New Year’s Hack: pick a one-word theme for 2018

As 2017 comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting and also making lists of what I want to accomplish next year.  I love to make lists: lists of goals, accomplishments, dreams and groceries. I have paper and Evernote notebooks filled with these lists. While these goals are useful, focus is an even more powerful tool. My New Year’s hack is to set a one-word theme for 2018 that will be my North Star.

Why pick a one-word theme? What’s wrong with a bunch of goals?

  • Our brains work best with clarity.
  • Especially in our culture of distraction, focus is a super-power.
  • It tells your sub-conscious what’s most important to you.

My theme word for 2018 is consistency. 

Why consistency?

I love novelty. I love juggling projects. I love beginnings.

I’m resistant to routine, which I used to think was because I was so “creative” and such a “rebel.” I don’t see it through the positive lens anymore. Habits are the structure of our lives. Without routine, we use up our will power making small decisions. We disperse our power and impact.

My default is to gather information. I’ve always considered myself something of a dilettante. I learn quickly. But mastering a new skill requires two things: 1. taking action and 2. dedicated practice.

Does this mean I won’t juggle projects this year? Hardly. My FI life means I can embrace lots of projects, instead of having a full-time job dominate my time.

Does it mean I won’t change or be flexible? Absolutely not. I embrace change and being open-minded consistently! But I’m going to apply my theme word to all of my projects, intentions and goals.

Consistency in action

So instead of trying a new exercise class, it’s doing it consistently, even if the exercise is small.

Instead of going to one meditation retreat, it’s practicing consistently every week, even for just a few minutes a day.

Instead of setting a goal like I did this year of just starting this blog (completed!), my goal is to publish consistently every week in 2018.

Instead of setting a goal of pages written in my novel, it’s setting the intention of writing three days a week, even if it doesn’t generate much. Just showing up. Consistently.

Next year, I plan to share my progress on my goals and how or if this theme-word has helped. I’d love to hear from you. What’s your theme word for 2018? What helps you the most in setting and keeping goals and positive habits?

If you’re goal is to improve your finances in 2018, you may want to check out my post on Foundations of Financial Freedom or check out you rate in my Financial Check Up.  If meditation is a goal, you may interested in How and Why I Started Meditating.

About Satisfied Ghost

I'm the Chief Ghost at Satisfied Ghost, a blog tackling financial independence mindfully.

12 comments on “New Year’s Hack: pick a one-word theme for 2018

  1. I like the way you structure your goals for the new year. It’s more about putting in work than generating a result. I favor that style of goal setting as well, as that’s what we really have the most control over – and with it comes what you really want.

    • Thank you Adam. I’m working on this shift, which I think will work wonders. I really liked your post on cornerstone habits by the way. I love what you’re doing.

  2. I’m right with you. I started my blog this Fall, and now with the New Year, I’m setting a goal of posting consistently. For me, that will mean once a week, because that is actually a bold goal in my case, ha ha. Happy New Year and all the best in 2018!

  3. I love your theme of consistency and honestly I think it will make reaching your goals easier since it becomes routine. I started my goals last week, as a trial run, to see if I could actually keep up with them come the new year. I started a daily morning routine consisting of working out (running, lifting weight, yoga, bike riding or just simply stretching- anything that gets me moving), practicing Spanish (I use Duolingo and do 3 sections), reading (a blog or a few pages in a book) and then blogging. I have to tell you that by writing a little bit every day, that has significantly helped me with the consistency of my posts. I used to just have one that I worked on each week and would be struggling to finish it and post it by our Wednesday deadline, but now I actually have a few drafts lined up in the queue. So far I have been doing great with this. My secret is that I started using the HabitShare app and I am look forward to keeping all the checkmarks coming. Good luck with your goals in the new year!

    • Thank you so much for your comment. This is like a mini-blog post! It’s packed with so much great information. I’ve been doing Duolingo too. I think I’ll copy your routine! And I’ll check out your Habitshare app. I love checkmarks. Thanks so much for the comment.

  4. Consistently is a great word! And not really my strong suit. :/ I pick a focus word and habit for each month. 🙂 I think I’m going to try an overarching word for the year.

    • Maybe for those of us who struggle with consistency (like me!) a theme a month is a better approach? Hmm, I’ll have to think about that! thanks for the comment!

  5. Absolutely mind boggling…it’s like you’ve read my mind and my life! I got to this page by typing in the words one word for 2018 consistency just do it. And this is the present that opened!!!
    I get so excited about new projects and am obsessed with research. Followup for me tends to fall off because of boredom and the drag of slogging through something to reach a new peak. (and if there’s paperwork…forget about it!)
    So Consistency is my word of 2018!
    Thank you!

    • Thank you for my comment! That’s wonderful to hear and really made my morning. Sounds like we have a lot in common. Happy New Year to you and much continued success on your path!

  6. Great plan, SG! Consistency is definitely the key. I used to think success was having a perfect idea and then having it take off all in one shot. But in reality it’s cumulative effort applied consistently over a long time. That’s how books get written and how businesses get built.

    Here’s to an awesome and fruitful 2018!

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