This is one of my favorite times of the year, where I tend to get reflective on the past year and excited about the upcoming year. One thing I like to do during January is choose three themes for my business that will help guide me for the rest of the year.

Let me explain…

choosing themes

Let’s suppose you’re planning a wedding, which requires you to make dozens of little decisions about music, flowers, invitations, the cake and more. Before you make a single decision, you need to choose a theme. Once you choose your theme and colors, then making all those decisions becomes so much easier.

Choosing themes for your business works the same way. Once you pick your themes, then these themes will guide your decisions for the rest of the year. Choosing your themes upfront can even help you avoid shiny-object syndrome.

For example, perhaps a new product comes down the pike that looks really interesting. Your knee-jerk reaction may be to purchase the product. However, if you’ve selected your themes for the year, then you’ll look at the product and determine if it fits in with your themes. If not – you don’t buy it.

That’s just one example, but every decision and activity you do this year will be driven by your themes:

  • Thinking about starting a new website? See if it fits into your themes.
  • Brainstorming product ideas? Check your themes.
  • Creating your email publishing calendar? Choose your content based on your themes.
  • Drafting your to-do list? Check your themes.

I could go on, but you get the point. Your themes serve as the thread that ties your whole business together. They keep you focused, they help you manage your time, and they help you manage complexity.

Some people choose just one theme for the year. However, I prefer to select three themes, because it actually makes me more focused.  If I choose just one theme, it tends to be too general and vague as a way to cover all the ideas floating around in my head.  When I allow for three themes, then I cover all the bases in my business.

Let me share with you the three themes I’ve selected for 2021:

  • Community
  • Audience/list building
  • Results

Everything I do this year is going to center on these three themes. For example, if someone comes to me with a joint venture idea, the very first thing I’m going to do is check if the idea fits into my themes. If not, I’ll reject it outright.

Another big benefit of selecting themes for the New Year is that it will also help guide your goal-setting. Within each theme, you are likely to have at least one if not multiple goals that you’d like to accomplish. 

For example, take a look at my third theme, which is centered around audience and list-building.  Within that theme, I have specific, measurable goals related to increasing my audience size across my lists, blogs and social media platforms.  I also have goals for sharing more content across these platforms, providing more value, automating the process and so on. These goals are all stepping stones for the larger income goals I’ve set for the year.

The last thing you need to know about choosing themes is that you should attach a positive emotion to them. Close your eyes and think about you feel about your themes. Do they excite you? If not, then you need to find themes that DO excite you, because the positive emotion you have attached to that theme is going to motivate you throughout the year.

Let me give you an example again from my themes. When I think about community, I sort of well up with pride and happiness when I see people in my online communities helping each other. It’s a good feeling. And it’s this feeling that’s going to keep me stoked and moving forward this year.

Now it’s your turn. What are YOUR themes this year? And what positive emotions do you attach to these themes? Let me know by commenting below!