This Tool Will Help You Achieve Your Goals

“You can do anything as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus, and the support.” ~ Sabrina Bryan

This Tool Will Help You Achieve Your Goals

By Andrea Novakowski

For the past few years around this time, you’ve heard me talk about choosing a Word of the Year. Last year, my word was “Simplify.” As I reviewed and refreshed my Goal-Setting Kit for this year, I realized that built into the Kit is an even better tool than the word of the year: the Theme for Goals.

In any story, the theme is the underlying message, or “big idea.” It’s a critical belief that the author wants to convey. A theme can bring forth a particular feeling. It can be multidimensional, overarching, and richer than one word (although just one word might be used).

Why should you choose a theme for this year? A theme sits on top of all your goals. It helps you focus on what matters and stay on course. For me, a theme provides a way of being as I move through the year and reminds me what’s important. It’s also a powerful way to maintain focus for 12 months. Your theme becomes your barometer to test ideas. As new possibilities emerge, you can run them by your theme to see if they align with what your year is about.

How do you choose your theme? Start by asking yourself some questions:

  • What’s important to me?
  • What do I want this year to be about?
  • What can I embrace that would make this year special?
  • How do I want to shift my thinking?
  • What would be possible if I made this shift?

To develop your theme for the year, write out your thoughts in response to these questions. Ideas will come to mind: some that make you laugh, some that scare you, and others that feel like a repeat of the past (been there, done that). As you write, themes will begin to pop into your head and onto the paper.

How do you know you’re on the right track? There are a number of ways to assess whether the theme you’re considering is right for you. Here are a few:

  • How does the theme feel in your body when you think about it? Do you feel excitement, nervous energy, contentment? Or do you feel a lack of energy, dread, boredom?
  • Where do you feel it? When you make decisions that are right for you, there’s a place in your body that responds. Where in your body is that telltale sign?
  • What color does your theme evoke? What does that mean for you? Blue is my favorite color, and it evokes calm and richness. Green is a sign for me to move forward. How about you?
  • What sounds come to mind when you think of your theme? The William Tell Overture? Gently falling snow? Does this sound inspire you in a positive way, or does it set your nerves on edge?

After I worked through the above process, my theme for 2019 emerged: “Love.”

I felt warmth and expansion in my heart, which then filled my whole body. I also felt slightly nervous (the word “love” might be viewed as fluffy by some). But I know that when I ground myself in love as I work on my goals and tasks, or each time I write a card, pick up the phone, or start a conversation, I can’t help but approach life differently.

I know I’ll be positively affected by the choice of this word. It will mean a change for me and for everyone I come into contact with.


What will you choose as your Theme of the Year? Which word will influence all you do? Please share what you’ve chosen in the comments below.