So here we are. 2021, the year of expectations. Now that we are a few weeks in I’m sure many people are already disappointed in the current situation or have reset their expectations altogether. I only had some vague expectations about this year, meaning I was aware of a few steps I wanted to take this year. But there wasn’t anything major I was hoping for. Well, besides the possibility of taking a vacation to New Zealand. But that is (still) not sure.
What I wanted up front was to (preferably) finish my book and put myself a bit more in the spotlight so that people actually know there is a book. But because I had no specific theme to structure and guide me I actually did not make much progress with this until I chose my Year Theme.
A new year means a new Year Theme
If you’re not aware what a Year Theme is I will explain: A Year Theme is one word or a short sentence which denotes your goals of the year. For me it is a tradition that I have implemented to make the best of said new year. It provides structure and empowers you to take decisions to improve your life. It is important that a theme is positively formulated so it helps you create a better situation in a specific area of your life.
For example: My theme of 2020 was Heart’s Fire, meaning doing the things that I love to do. I explicitly named 3 things to support it:
- Give the fire fuel: Learn about my passions and educatie myself by reading theory and watching lectures.
- Give it air: Let it breathe, don’t take it too seriously. It’s a fun process but taking distance is also important.
- Give it attention: Make time for writing, and reading so it can empower and deepen it, thus lighting the next steps to take.
If you read the last blog I wrote last year you’ll know I finished my first draft just before Christmas. After I finished I felt I accomplished all my 2020 goals. Finishing the first draft was the only hard target I made for last year, the rest were all soft targets that passed along the way. As a result I spend a few weeks without a specific goal or guidance. And because of this lack of guidance 2021 started quite rough for me. I felt a bit lost without a new theme. And despite having a vague idea what I was going for, I mainly missed the focus I experienced in 2020.
This year I want to spend more time working on the relationship with myself and with others. Meaning that I want to give extra attention to my behavior and translate this in relationships with people I haven’t met before. Because I know there are a lot of people who share interests similar to me, I just don’t have them in my immediate surroundings/vicinity. *
My initial choice for the 2021 Year Theme was: The Golden Company. I wanted to find those people and be a good relation to them. There was also the link to Game of Thrones which seemed fun. But that link: the best mercenaries you can hire, was also what changed my mind. Because I don’t want to be just someone who comes in on a payroll to do the job they do best.
So I changed it. After a few days of indecisiveness I chose “Connecting the Dots”.
Because sometimes it is more important to just choose so you can start and work with the choice you made then to wait on a better theme.
What is Connecting the Dots
Connecting the Dots is:
- Taking action on the other things that (I think) I like and trying them to enrich my life
- Combining things I like into something else
- Evaluating these steps/actions over time to see if they work or not
It is a direct reference to the Stanford speech of Steve Jobs, as well as an invitation to myself to try new things. And by doing this I want to find people that share my passion for stories and storytelling in different media and interact with them. What I really like is that this all aligns with my Ikigai: To connect.
Now that we are a few weeks in 2021 I already am working on a number of actions to support Connecting the Dots. One is taking part in TTRPG sessions, another is preparing for a (weekly) stream on Twitch, which probably will start in a couple of weeks from now.
I know that the new year will bring surprises. But no matter how big or small I am confident that Connecting the Dots provides me with a good intention and structure to make the very best of it. I hope you will take similar action to improve for your life. If you have questions, you are most welcome to ask about the methodology I use.
*as a template I would like to refer to the setting of the Play, Watch, Listen podcast. Where 4 people from the games industry who are also friends just talk about games, films, music and a lot more. If you know the show you know what I mean, though it doesn’t have to be in a podcast. It’s the relationship dynamic on display that I’m going fo