love to hear…

Apple TreeNote: Take a closer look at that photo in the middle of this post – the one that says “Resilience”.

See the tree in the background?  It is the tree we fondly call the “Harry Potter” tree. That poor tree has been through a lot and just keeps on coming back. 

For the past 3 years, I have nurtured a little whip of a branch that wanted to grow up through the center of the hollowed out trunk. On my recent trip to prune trees, this little whip is transforming “Harry Potter” into a very beautiful and productive tree. 

Now, THAT is resilience.

Apple Tree - LivingHomegrown.com

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy® and is the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two teenage boys and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.