I’ve written about yearly themes before, but for those who don’t know here’s a primer. A yearly theme is a broader version of a resolution. Think of it like a mantra as opposed to a checklist. Committing to a “Year of Fitness” allows you to be more flexible and gracious with yourself than resolving to “work out five times a week.”
With that in mind, and based on the themes proposed by CGP Grey and Myke Hurley on Cortex, I’ve always tried to make my themes pretty pretty broad. I like using a single word that I can then break down into multiple contexts. This makes it easy to remember in my day-to-day life and allows me to work on a few different interrelated areas of my life each year.
I didn’t blog about it, but my theme for 2022 was “The Year of Presence.” I was trying to build up a regular mindfulness practice, invest in my key relationships and generally do a better job of living in the present moment. I think I did alright on the latter two items, but the mindfulness practice proved harder to implement than I’d anticipated. A surprising addition to this theme was adopting Sherlock. There’s no better reminder of presence and living in the now than owning a dog. That’s literally all they can do. Every moment I spend with him is like a tiny reminder to be more attuned to my immediate surroundings and needs as well as his.
That revelation brings me to my theme for 2023: The Year of Care. There are three elements to this year’s theme: self-care, caring for my community and doing things I care about. These three things are all somewhat connected, but I’ve done my best to outline examples of each below:
In the latter half of this year I started spending more time on my physical fitness. It has honestly been great, even though I’m seeing minimal results thus far. The mental benefits alone are worth it. Next year I want to double-down on my exercise regimen and make subtle changes in related areas like sleep and diet. Hopefully this will all compound to make my day-to-day a bit easier on my body.
Care for Community
I spent a lot of last year building up my community and key relationships. I don’t want to lose that momentum in 2023. I’m going to take on some more volunteer opportunities and find ways to host more friends in our home for social events. And as our wedding approaches, I want to make sure that Josiah and I are continuing to invest in our relationships with each other and with our close friends and family.
Things I Care About
Here I’m talking about things like hobbies, home projects and other personal endeavors. Even though I’ve been out of graduate school for a year now I still feel like I’ve been under-investing in these areas. I want to spend more time exploring the things that bring me joy in 2023. Whether that’s finding new music, cooking more elaborate meals or improving our backyard. I like the idea of investing more in things that are just for my own fulfillment.
So that’s The Year of Care. I’m hoping it’s simple enough that I can keep up with all three elements, but flexible enough for me to pivot mid-year if need be.
Do you have theme for your year? What are you trying to accopmlish in 2023? Let me know in the comments or on the blue bird website, if you’re still begrudgingly spending time there like I am.