What’s your theme? | Cultivate Community

Did you intend to create a theme, one word or goals for the year on January 1 and then not get around to it? Or create it, but you’ve abandoned it already? Don’t worry. According to the research, only 3% of people set written goals and only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions.

Which is why we’re talking about this on February 1 and not January 1.

One word. A theme. A direction. It boils down to having a framework to look at the year. One friend put it quite well with this statement:

Focusing on the feelings I want to have at the end of week, month or year has helped me stay focused on both creating new habits and accomplishing goals. It helps gives a soulful purpose to either the goal or habit so they seem less daunting.

What’s your focus for 2016?

In 2015, I chose one word: Strength.

I didn’t keep this as front and center as I had originally intended, but if I look back over the year, and if I look at what I said I wanted to get out of strength, I feel pretty good about where I landed. 2015 was a year of a whole lot of change, mostly for good. I’m looking forward to 2016 being a little more stable.

For 2016, my theme is Cultivate Community.

 2016 Theme: Cultivate Community | strategysarah.com

What does it mean to Cultivate Community?

It means that I want to intentionally focus on people and not tasks. As an ISTJ, I tend to be more task-oriented than people-oriented. While I am social, I also need downtime and have a tendency to withdraw when overwhelmed. When life happens (as it so often does), community is usually the first thing to go.

Not this year.

For each activity and task that I do, both personally and professionally, I am asking myself, “Is this activity cultivating community? If not, should it? How?”

In some areas, that’s easier than others.

How Cultivate Community comes to life in business

For business purposes, that can mean getting the message out there – there can be no community if there is no connection. Whether it’s encouraging a colleague, sharing exciting articles that I’m learning from, sharing thoughts that I’m a little afraid to share, or more, Cultivate Community is the lens through with I will approach all my communication.

I’ve taken baby steps with this in the last few weeks on my personal and business Facebook pages, and have been positively surprised at some of the responses.

Cultivating Community also means letting go of fear and putting myself out there. While I come across as confident and have been told by many over the years that I’m intimidating, I have an intense fear of not measuring up and not being good enough (I know, we’ve all got our demons). A lens of Cultivate Community will remind me to get over myself and participate anyway.

I’m also so logical that I assume that if I say something once, even in passing, that the word is out. Um, it’s not. There is so.much.noise out there. If my own family doesn’t remember or understand the impact of what I’m doing, how do I expect friends, acquaintances and strangers to know what’s up? (I can’t, that’s how).

How Cultivate Community comes to life personally

As you may know, we moved in January. One of the major features on our must-have list was a house with two living areas and set up for entertaining. Now that we have a house that’s set up for entertaining, we want to use it for that purpose.

We’re also going to join and participate in a community group through our church, which is something we did for years, but haven’t done in the past year.

Beyond that, I’m taking it to mean that when I have the opportunity to go it alone or to do a task or activity in community, I need to assess and choose community wherever I can.

I would love to hear how you are framing or focusing 2016. Share in the comments or on Facebook

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