New year theme (ala Annual Review style)?

‘Tis the resolution time of year. Time to break out the planners. Time to look back over the past year. Time to look ahead to the next.

What do you do?

In the past, I’ve made resolutions. I’m somewhat a fan of planning. Really I’m a fan of direction. Plans change, but direction doesn’t change so much. I’d like to just get going with whatever I’m planning. But having direction is good.

Last year about this time, The Art of Non-Conformity posted about having a annual review. At the time, I thought it a fairly good idea. However, this year I’ve noticed more people adopting a similar approach – and I can see why.

A annual review means going over the past year to see what worked and creating theme and action plan for the coming year. This allows for many smaller goals within the yearly them. Some resolutions, say to lose weight, don’t work because they’re not specific enough… they’re not actionable. Losing weight is just what you want, not the actual steps to getting the result.

Other resolutions, say eat only 1000 caleries per day, don’t work because they lack scope. The big picture is missing in this, so the motivation goes away quickly.

A theme helps solve this problem. A yearly theme is more like the first kind of resolution. It focuses more on the result, not the specific steps. However, unlike the first kind, the action plan starts with specific steps.

It’s more of a testing resolution – as in, “I’ll try to lose weight this way, but I’ll keep testing different approaches until I get the result. I won’t rely on just one method, but I’ll certainly start with one.” The theme is more like a perspective than anything. [This is how I’m approaching the yearly theme anyway – other concepts may very. Again, read Chris Guillebeau’s post to get a feel for where I’m coming from.]

I’m currently in the process of an annual review, and over the next couple days, I’ll take you through some of my process.

I encourage you to do something similar if you’re not already. If you are, what are you doing? What’s worked in the past for you? What hasn’t? What will you change about your plans and action and way of living and being in 2010?

We’re about to say farewell to the first decade of this millinium. It’s been an amazing decade for me (and the first that I could actually remember exactly what I was doing a decade ago). But…

2010 is going to blow the ’00s away in amazingness. Follow me as I do it.