My New Year’s Resolution

connect resolutionI don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions, per se, much less advertise them. This one came from being hard on myself right out of the 2018 gate for goals I already felt behind on in the new year.

One of the several things I had not done yet, that I had planned to do, was to send New Year’s cards. It’s not too late to do it, but meanwhile I’ve realized a few things:

  1. It wasn’t really planned at all. It definitely wasn’t a S.M.A.R.T. goal! I had not yet decided who all was getting cards, nor had I chosen a design, crafted a message, or updated my address list. What chance did that plan have to be successful? None.
  2. I was violating my own rule about No More Holiday Card Guilt! I’m full of ideas that work for me, and for many others…but I sometimes forget to take my own advice.
  3. All goals, to-do lists, and systems need to be reviewed and adjusted periodically. And I’ve decided not to send New Year’s Cards after all. I have a better idea…for me…for this year.

Choosing a theme word for the year is popular amongst my organizing and coaching colleagues. The closest I’ve ever come is to choose a motto, my favorite being Progress equals Happiness. But really, I can apply that motto to ANY goal or theme, can’t I?

This year’s theme is: CONNECT

Why? Because introverts are sometimes prone to over-isolating themselves. And I think I’d be happier if I connected a little more. I need to re-find my connection and socializing sweet spot.

How? By taking ONE small step per day towards the goal of connecting with others.

What activities count and don’t count?

What counts:

  • Sending a card (electronic or paper) – birthday, congrats, get well, thank you, thinking of you, etc.
  • Sending a letter (electronic or paper)
  • Making a personal phone call (ha ha, I think that might count double)
  • Initiating a coffee date (in person, or virtual)
  • Initiating any activity with others that wasn’t going to happen by itself
  • Reaching out to an individual client
  • Making a list of people I’d like to connect with, and reasons to connect with them
  • Accepting invitations from others (I won’t accept them all, of course, but not turning them down counts)
  • Connecting others to each other for personal or business reasons

What does not count:

  • Facebook birthday greetings (Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE Facebook birthdays! But it’s too easy and fleeting to count towards this particular exercise.)
  • Replies to messages initiated by others (It’s only polite.)
  • My regular monthly newsletter
  • Social media posts
  • Blog posts
  • Mass marketing efforts
  • My regular activities like book club, library volunteering, and PONM meetings
  • Attending the activities I’ve initiated

So, I’m still an introvert. Not crazy about big parties, or mingling with strangers, or spending more than 2 hours with any one person (or group) at a time. But if I connect in some small way every day it will add up to a lot by the end of the year, right? And if I miss a day, I promise I won’t beat myself up, I will just get back on track, that’s all.

What do you think?

What is YOUR theme word, or resolution, for 2018?

Do you have any suggestions for my CONNECT theme?

Copyright 2018 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
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  1. Wow, Hazel, I can totally relate to this. Three of the things on my list for this year are:
    Pick up the phone.
    Initiate visits/outings.
    Send out cards when it’s not a birthday or Christmas.

    By the way, my word for 2018 is ELEVATE.

  2. My word for 2018 is imperturbable, defined as “incapable of being upset or agitated; not easily excited; calm.”

    The inspiration for this word came from an email I received several months ago. I know it’s going to be challenging for me, but I’m up for the challenge!

  3. UP came to mind. I was ill or injured for most of 2017. Things just kept snowballing. I lost a VERY good client over it. I was DOWN DOWN DOWN. I want this year to be UP! I want my outlook to be up. I want my income to be up. I want my attitude to be UP and my health too! I’m still working on making it a reality but I’ve got 361 days left in 2018 to get it done!

  4. My word for 2018 is PERSEVERANCE! I have a bad habit of negative self talk. I need to focus on my goals and learn that it’s ok to put my needs on my to do list! Thank you Hazel, this is a Great Idea!

    • I just read something that might help. You know this biblical phrase? Love your neighbor as yourself. Try thinking, instead: Love yourself as your neighbor. Also remember the Oxygen Mask Theory: You can’t help anyone else (in the event of a loss of airplane cabin pressure) unless you put your mask on first.

  5. I’ve done a theme word for the last several years. Last year word was Grace, as I giving myself grace from expectations and unrealistic goals. This year my word is Health because, let’s face it, 2017 was not a great year health wise for me personally. I want to get my strength and stamina back, lose some of the weight I’ve gained and stop eating so much processed food. I also want to focus on the health of my business as I rebrand and refocus my energies. I hope we can “connect” in real life this year!

    • Well, I’m planning to attend the APPO conference this year, so plan to see you there! Here’s to your HEALTH…and mine!

  6. My theme this year doesn’t have a word, only because I don’t know the right word to select. It’s more of a concept.

    I’ve spent the last few years growing my business through incremental change/iteration. “What can I do this year that moves me forward from last year?”

    This May will be my 5 year anniversary in business, and it feels safe enough to say I’m not just wading through the early stages of establishing a business. This year, I’m looking to create a vision and a plan that is a few years out, and this year builds towards THAT, not just further from last year.

    So it’s not quite LEAP, because it’s more about setting a vision for where I will leap.

    PS — love your word AND your guidelines for what is and isn’t a qualifying event 🙂

    • Kathy, you’ve accomplished so much it’s hard to believe you’ve ONLY been in business for 5 years! Might I suggest this word? VISION. Also, here’s something else that counts for me: Writing a book review for a colleague. You’re on my list!

  7. Love this Hazel! My word of the year is FOCUS and then I had 3 books arrive on January 3rd and I can’t decide what book to focus on first. I need to make a list of things I consider FOCUS and things I don’t consider.

    • Great word! And I can relate — 2 of my library ebook loans just became available at the same time I subscribed to a free month of Hulu and got a bunch of binge-watching recommendations! Plus, of course, projects I’m working on, courses I’ve started, and etc. Yes, I think it helps to make a list of what counts and what doesn’t.

  8. Always a fun conversation, Hazel. My word is LISTEN. Not only do I want to be a better listener in personal conversation, but I also want to be more intentional in listening to God, experts and wise people. I tend to jump in and talk, so this will be good for me. I love your word, and think this will be a wonderfully rewarding exercise:)

  9. I enjoyed reading all the “word” choices, especially the reasons for why people chose them. My word this year is GRATITUDE. Like many have expressed, 2017 was a rough year for me. There were a lot of changes and family challenges that I had to navigate. And as the year wrapped up, I was a kind of exhausted and not quite ready for the New Year to begin. Even with the challenges, there were so many things and people to be grateful for. So that’s how I’m choosing to color my year and allow my decisions and actions to come from there.

    • I saw your blog post the same day we discussed theme words in our PONM meeting. One of my colleagues here also chose LISTEN. It’s a good one!

  10. I’m not a fan of resolutions (too big and lofty), but I do love creating themes for the year. I have often suggested that clients choose one (or two or three) words that will guide their actions throughout the year. Love the word you chose, Hazel. Thanks for the reminder to choose mine for 2018. =)

    P.S. I’ve also taken a (related) page out of your book and started using a “gratitude” box a couple years ago. Every so often, I write down what I’m grateful for and drop it in the box. And, every so often, I pull out the box and read my notes. I think “be grateful” will continue being the theme I regularly focus on (along with my new word for 2018).

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