My favorite part of the Holiday Council is when we have to come up with a theme for the upcoming year. It’s a big decision, right? One word, or phrase, or mantra, that is fitting for the types of things we want to achieve and feel over the next year. Molly does a fabulous job at helping us map out our theme, with her many worksheets, that delve deeply into certain visions and feelings and goals we’re seeking. How do we want to feel? What happened last year that made us feel proud? What happened last year that left us disappointed? What do we want to rock in 2014? What feelings do we want to leave firmly behind in 2013? It’s hard, but it’s easy. It’s scary, but it’s freeing.
Last year, my theme was do the work. I wanted to see big changes in my life. I wanted to lose weight, gain control over my finances, make friends, and stop feeling so dependent on my mom. Those were the big goals behind my themes. In some ways, I feel like I embraced this theme. I did the work by finding a new job because my old job wasn’t serving me anymore. I did the work when I cultivated new friendships and made an effort to be a more social being, even when it’s not in my nature. I did the work when I began doing more things on my own and accepting the place my mom’s boyfriend has in our family and discovered I am so ready to be on my own. I did the work by buying my own car and helping out with the bills more.
But there were many areas where I faltered majorly. With my health and losing weight and being stronger. With my anxiety. With my finances, and the fact that I’m still in credit card debt, as well as medical and school loan debt, and my savings aren’t anywhere near where they should be. When I let my social anxiety dictate my life. With my faith, and the way it no longer feels a part of me.
My biggest goal for 2014 is to lose weight. And I hate that this is still a goal for me. This unachieved goal has become such an area of defeat for me. Every year, it goes unmarked. I have no excuses. I have no reason for why I’m continually ending every year in a place that leaves me ashamed and sad and disappointed.
I don’t want to end another year feeling ashamed and sad and disappointed. I want to feel vibrant and alive and whole. I want to feel free.
There was one key phrase that kept making it into my worksheets while I was discovering what held me back in 2013 and what I’m aching to feel in 2014. That word was captive. I feel captive. I feel captive with my anxiety, my weight, my finances, my energy, my passions, my introversion, my shyness, my body, my inability to sustain a relationship, my faith, my fears. The list goes on and on and on.
So what’s my theme for 2014? There were so many words circling through my brain. Release. Joy. Strength. Radiance. Devotion. Boldness. Revelry. Abandon. Brilliance. Bliss.
And all those words mean something to me. They are all words I want to bring into the new year.
In 2014, I want to feel free, open, and in love with my life. I want to make big changes, do big things, see big results. I want my life to look completely different and I want to feel completely different by this time next year. Not just with my health, though that’s a big one, but with the overall feeling about my life. I don’t want to feel captive anymore. It’s a terrible feeling that grips you and keeps you from fully investing in your goals and being bold with your life. It holds you down, saps your strength, and makes you feel small and inconsequential.
I have big goals for 2014. Big dreams. And there is one word that’s going to keep me focused on my overall vision for this upcoming year.
I want to be committed to my health – to losing weight, getting in amazing shape, and developing healthy habits.
I want to be committed to my finances – to budgeting better, getting rid of credit card debt, and saving.
I want to be committed to my anxiety – to understanding how it affects me, finding a therapist, and opening up about my fears.
I want to be committed to my relationships – to strengthening friendships, being a better friend/sister/daughter/cousin/niece/aunt/granddaughter, and keeping my heart open to love.
I want to be committed to stepping out of my comfort zone – to adventure, taking risks, and saying “yes” more than “no.”
I’m excited to see what 2014 holds. It’s a year about commitment. About crushing my goals and staying true to what I want, even when it’s hard.
Have you declared a theme for 2014? If not, what’s one feeling you’d like to experience in this upcoming year?