How To Set Your Theme/Word For The Year & How To Write A Powerful Mantra

It’s that time of year again, when we all begin to reflect on the past year and set goals for the future. This past year has been an amazing year for me. I did so many amazing things and am in such great health as we wind down this year. I hit some huge milestones this year including graduating (from my first degree) university in May, starting this blog in June, having surgery in July, becoming head of social media for my local Crohn’s and Colitis Chapter in October, and of course finishing out this year with an amazing trip to Florida.

Over the past years I have changed up the way I set goals for the new year and have made it so that it is much more centered around intentions rather than concrete goals. I think that we are constantly changing and growing and so I don’t like the idea of restricting goal setting for the begging of January. For the last 3 years I have used 3 key words as my themes for the year. Many people select one word, but to be honest I feel like that is too narrow for me. I can’t think of one word that will sum up all my goals into one so, I settled for three.

My 2019 Themes

Last year my three words were TRUST, EMBRACE and LOVE. Entering into 2018, I was in a really rough place mentally and physically. My Crohn’s disease was in a full blown flare and I was feeling pretty hopeless about the drugs I was on and whether they would work. So, at the beginning of the year I knew that I needed to…

  1. Trust the universe and it’s plans for me. 
  2. Embrace my life and as many opportunities as I could (while also listening to my body).
  3. Love myself, and spread love to all those around me that were helping me. 
These themes could not have been more perfect for what I faced in 2018. Especially for my surgery and long recovery afterwards. I needed to be extremely disciplined with myself in 2018 to make sure that I was listening to my mind and body. I meditated religiously, did yoga, took my time with recovery, tended to my mental health. But, as I shift into 2019, I am trying to step a bit more outside my comfort zone and let lose a bit more. 

Therefore, 2019’s themes are (drum roll please) GROW, EXPLORE, and RELEASE. 

Okay so let’s break it down one word at a time, starting with GROW. 

Like I said, last year was a year of trusting and learning, but also a year of playing it safe because I didn’t want to over stretch myself post-operation. This year I want to grow in all avenues of my life. I want to grow my blog, I want to grow my finances, and I want to grow myself and develop and learn. 

Going off growth, I also want to EXPLORE. I want to explore new places, step outside my comfort zone (because I am feeling well and I can), and I want to make a point of exploring my province and surrounding areas with day trips and weekend getaways. 

Lastly, I want to focus on RELEASE. What I mean by this is the following. I want to release the need for control over fine details in my life. But, I also want to release negativity in my life and lead a more optimistic mindset. Release sounded like a good final word for me because although I want to grow and explore, I need to release control in order to do so. You can’t truly explore without release of control over every fine detail, and you can’t truly grow unless you release your control in the universe and trust in it’s power to guide you. 

How To Set YOUR Theme For The Year

To set your own theme(s) for the year make sure that you follow the next steps. 

1.Reflect – Before you can think of your year ahead you need to first ask yourself some questions about the last year and your life at the moment. 

  • How do you feel at the end of the year?
  • Are you missing something?
  • What was your biggest accomplishment last year? How did it make you feel to accomplish it?
  • What were you not able to accomplish? Why?
  • What do you love to do? Are you doing those things enough?
  • How are your relationships? Are there problems that need to be fixed?
  • How is your relationship with yourself? What can you do to better yourself? 
2.  Pull From Your Answers – Once you have answered these questions, you will probably see a pattern. From there you can create your goals for the upcoming year. Like I said before, I personally like to set a few goals at the beginning of the year, but they are usually based around how I would like to feel and my intentions for the year.

3. Group The Patterns – Maybe you didn’t get to write that book, or start that company last year? So, maybe one of your themes becomes create. Maybe you didn’t complete your workout goal last year? So, maybe your word is commit. Try to look at your strengths and weaknesses from the previous year(s), and pick a positive word(s) to help you better yourself next year. 

4. Ruminate on Your Selection – Once you have some words in mind. Let yourself think about them for a few days. After a bit you will know which ones will be most effective for you. Ultimately, the word that keeps poping into your head, is the winner. 

Overall, picking one word or a few can be a very effective way to center yourself and your intentions for the year. This may take you a few days to figure out, but once the word comes to your mind you will know. 

How To Write An Effective Mantra

Every year, I like to create a new mantra that I will recite every morning after my meditation. These mantras are related to my 3 themes for the years. 

If you want to write a mantra for your year make sure to follow these steps:

1. Brainstorm Your Goals – Before writing a mantra, you need to know what the mantra will be on, right? So block out a chunk of time to brainstorm some new goals or to review some old ones. 

2. Pull Out Key Words – Once you have your goals in mind, review them and think about what your big picture idea is with all these goals. From there you will be able to pull out a few key words as your themes. This is where you can begin to actually write your mantras. 

