Realz-World Resoluting —
Theme First, Tactics Later

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Theme First, Tactics Later
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Theme First, Tactics Later

Realz-World Resoluting —
Theme First, Tactics Later

Theme First, Tactics Later -- trade in your individual resolutions for an over-arching annual "theme" and a lot more success achieving your goals (#blogpost #theme #goals #goalsetting #mindsetshift #priorities #productivity #youcandoit #achieve #resolutions) at http://ramonacreel.com/2018/01/03/organized-and-then-some/theme-first-tactics-later/See that guy there on the left? That’s me. That’s always me — especially each January, when I’m busy doing something very different goal-setting-wise than most everyone else.

So while other folks get their panties in a twist over how to become the perfect daily-jogging-tooth-flossing-broccoli-eating-no-clutter-piling-bad-habit-eschewing totally different person by the end of 12 months, I’m deciding on a theme.

And yes, I’m probably doing it in costume — although it’s just as likely that I’m wearing a rainbow tutu, body glitter, antennae, and fairy wings as a Pinhead mask.

(Although push-come-to-Hellraiser-shove, I’m actually more fond of that chick with the wires poking through her cheeks. I mean if I’m going to be worshiping hedonism in hell, at least make me female — plus having your throat ripped open does tend to give one a sexy, gravelly voice.)

But I digress…

“So what’s this ‘theme’ thing all about? (Now that you’re done rambling on about Cenobitic movie monsters.) Are you asking me to write a third-grade paper describing what I did last summer?”

No, smart-ass. I’m asking you to select a leitmotif.

Take a minute to review that insane conglomeration of more-than-I’ll-ever-be-able-to-accomplish-in-a-year’s-time goals you’ve laid out for yourself. If you had to identify an overarching through-line, a “Stephen-Hawking-before-he-changed-his-mind” theory of everything, a  grand unifying thread running right down the center of each resolution (and do so in one word) — what would it be? That’s your theme.

Treat said theme like a compass, a lodestar — a beacon of clarity shining out into the dark, keeping you headed toward the light when all those shiny new goals disappear behind a fog of complications and distractions (which usually starts to happen right around January third). My past themes have included “exploration,” “expansion,” “inspiration,” “completion,” “change,” “simplicity,” and “peace” — each chosen because it signified the direction in which I wanted EVERY area of my life to go throughout that next year.

This (rather conveniently) underscores the value of starting things off with a theme, instead of a random-and-unrelated-assemblage of resolutions. The first is about synthesis, all your little minions working together in service of a single harmonious purpose — the latter encourages a disturbing tendency toward goal-oriented disconnect. One treats your world like what it actually is (a holistic interrelation of co-dependent-in-a-good-way elements, each a hell of a lot happier when they’re all in values-alignment). The other breaks your life into a fractured scattering of parts, some of which may be at direct odds with others.

Here’s an example. When my client’s resolutions combined the highly-conflicting “put in extra hours to earn that job promotion” and “spend more time with the kids,” I asked how these were going to happen simultaneously — no freaking clue. So I probed (like I do). Turns out this calendar-crunched working mom wasn’t interested in devoting additional consciousness to ANYTHING, and goal-achievement would have stressed her out even more. (Pretty sure resolutions that make your life worse are NOT how this “new years” thing is supposed to work.) What she actually wanted was a greater sense of accomplishment, at work and at home. She was tired giving both job and parenting the short shrift — so we fixed that.

After adopting a theme of “satisfaction,” she focused less on how many hours she was putting in, and more on the quality of her activities. Minus any additional desk-jockeying, my client upped her career game by spearheading a best practices committee — she got more recognition (and a faster-track promotion) through the fine art of skill-leverage, than staying late each night. And on the homefront? Those hours spent on low-quality activities (like crapping out in front of the tv to watch some Disney princess engage in anti-feminist behavior) were exchanged for interactive hands-on projects — the whole family gets far more out of an hour spent on creative endeavors, outdoorsy exploring, and trying new things together than a whole week of in-the-same-space-but-miles-away-from-each-other vegging.

So, what’s your theme this year?

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