While I was in my training and learning about Satir family therapy, we were required to look at themes in our family life and look at how we were repeating them in our own lives. I would encourage you to look at the themes of your childhood and see if you are unconsciously repeating these themes to your detriment. On the positive side, themes can be a valuable way to craft a life that you want. Look at your last year and see what theme may have been most prevalent in your life overall. Then look at the coming year and see what you might like to have as an overall theme for this year. I was privileged to talk to a mentor of mine last week and had a 50-minute coaching session. I have a milestone birthday this year and although I rarely think about my age, I heard myself making some decisions about my life because of this age marker. I realized that what I chose to do this year would revolve around the theme of meaningful fun (I won’t take up our together space to let you know all that that means to me but you need to write out what your chosen theme might mean to you)! What might your theme be for this year?

You may not usually make goals for yourself or write things down, reasoning that GOALS don’t work anyway! Not so. Give this a try this year. Keep using your journal from the last ready article, and you may also find it helpful to use the same themes of physical, social, psychological and spiritual. Contrary to your thinking, written goals really do work, provided you add some extra thinking into the mix.

Healthy goalsOne of the extras that really helps is to write down your ‘why’ along with the goal. For example, perhaps one of your goals is to lose 10 pounds this year. Your ‘why’ might include ‘more agility to live life to the fullest’. Some people find that making a dream board helps to connect with the reality of their dreams and helps to make their ‘why’ more real. If you were to make this ‘why’ a part of your dream board, you might put a picture of yourself and a partner sailing or running or ?? You get the idea.

One other way that helps with making your goals a reality is NOT to get too linear in the ‘how’ you will bring about your goal. For instance, following the same theme, if you have decided that you want to lose weight and decide that you will go running three days a week and then it snows – you will likely be hampered in your running goal. Many people fall away from their goal at this point. However, if you have a strong ‘why’, research* shows that you will likely be able to see and take advantage of other opportunities to meet those goals. In other words, to add to your success rate, make a plan of how to make your goal happen but make sure your ‘why’ is very strong.

Lastly, don’t get stuck in the ‘fixing to get ready’ stage. Act now and write out your preferred theme for this year, your goals and your strong ‘why’ and get ready for some great surprises in your year.

*Research Cited: University of Chicago Press Journals (2010, May 19). Asking ‘why’ instead of ‘how’ helps consumers achieve goals of saving money or losing weight. Science 2010/05.

© Lynda Chalmers 2011

Disclaimer: The information presented here is intended for educational purposes only, not for diagnosis and treatment and is not intended to be a substitute for consultation with a qualified mental health professional that is familiar with your particular situation. There is also no guarantee being made as a result of information provided or the counseling services offered.