“We must have a theme, a goal, a purpose in our lives. If you don’t know where you’re aiming, you don’t have a goal. My goal is to live my life in such a way that when I die, someone can say, she cared.” Mary Kay Ash

How are you doing with your goals for this progressing new year? Did you set any goals? Are you working on objectives that mean the most to you?  If your world is as busy as the rest of us, there is much to accomplish, yet possibly not enough time to finalize meaningful intentions.

One of the problems in applying Nike’s successful slogan, “Just Do It,” is that we can often start work on the wrong thing, or on the wrong foot.  We may actually implement goals we have set, only to discover they are not that important in the complete scope of things – that which is wholly vital at this point in our lives. Achieving a goal can be impressive to others. But is it impressive to you? Is it what you most want to accomplish? Or, is it what was easiest, or the next item on a long list of goals? Or, did it belong to someone else?

Perhaps some preparation is due before we head out on a goal that may not matter. Author Dr. Marcia Reynolds has something to say about goal preparation in her article, “Set Your Theme of the Year Before You Set Your Goals.” A pervading subject in my writings references formulating a special mission or purpose for your lifetime. But just the word ‘mission’ can be intimidating.  A purpose in life is not something we want to mess up. It implies the long-term, even a permanent effort.

Perhaps the best advice I regularly press on myself is to ask and answer the right questions. I like to call them the ‘best questions’ because some questions are really better to ask than are others because some are more important. And, it is in this area where Dr. Reynolds excels in her article. She asks the right questions – 18 of them. Here is just a sample of some of the queries from this article:

“What did you do recently that gives your life meaning? How much time did you spend in that zone? What impact are you making? Is this enough for you right now? What do you dare dream of doing? What do you long to create?”

She suggests that after we answer those really great 18 questions, we commit to our theme.  I might refer to it as a mission or purpose, but perhaps the word theme resonates more to what is important this year, even if less significant for next year as you think ahead.

If you focus on a theme, on a concentration, then goal setting and achievement becomes much easier.  What major thread runs throughout all of your goals? Should there be one core central idea that connects all of our objectives? And, if there was a single mantra, a main focus, how would that affect the success rate of achieving all of our ambitions?

My theme for this year is . ..

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