Why a New Year Theme is Better Than a Resolution for 2021

Learn why New Year resolutions don’t work, and what to do instead. This article will explore how to set a New Year theme and New Year intentions, which are so much more powerful than the traditional New Year’s resolutions.

Happy 2021

We are two weeks in. How are your New Year resolutions going? Have you been doing your morning ritual every day like you promised yourself? How’s that diet going? Still off the booze? How about sugar, or chocolate, or whatever food you decided to give up? Still running every morning? Still doing your daily meditation?

Why New Year Resolutions Don’t Work

It’s ok if you answered no to these questions. 

It’s normal. The thing is, making New Year’s resolutions is pretty much setting yourself up for failure. I mean, think about it, you give yourself all these tasks, things to do or not do, all at once, with no prior thought, structure or planning. You simply wake up on 1st January and decide to quit sugar, or go for a run each morning, or eat healthier, lose weight, or whatever. These are automatic, deeply ingrained habits that you have nurtured your whole life. It takes planning and preparation to change these things that have become a part of you over your whole lifetime.

Unrealistic Expectations

Expecting to transform these habits overnight just because the date has changed, and then beating yourself up when you inevitably fail is unnecessary and actually really unfair. Especially when you have done no planning or mapping out of these goals.

Now I am not saying that these are not worthwhile goals, or that you should never try to achieve your health and lifestyle goals. On the contrary, I’m all about upgrading your lifestyle and health so you can live your dream life, on purpose, in joy and from the heart. I’m just saying that the expectations and methods connected to New Year’s Resolutions (i.e. massive expectations and no planning, effort or proper goal setting work) are not going to help you succeed. In fact, they actually negate success, because failing at resolutions damages confidence and makes you feel like you’ll never be able to change, so what’s the point.

Daily yoga or exercise is a common broken new year resolution
Daily yoga or exercise is a common broken new year resolution

It’s Not You – It’s the Method That’s Faulty. 

It’s estimated that less than 10% of New Year’s resolutions are actually achieved. So you can see you’re not alone. The good news is that there are effective ways to set actionable, realistic and attainable goals, and techniques to help you achieve them.

I am a big fan of goal setting. Learning how to set proper goals and achieve them has changed my life. But I don’t just wait until 1st January to do this. I do it regularly throughout the year. I review my goals every month to make sure I’m still on track, to find out where I veered off course, and work out how to course correct and re-align with my goals.

I know that putting huge pressure on myself just once a year to achieve goals that I haven’t even planned out would never work. It’s just backwards thinking to me. It’s setting myself up for failure. That’s why New year resolutions don’t work, and why I don’t make them anymore. Instead, I set myself a New Year theme and New Year intentions.

New Year Theme and New Year Intentions

These are wildly different from a resolution. A theme is a concept, feeling or energy that you use to oversee your intentions and goal-setting for the year. Think of your New Year theme as the dominant energy of your year. New Year intentions are the things you want to bring in, do, or achieve this year.  They are the starting point for your goal-setting.

This information doesn’t come from your logical brain; it comes from deep inside, your inner wise person, your higher self, your soul. It is attached to your highest values and spiritual aspirations.

How to Find Your New Year Theme

To discover your New Year theme, sit still for a while, in silence, and meditate to quiet your mind. Connect to your heart centre by focusing on the area just behind your breastbone. See if you can feel this area physically. When you feel connected to your heart, ask the question: ‘What do I need to focus on this year for me to flourish, to develop, to grow?’ Be still and wait for the answer. Have a pen and paper handy as there might be a lot of stuff coming up and you may want to journal about it. Hopefully you’ll hear your answer, but if you don’t that’s ok. Be gentle with yourself, let the practice go for today and try again tomorrow.

Examples of great New Year themes:

  • Compassion and kindness
  • Generosity
  • Mindfulness
  • Adventure
  • Positivity
  • Self-care
  • Simplicity
  • Stillness
  • Integrity
  • Energy
  • Loyalty
  • Love
  • Abundance
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Creativity
  • Beauty
  • Health
health is a great new year theme
Health is a great new year theme

How to Discover Your New Year Intentions

First you should set your New Year theme. Then as you reflect on what this theme means to you in your life and all the benefits it will bring, you will naturally discover your New Year intentions from that brainstorming exercise. Here’s an example:

My New Year theme for 2021 is COMMITMENT. 

