The Theme For 2017 Is…

This year, a lot of people will make resolutions and then immediately break them. Why? Because they’re not really resolving to do anything different. They’re just wishing. – Jeff Goins

Lets just level set right off the bat: I’m guilty of this. So are you.

We all are.

The new year rolls around, full of promise and possibilities. “I’m going to write that book this year!” “I’m going to run that marathon I always wanted to, just watch and see!!”

December rolls around, you just wrapped up chapter three by the skin of your teeth and the only marathons you’re interested in are of the Netflix or Hulu variety.

Trust me, I get it.

Last year, I decided to say “adios” to resolutions and to live my life centered around a theme. I originally got the idea from photographer and filmmaker Trey Hill, who published a blog titled, “A New Years Revolution“. Recently, you may have also seen something similar in #oneword365. My 2016 theme was:

intentionality
inˌtenCHəˈnalitē/
noun
the fact of being deliberate or purposive.

the quality of mental states (e.g., thoughts, beliefs, desires, hopes) that consists in their being directed toward some object or state of affairs.

As I detailed in my 2016 recap, I only hit about 50% of the goals that I set out to achieve, not exactly knocking it out of the park, if you ask me. Why didn’t I hit my goals? Why was I not deliberate, purposeful, or more direct in my actions, thoughts, or emotions?
After giving it some thought, I came up with two reasons:
  1. I was lazy.
  2. I didn’t care enough.

That’s it.

Now, I could probably spend thousands of words dissecting these two points, delving into the whys and “shoulda, coulda, woulda”, but I’m not going to do that. Because truthfully, and I bet a lot of people feel this way about 2016, I don’t care.

Now you, dear reader, might be saying, “well, hold on a minute…what about, “those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it”? How is 2017 going to be any different from your 2016 results?!?!”

Fair point.

My answer? A theme.

Ah yes, like the One Ring from The Lord of the Rings, “One [theme] to rule them all.”

Or if Tolkien isn’t your cup of tea, how about Highlander? You know, “THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!”

highlanderWHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVERRRRR? WHO DARES TO LOVE FOREVVVVVEEEERRRRRRR?!?!

Ahem.

Seeing that I’ve wasted almost 400 words not talking about my 2017 theme, here it is:

invest
verb

devote (one’s time, effort, or energy) to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.

I chose invest because I think it helps to address my struggles with laziness and apathy. While intentionality was a good theme, what’s the point of being “deliberative or purposive”, if there’s no reason to do so? To riff on the Jeff Goins’ quote from the beginning, isn’t being intentional more akin to wishful thinking if it doesn’t aspire to something greater? Investing, on the other hand, denotes a give and a take. It states that you’re putting in work and expecting to see results. Not just  any results, but worthwhile ones. The theme of invest strikes at my laziness and apathy like an uppercut to the jaw: The truth is I didn’t get off the proverbial couch or gave AF because I didn’t truly expect worthwhile results. The easiest way to not get disappointed is to keep your expectations low, right?

2017 will be different, because I’m going to living out the theme of invest.

In 2017, I’m investing in myself and expecting worthwhile results.

In 2017, I’m investing in my family and expecting worthwhile results.

In 2017, I’m investing in my friends and expecting worthwhile results.

I’m done with settling for low expectations and just coasting through life. To help make that a reality, my next post will be published on 1/1/17 and will detail how I’m going to incorporate the theme of invest into all areas of my life. Let’s make 2017 the best year yet.

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