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Replacing the Resolutions with a Theme

I haven’t posted the last few days for a few reasons. There has been the usual holiday chaos, but also because I didn’t want to post something I’d regret. This time of year is always a bit tricky. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “these are my resolutions” or “I don’t believe in resolutions but here are my goals for the new year.”

Instead of blogging, I’ve been studying Stoicism, writing in a personal journal, and even dabbling in some fiction writing. When I think about things I want to focus on this upcoming year, all three of these activities come to mind. So, it would easy for me to hop on this blog and proclaim to the world that I’m going to spend the next twelve months journaling, furthering my fiction writing, and studying Stoicism. But I know me, I know that the moment I put that into the world, it becomes a shadow. It follows me wherever I go. If I spend a weekend watching TV, I’ll feel haunted by the fact that I’m not working towards what I said I would. If I don’t feel like writing fiction or I get stuck and give up for the umpteenth time, then the feeling of failure comes rushing in. I don’t want that in my life.

But with a fresh year starting up in just a couple of days, I offer an alternative to new goals and resolution, I suggest you create a theme for the year. I dabbled with this a couple of years ago, and it was rewarding, so I’m going to give it another try this year.

For me, my theme is going to be quiet. It’s something I want more of in my life and I would like to use 2024 to help push me closer to that. What do I mean by quiet? Well, I mean turning down the noise. Physically, mentally, and visually.

I feel a little overstimulated due to the endless cycle of media, internet posts, podcasts, etc. So, to cut down on some of the noise, I’ll just keep in mind my theme and make small changes as they come up. Maybe I’ll have an evening with no TV. Maybe, I’ll change the music I listen to from having words to instrumental. Maybe, I’ll cut down on the blogs I read, install a few more comment blockers, and focus a bit more on reading books on my phone vs. mindless surfing.

There is no pass or fail with a theme, it’s just a gentle reminder of something you want in your life and by giving it a year, it’s easy to let it come and go as it pleases in your life. It allows for slow growth and change, and I think that is more beneficial than any “I’m going to lose 20 lbs. this year” type of goal I might set.

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