Create a Theme for 2020
We are a couple weeks into 2020 and perhaps you have already abandoned your new year's resolution. Or, maybe you haven't quite started it yet. That's okay, because I want to tell you about creating a theme for the year. With resolutions, the idea is that you have some quantifiable goal for the year, like, "I will lose 20 pounds this year." Creating a theme is different.
What is a Theme for the New Year?
Creating a theme means you take an idea or a facet of your life that you would like to improve and you focus on it for that year without being attached to any results concerning it. For instance, one year I had "organize" as a theme the year. I started by first reading about organizing, learning about it and observing what others were doing to organize their spaces. As I did this, I got inspired and found ways to organize that appealed to me and seemed like simple ways to get started. And so I implemented one of them. After stepping back and looking at what I accomplished, it inspired me to do more organizing. And like this, throughout the year, what started out as tentative steps towards organization avalanched into a (pretty much) completely organized house by the end of the year.
Finally, just because the year is over, it doesn't mean you stop organizing. Now that you have spent a year working on that one facet of your life, it stays with you. I worked on organizing four years ago and to this day, my house remains more or less organized and I still do maintenance organizing throughout the year--because that year taught me the habit and principles of organizing.
Last year my theme was "wait on God." And it's a good thing that was my theme because it was a rough year for me as in June of 2019, my Mom went into hospice and then died on July 4th. I spent most of June with her and then the following months I spent a lot of time with my Dad. And so "waiting on God" was perfect for me since I didn't have a normal routine or schedule, but waiting on God was something I could do no matter what my normal routine or schedule was.
My Theme for This Year
For this year, I decided my theme would be "investment." I chose this theme because to me, investment has a big element of patience and faith involved. Its the idea that you do something now that doesn't supply an immediate reward, but that over time it will, and that reward will be compounded.
As part of "investment," I am looking at my Christianity. I've been a Christian for 40 years. All throughout those 40 years I have always thought that I should be reaching outwardly more than I did. And it wasn't just a matter of "should," but it was also something I wanted to do. But I didn't necessarily know how, when, where, etc., and I also didn't spend the time I needed to seeking God about it--probably because I didn't understand the concept of spiritual investment.
In my last post, I talked about having a history with God. And I can certainly say that last year was a year that I did my part into developing that history (we know that God is always doing his part). Because I kept going to God over and over, asking him what he wanted me to do--in essence, I was investing in my spiritual walk with God without realizing that I was investing. I was just doing it because I had finally reached a point in my life where I wanted to know what God wanted from me so that I could do it, and I wasn't going to stop asking until I heard from him about it.
At about the point when Mom was in hospice, I became very attuned to God's voice--I needed to be because I was feeling so vulnerable. But I also felt God's love for me so strongly that month and the following month that it truly made me want to serve him in ways that I hadn't up to that point. To me, that meant serving God outwardly--reaching out to people on behalf of him. So I spent the rest of the year truly seeking him about it. And so quietly, bit by bit, God has started revealing to me how he would like me to "reach out."
Why Am I Telling You This?
Well, two reasons. First, I want to give you a little "window" into why I'm doing this blog and Youtube channel--it's one of the ways I'm reaching out. But second, I am hoping that it shows you how having a "theme" rather than a resolution for a year can be beneficial. It really works. I guess in a way, creating a theme for the year, and then working on it bit by bit really is a form of investment, because you don't reap the rewards in a short amount of time (hey! I'm learning about investment just writing this post!!). So no wonder themes work.
So I challenge you: create a theme for the year, and then work on it throughout the year. See what happens. It's not too late--not at all. And let me know in the comments what you are going to make your theme be for this year.
Thank you God for all that you are. Thank you for all that you do. And please bless those who read this and help them to draw closer to you. In Jesus's name I pray, Amen!