What’s Your Theme for 2018?

Cole Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Cole Smith

 

Do you have a yearly theme? 2017 was a fantastic yet terrifying year for me. Learning to drive stick-shift, finishing a novel and sending it to beta readers, starting a blog – there were a lot of overwhelming days when the couch and a book looked pretty darn appealing. To keep from succumbing to the siren song of quitting, I’d mutter my slogan for the year: “Do it scared!”

Notice, that slogan is neither original nor specific. But it was exactly what I needed to shift (sometimes literally from stalling at a traffic light) back to where I needed to be. Pick a personal motto for 2018 to set your intention for the year.

 

Do You Have a Yearly Theme?

 

It will start your year off on a positive note.

January is unspoiled and full of potential. Late December, on the other hand, often holds more stale failed resolutions than leftover fruitcake. Capture January’s energy and positivity by setting the mood for the months to come, and sticking with it.

 

It will keep you accountable.

One reason resolutions sputter and die by March is the lack of accountability. How do you check in with yourself? No one will know if you hit the snooze button instead of the gym. But you’ll have to face that slogan. You can crank up the pressure by giving a friend permission to say the magic words if you start slipping.

 

It will keep you going when you want to quit.

Feelings lie. It feels right to watch tv instead of knocking out 300 more words on your work-in-progress. It feels good to sleep in. And, at least in the short-term, eating that massive bowl of ice cream feels like heaven’s blessing.

Get a stack of sticky notes and wallpaper the house with your motto. Stick a reminder on the remote control, the freezer door, the alarm clock. Our feelings have a really short attention span. So remind them who’s boss by whispering your affirming slogan (or shouting it from your back porch). All that reinforcement will reprogram your brain and alter your habits.

Choose a Theme for Your Year

 

My focus for this year is to build on the momentum of 2017 (or, in the case of driving manual transmission, at least to coast on my momentum as long as possible… Please change, traffic light, hurry!). I’m still narrowing down themes for a motto that resonates with my goals, one that sings when I say it. I’ll know it when I find it.

May 2018 be a year that pushes you, but kindly. And, if you need to, you can whisper, “Do it scared!”

 

*****

 

Cole Smith is a writer, teacher, and mountain biker in West Virginia. She enjoys good coffee and great stories. She shares inspiration, encouragement, and tips for creative overwhelm at www.colesmithwrites.com.

 

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10 Responses to What’s Your Theme for 2018?

  1. Neva Bodin says:

    Good advice! Sounds like you have the right grit and attitude to get done what needs to be done. It is scary to be a writer, at least for me. Thanks for the inspiring blog and new motto. I have a Bible verse hanging in front of me at the computer: “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36. That helps me stay on track.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the advice. I have the same theme every year. “Fly by the seat of your pants, and roll with the punches.”

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  3. Wranglers says:

    I don’t know what my slogan would be. Maybe take the one that made Larry th e Cable Guy famous, “Get ‘er done”. Thought provoking blog, thanks. Cher’ley

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  4. M. K. Waller says:

    Great post. A slogan for the year is so much better than resolutions. I like yours. There’s a line from the movie The Reivers–maybe from the book; I should look it up–that goes something like this: “It’s okay to be scared; you can’t help that. But don’t ever be afraid.” I try to keep that in mind. I learned to drive my uncle’s post-World War II Chevy pickup–his idea–across a cotton field when I was ten. The main thing I remember is, “Let the clutch out SLOW!” and when gears began to grind, “Give it some GAS!” I no longer grind gears, but I don’t like to stop at red lights on hills lest I roll backwards and hit the car behind me. In theory, I like knowing I can still handle one, but fortunately I don’t often have to.

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    • Cole says:

      M.K. it’s been the most difficult thing for me to learn!! I can pretty much get wherever I need to go now–but it’s not pretty. You know what helped me the most? I went car shopping. It’s like my clutch foot relaxed just knowing I had options. So I guess a lot of it was a mental block…

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  5. Mike Staton says:

    My goal for 2018 is to get my second Civil War novel finished and in the hands of my publisher so the editing and publication process can begin.

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  6. S. J. Brown says:

    I don’t have a slogan or theme for the year. My motivation is to check my submission list from last year. I notice a definite downtrend in submissions as soon as the weather gets warm. So I will spend the next few cold months coming up with a plan that allows me to go out take pictures and still get submissions done. Maybe I should teach hubby how to do laundry.

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