The hardest part of choosing a theme word is creating space and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. I have heard the excuse before “I’m not a goal-setting type person so I don’t have a theme word.” I disagree. You aren’t a goal-setting person yet. You don’t have a theme word yet. Living in a fixed mindset will never allow you to live 2021 any different from 2020.
After a year of chaos, we learned to control what we can control. That means being intentional. Resolutions are hopeful, theme words are intentional. 2021 will be no different from 2020 if you continue living and thinking like 2020. You are stronger because of 2020. We should thank her. She will help shape our 2021. Read on to see how our theme words will help us be intentional about our lives and careers in 2021.
Professional Theme Word: FLOURISH
As I started thinking about what my 2021 theme word would be, I thought it was going to be something definitive, strong, and focused. But as I prayed and just listened, I heard a word I would never have come up with on my own. A word I don’t use often. Because of this, I knew someone else was giving me this word. A word I didn’t know I needed. FLOURISH.
As I sat with this word for a month, I had a peace about it but I was confused as to how it would manifest itself. It felt risky and slightly uncomfortable. I believe if you are going to pick a theme word, you need to decide on simple and tangible ways you will live out that word in your life. And then trust that opportunities will present themselves as you focus on being open to all that the year has for you.
Until this last week, I couldn’t see how the goals I had for the business and my career aligned with the word Flourish. For the next year, our goals as a team are highly focused on developing content, systems, processes, and boundaries. At first thought, developing systems doesn’t seem to fit with flourishing. But then I realized that as we develop and streamline, we will be free to flourish. I then went to the dictionary to read the definition of Flourish and tears came to my eyes. The word “develop” was in both the verb and noun definitions. It aligns perfectly.
Verb | to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.
Noun | an instance of suddenly performing or developing in an impressively successful way.
Personal Theme Word: HEAL
In 2020, I have taken a step back from many things. Some were good to step back from. And some I need to step back into. So my personal theme word is HEAL. Heal my perspectives, assumptions, health and relationships that I stepped away from. I have already taken steps to heal relationships and will be working to heal my body through quiet times and physical activity. I think all of us need to heal from this last year. It hurt. But I am ready to heal and thank her for the lessons she gave me.
Professional Theme Word: Embrace
If 2020 taught me anything, it is the value of learning to not only adapt but to embrace changes and tackle them head-on. To be honest, I was really hesitant to make this my word. Choosing to embrace whatever comes your way is uncomfortable. In the past, when faced with unexpected challenges, I dealt with them by being passive and “going with the flow.” But this year I am focusing on choosing to be proactive and embrace the unexpected.
Personal Theme Word: Simplify
I know Lauren’s word is similar, it’s so funny how people get in similar rhythms and feel the same type of needs for change.
I felt like in years past I’ve been in the habit of “Maximizing” every aspect of my life. When it came to my personal life, I was always focusing on new projects, things to buy, and so on. My theme word for 2020 was mindfulness and as I practiced being more mindful of my choices and habits, I realized just how much “clutter” I had surrounded myself with- both physical and mental. So in 2021, I will be focusing on simplifying my personal life. To start the year off, I will be focusing on physical items by participating in a “No Buy January,” and continue decluttering areas of my life (which I started doing at the end of 2020 but have yet to finish).
Professional Theme Word: Streamline
Professionally, I really want to focus on streamlining the way in which I work. I want to perfect the systems I have in place in order to best serve Eloise and our clients. Since I manage so many accounts, organization is crucial to tackling my to-do list. With each passing month in my role as Social Media Manager, I find more efficient ways of completing projects and it leaves me feeling energized and motivated.
Personal Theme Word: Simplify
Along those same lines, I have chosen the word simplify as my personal theme word for the year ahead. The second half of 2020 was a real challenge for me personally as I was forced to face the loss of my sister. As I reflect on the past year, I feel my head and my heart both really craving simplicity. I don’t like feeling bogged down with clutter and after spending the year quarantined at home, I feel the need to rid our house of the material things that have piled up and my headspace of the poor habits I’ve fallen into. Anyone else notice their screen time really increase in 2020? So, I’m going to simplify. In some areas that may mean purging, in other cases organizing, and in others simply finding an easier way of getting things accomplished. I think there is freedom in simplicity, and I hope it will spark the sense of creativity that I’ve been missing.
THEME IDEAS + HOW TO USE THEM
I want to challenge you to pick a theme word. Once you pick that word flesh it out in simple actionable ways just like we did above. We have chosen to keep some of our goals private but we hope our explanations help you as you pick your theme word.
There are 3 secrets for it to work.
You have to want it.
You have to write it down somewhere where you will see it daily.
You have to tell someone your word.
It’s that simple. No workbook. No hours of self-reflection. Just do it.
I encourage you to be realistic and pick something that fits with your life this year. Don't pick TRAVEL if you are paying off debt, or having a baby, or finishing grad school. Pick the word SAVE or FAMILY or FOCUS instead. Look at what your year holds already and pick a theme that will help you LIVE it the best way possible.
Here are some ideas to get your creative, reflective juices flowing! Each of these 30 words will mean something different to each of you. If it speaks to you, ask yourself why? If it doesn’t, it isn’t your word.
Here are the 5 steps that we follow when picking a theme word. We hope you will too.
Once you pick a word, write it down.
Google its definition.
Define it for yourself and how it will affect your year.
List 3 small, realistic, actionable things you will do this year because of this theme word.
Then tell or text someone your word. These things don’t work without accountability.
Then let me (Eloise) know your word by messaging me on Instagram, Facebook, or posting it (tag me so I see it). If I know your word, I can encourage you. For my Instagram Lovers: @eloisedesignco (there is an IG Story in our "2021 Theme" Highlight category you can customize for your stories!). For my Facebook Lovers: @eloisedesignco (comment in our post or tag us in your post). For my private Followers: Email firstname.lastname@example.org.