What does the energy of COMMITMENT mean to me this year? I want to step up to the plate and commit to my life, my dreams, my health, my spiritual growth and my emotional needs even more this year. I want to focus on things that are aligned with my goals and dreams and that bring me joy. I want to live my life with flow and purpose, from my heart, and I need to COMMIT to all the things that will help me do that and drop the things that don’t. These are my New Year intentions. As a list:

  1. Commit to my dreams
  2. Focus on my spiritual growth
  3. Prioritise my health (mental, emotional and physical)
  4. Bring more joy into my life
  5. Make decisions from my heart that are aligned with my soul purpose

You can see from my example that your New Year intentions should flow easily from your New Year theme.

Nourish Your New Year Theme and Intentions

Setting a New Year theme is like planting a seed in your mind. Your New Year intentions are the little buds and leaves that grow as you nourish your seed. Nurture your seedling and help it grow and flourish. 

You can nourish your New Year theme and New Year intentions in many ways. Here are some things I like to do:

  • Do a tarot or oracle card reading asking how I can best support my New Year theme and each intention
  • Journal about what habits, relationships or situations I need to let go of to make space for these new intentions to manifest
  • Track my dreams after I have done my New Year theme and intention setting to see if there are any patterns or repeated symbols
  • Ask my spiritual team of guides, angels and ancestors to help guide me in staying true to my theme and intentions and alerting me when I deviate from my chosen path
  • Meditate on my New Year theme and intentions regularly
  • Practice mindfulness as much as I can so that I make decisions from a place of connection with my New Year theme and intentions
  • Set strong boundaries around my time and habits to support my New Year intentions
  • Practice exquisite self-care so that I feel nurtured, energised and worthy of keeping my commitments to myself
  • Make a New Year theme and intentions vision board
make a vision board of your theme and new year intentions
Make a vision board of your theme and intentions

How to Make a New Year Theme and Intentions Vision Board

Make a vision board collage of images that represent your New Year theme and intentions and how you want them to manifest in your life this year. You can do this either on your computer using a collage making website or app (I love Canva), or you can make it physically, by cutting out pictures and using small objects, and sticking them on a large piece of card or a corkboard.

For example, if your New Year theme was ADVENTURE, and your intentions were to travel to three new places, try new foods and activities, start a new hobby, or explore an extreme sport, you could add:

  • Photos of places you’d like to go
  • Images of new foods or cuisines you would love to eat
  • Words or pictures that represent activities/hobbies/sports you want to try
  • Boarding pass stubs
  • Gig/theatre/festival tickets
  • Tourist maps
  • Destination guides
  • Even decorations such as seashells, stickers and glitter!

The possibilities are endless and the process is really fun! When you have finished, put your art where you can see it every day, preferably in your bedroom so that you can look at it before you go to bed and when you wake up. If you are not the arty type, you should still have your New Year theme and intentions by your bed and reflect on them every day. Just write them on a piece of paper or do it on your computer and print it out.

Because they are set in the positive and the present, New Year intentions support to the Law of Attraction, and as they come from within and are aligned with your deepest values, they are actually already a part of you. By drawing them out and focusing on them daily, you bring them to the forefront of your life and fully step into them.

I hope this has given you some inspiration to drop the harsh resolutions and take a softer, more heart centered approach this year. Do you have any intention setting processes or rituals for the New Year? Share them below!

Help Setting and Sticking to Your New Year Theme and Intentions

If you would like help with your theme and intentions and you want to work with these energies in a more holistic, spiritually-focused approach, please get in contact to discuss my affordable spiritual coaching options. My favourite thing in the world is helping others realise their spiritual potential and achieve their goals and dreams, all while doing the deep inner healing work that is necessary to step into your next level of health and development.

Other Ways I Can Help You for FREE:

Love and blessings,

Natalie x

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