I don’t do New Year’s resolutions anymore. I either fail miserably at keeping them or the become obsolete before the end of the year. But a few years ago a friend told me about New Year’s Themes, which are more like guiding principles that can shape and affect big chunks of your life. They are ideas that you can bring to pretty much any decision you make.
My theme for 2013 was “Being There,” which was about seeing people face to face more. Family, Extended family, friends, co-workers. And not just a being physically present, but being fully present and attentive to the immediate situation, rather than being distracted. I’d say I did marginally better at seeing people in 2013, but there are still folks I wished I’d seen more. In any case, it was a good theme and I got benefit from keeping it in mind.
This year’s theme is dead simple: First things first. By that I mean being very clear about what’s important and what’s not and devoting mental time and energy to the things that matter most. That means prioritizing in a brutal but realistic way. That means being explicit about it. That means constantly asking, “Is there something more important I should be doing?” And actually all that stuff is not to hard. What’s going to be difficult about First Things First is eliminating the things I don’t have time for. Dropping out of groups, hobbies, commitments that aren’t as important and I don’t have time for. That’s going to be the tough thing. That’s what I need to improve on.