3. Visualize The Future – Think about how you will feel once you complete this goal? Really imagine everything about this goal and how it will feel as you complete it and once it is completed. Who will be there? What qualities will you have gained? What emotions will you feel? What day or year is it? Once, you have these feelings in mind. You can start to brainstorm your mantras. Start with sentences like “I am happy. I am satisfied. I am writing everyday.”

4. Use Present Tense – You want to ensure that you are using language like “I am” in your mantra because you want to consider your mantra already achieved and already done. That way you are not wishing for your mantra to come true, instead you are saying it in a way that makes it seem like it is already true. 

5. Don’t Use Negative words – You want your mantra to be as inspiring as possible, so it is important that you never use words that will demotivate you. For example, instead of saying “avoid perfection”, say “strive for satisfaction”. This takes the focus off the negative action and instead places it on the positive action. 

6. Be Quick and To The Point – I like to give myself three powerful sentences for each of my words. This may seem like a lot to some, but for me this is the right amount. Some people like to have one sentence or even just a few short words as their affirmations. So, as a general rule of thumb try to strive for quick to the point sentences and to avoid paragraphs. But, really it is whatever works for you, and whatever length you will be ever to remember. 

7. Say Them Out Loud – Before you are completely done make sure you say your mantras out loud. It is most effective to say these mantras out loud and so you want to ensure that you can actually say them, and that nothing sounds off. 

As an example I’ll show you my mantras from 2018 and for 2019:

I trust in the universe. 
I trust in God. 
I trust in the timing of my life.

I embrace my body. 
I embrace all the opportunities and challenges in my life. 
I embrace the power I have in the world

I love myself. 
I spread love to those around me. 
I spread love out to those in the universe.
I am growing in all avenues of my life. 
I am growing stronger mentally, physically, and emotionally every day. 
I am growing more optimistic and more open to new possibilities. 
I am growing my blog and community to reach more people in the world.

I am exploring the universe and all it has to offer. 
I am exploring what is new in the everyday and mundane. 
I am exploring new places and making space for travel in my life.
I am releasing all power to the universe. 
I am releasing my obsession with control. 
I am releasing negative thinking and embracing positive thinking. 

My 2019 Goals 

Like I said, I try to focus my attention at the beginning of the year more on intentions and themes. But, I do still like to set a few goals for myself that are entangled with my themes. This year I have 9 goals that I want to focus on. You may be thinking, NINE wow! But, really some are more overall intentions to continue and some are more time and date sensitive.

Goal #1 – Grow Gutsy Feeling
I am loving the community I have built through Gutsy Feeling and I could not be more proud of the growth I have had in the first year. I am working on a lot of new things for next year so, stay tuned for that! 

Goal #2 – Be Conscious of Spending Habits  
I want to ensure that I am keeping track of my spending especially when it comes to entertainment. I want to try to set a budget per month on entertainment spending and I also want to do a few “no buy” months where I spend no extra money on leisurely things. 

Goal #3 – Strive for Satisfaction in School
It can be very easy to get super caught up in every detail of school and it can start to totally consume and overwhelm you. I am not saying that I will not be striving to maintain my A average. Rather, that I will be trying to not second guess myself and my work as much. 

Goal #4 – Physical Health
I want to continue to exercise 2-3 x a week and I also want to try to cook one new recipe every month. 

Goal #5 – Mental Health
Continue to work on daily self-care by reading, journaling, and meditating. 

Goal #6 – Improving my State of Mind
I want to be more optimistic about many things in life as I have said before. So, I want to start making little shifts towards a more optimistic mindset. 

Goal #7 – Communication
I want to continue to work on new problem solving and communication skills with my boyfriend so that we can continually improve how we communicate. 

Goal #8 – Friends
I want to ensure that I see my friends at least 2 x a month all year round. 

Goal #9 – Experiences
I want to plan one weekend getaway and at least 5 day trips this year to new places. 

Well, that’s all from me for today. I hope that this gave you some inspiration for setting your new years goals, mantras, and themes for the year. Overall, I wanted to give you all some tips on how to set a theme for the new year while also sharing my goals! Share with me your goals/themes in the comments down below or on Instagram or Facebook, so that we can keep each other accountable this year. 

I hope you all had a great end of the year and are ready to kick off 2019 soon! I wish you all amazing health, love and hope in 2019! 

Before you go, make sure that you subscribed to my blog to get email updates every time I post. Also be sure to follow me on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest to get more updates from me on my day to day life. 

Your trusty gutsy gal, 

Nathalie xx

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Nathalie is a Canadian entrepreneur, blogger, architectural designer, and Crohn’s warrior. Nathalie graduated from her final university degree in Spring 2020 with a Master’s of Architecture. Nathalie decided to start this blog to share her journey and experiences. She shares daily advice on all things health, lifestyle, self love, motivation and environmentalism on the blog and over on Facebook and Instagram.

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