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Do your New Year’s Resolutions feel like a grocery list?

“The moment a woman comes home to herself, the moment she knows that she has become a person of influence, an artist of her life, a sculptor of her universe, a person with rights and responsibilities who is respected and recognized, the resurrection of the world begins.” ~Sister Joan Chittister

DSC_5223New Year’s Resolution: Choose a one word theme for 2014.

That is, identifying one idea, often summarized in just one word, as an overarching theme for the entire year.

Each of the last 5 years have each been punctuated by a self-proclaimed theme.  Reflecting on the upcoming year, I would ask for guidance regarding the area of growth that most needed to happen for me.  Listening to that small, still voice, the theme would unfold and reveal itself.  I would carry it, like an small pebble in my pocket the entire year and marveled as my life seemed to bring me the exact learning I needed.

This past year, the theme that has carried me through has been “reclamation.”   I am never entirely sure  how the idea will reveal itself to me.  To be honest,  that’s part of the fun: keeping an overarching idea in mind while allowing for the element of surprise.

One year was the year of “exorcisms.” Another year was “forgiveness” — that year, forgiveness came through me, and all of the anger and resentment I carried for my ex-husband, to my complete surprise, vanished in an instant.

Reclamation has come in many packages this year, none of which I expected.  From a deep, sexy and mutually satisfying new relationship, to new programming for you that was birthed from my heart, and from standing unabashedly in my Authentic fuzzy slippered two feet.

But, this year, I want to add to this idea.  I want to let my Core Desired Feelings (Danielle LaPorte – The Desire Map) fuel my theme.

This upcoming year is all about “bigger.”

I have to simplify, to keep things manageable so that space is created for more to come; this word will remind me to think big, to ride the wave of complications, to expect more from myself, to love more and fear less – or perhaps to fear but love more.

Have you ever tried this choose-a-theme approach? Did it help you direct your year?

You might have be thinking that it might be challenging to distill your idea into one word.  But if your theme is something like “letting go of old habits”, the feeling behind it might be about a sense of freedom that would come as a result of deliberately choosing to live your life out that way for the year.  So, maybe your theme word could be “free.”

There is great power in having a single word.  It’s easy to put on post it notes, have reminders wherever you go…

So, as I look into the upcoming year, my desire is to choose actions that support my theme. What will allow me to think “bigger”? My past strategy was to make concrete, manageable grocery list-style resolutions that invoked little inspiration. But for “bigger,” I’ve decided that instead of translating it into resolutions, I will use my Core Desired Feelings as my guidance to determine if I am on track.  As I think about “bigger, ” do I feel:

  • Incandescent?
  • Awe?
  • Ease?
  • Purpose?
  • Delight?

If the answer is a resounding “NO”, time to change course, to take action that will engender these feelings within me.   I would invite you to play with this as the year comes to a close.

Now it’s your turn: I’m fascinated to get more ideas for themes. What theme or word would you pick?  What core desired feelings would help know, undoubtedly that every action you take this upcoming year is aligned with your heart’s desire?  Share them with us below!

In love, service, and pleasure,


2 Responses to “Do your New Year’s Resolutions feel like a grocery list?”

  1. Katie says:


    I reclaim my life for myself!!

    Thanks for the clarity, Joelle.

    Have a Happy, Happy New Year and may your blessings be BIGGER in 2014!

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