Does the idea of goal setting overwhelm you?  Well perhaps you may be interested in learning about an effective alternative that will take you only 7 seconds to do?

For some, setting goals can be challenging.  I’d like to share with you a great way to jump start the process.  Without over thinking the question or getting into any of the details, simply ask yourself one question: “If I were to give this year a theme, mine would be the year of/to blank.” (fill in the blank with no more than a few words)

I borrowed this idea, which I’ve made a personal annual tradition, from my dear friend and colleague, MJ Ryan, author of several books, including Attitudes of Gratitude and Random Acts of Kindness.

I’ll share my current theme as an example. My theme for 2012 is to “create and relate.”  It’s that simple.  What the process of identifying a theme does, is allow you to set the tone for what you’d like to accomplish during the current year.  Once you’ve created a theme that feels true to you, you can then go back and start to translate your theme into actual goals and action items.  Also, throughout the year you can do a self-check, asking yourself whether your actions are in alignment with your theme.

I’m not at all suggesting that “theme setting” should be considered a replacement for goal setting.  However, theme setting can certainly be a great way to jump start the goal setting process.

I challenge you to take 7 seconds right now and come up with your theme for 2012.    Many of you will find that once you’ve created your theme, the process of goal setting will flow more easily and enthusiastically. Consider sharing your theme with others, for added accountability.  Also, if you care to share your theme with me, I invite you to.

Wishing you all a great 2012 and may all your “themes” come true.

My Very Best,