Instead of a New Year's Resolution... How about a New Year's Theme?

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

I SO wish I could take credit for this idea... But alas... someone else beat me to it and I suppose it's the soulful thing to do to acknowledge her brilliance...maureen

I read an article in one of my local neighborhood newspapers (the North Denver News) written by a Denver wedding officiant named Maureen Thomson ( 

Here's the introduction to the article:

"Several years ago, I eschewed the traditional New Year's Resolution (which I failed to maintain 100% of the time anyway) in favor of a theme for the year. As opposed to a list of "will do's" that the resolutions stipulated, the theme was a gentler way of turning my attention toward the areas in my life that were most in need of attention.

I had no idea what I was in for when I started this tradition. My themes have turned into manifestations that are beyond coincidence. My theme for 2005 was "Unthinkably Good Things Can Happen" and that was the year that I met my future husband, Jeremy. This was followed by my 2006 theme of "Build the Dream" which was the year my business took off, growing into a multi-state operation. And we mustn't forget 2007's theme of "Do the Never" whereby I did all kinds of things I swore I'd never do - not the least of which was to marry again.

But nothing prepared me for the events surrounding my theme of this year: "Simplicity." Even its one-word title was a deviation for me. Back the beginning of the year, I had no idea how much this theme would change me..." Read the Rest...

I love this idea of identifying a big picture goal for your year and letting nature takes its course. I'm tossing around ideas for my 2009... and I keep coming back to "The Year I Found Peace." Whaddya' think?

How ‘bout you? What might your theme be for 2009? Please share...



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  1. Robert Rauf 12/31/2008 06:51 AM
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Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Happy New year Jennifer... I reblogged this after a second read... I like the idea, especially in conjunction with a business plan.  I think mine will be "Happy"  with happy everything else falls into place, dont you think?



Jan 02, 2009 05:01 AM #31
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Robert - I SO LOVE THIS. Yes, Happy pretty much covers it all. It sort of coincides with a similar Secret-type effort I did last year...

Larry - it sounds as if you and I had a similar 2008. What did we learn?

Heather - You control-freak, you...

Mike - Multiple themes? Hmmmm... I dunno... I'll have to check the rulebook!

Jan 02, 2009 05:18 AM #32
Larry Riggs
Century 21 Redwood - Frederick, MD
GRI, SRS Your Frederick County Specialist


     Hmmm, what did we learn? Well:

Don't let people or situations who don't deserve our attention drain our enthusiasm.

Keep our goals constantly in front of us. Don't get distracted.

If you suffer a setback, get back up.

If you suffer a big or very painful setback you still have to get up. Maybe a little slower but still get up.

Don't let people you don't like affect relationships with people you love.

Develop a sense of purpose for you life and make that your top 20%.

Don't take any of it too seriously. Work hard but enjoy your life.


Jan 02, 2009 06:41 AM #33
Barbara Delaney
Park Place REALTORS, Inc. - Roanoke, VA

Dear Jennifer,

Thanks for passing this on!

Now I can think of a theme and call it my 2009 theme, not a hint of a New Year's Resolution--which I never did anyway!


Jan 02, 2009 08:37 AM #34
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

What I learned in 2008 that I'm taking with me to 2009 (I hope)

  • Check references
  • Get written estimates before commencing work
  • If someone lets you down more than once, don't hope they'll change, or think that maybe you misunderstood the situation
  • Don't subject your friends to your pissiness (except for that one special someone who can take it)
  • If it sounds too good to be true... (you know where I'm going with this)
  • While doing something for the "experience" is cool, sometimes you gotta get paid (still working on that one)
Jan 02, 2009 09:52 AM #35
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Jennifer, it's fabulous, wheras a resolution has a definitive conclusion, theme inspires motivation.  So simple.  Like Maureen had written towards the end of the story, time is not the constraint of implemantion as it would be in a "New Year's" resolution.  I'm impressed. Thanks! 

Jan 02, 2009 03:57 PM #36
Kelsey Barklow
Hurd Realty - Johnson City, TN

I like that idea too. One big encompassing theme. Mine is ... this will require some thought.  Thanks for the post.

Jan 03, 2009 12:46 AM #37
Cindy Marchant
Keller Williams Indy NE 317-290-7775 - Carmel, IN
"Cindy in Indy" , Realtor, Fishers Real Estate

What a great idea, I think mine would be "Have no Regrets" or something around trying to do the right thing as much as possible even if it hurts financially, takes a lot of time, isn't *really* what I *want* to do, etc.


Jan 03, 2009 01:02 AM #38
Maureen Thomson



Thanks so much for publishing my article. I had no idea the theme concept would be so appealing. I've been doing it for years. (Norte to the person who asked about "intentions". Yes, it really serves as such. the year I met my husband, my theme was "Unthinkably Good Things Can Happen." Of course, I met him on December 18th, showing that the Universe has a quirky sense of humor--making me wait until the year was darn near over!).


My theme for 2009 is "Why Not Me" and it's meant to help me abolish the old tapes in my head. I plan to use it for the answer to every question from, "Should I take a salsa dance class?" to "Do I deserve financial abundance?"


Warmly Maureen Thomson

Jan 03, 2009 09:36 AM #39
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Thanks for stopping by Maureen! And yeah, I'm tickled at the positive response. I'm so glad I stumbled upon the article here in our local 'hood paper!

Jan 03, 2009 09:42 AM #40
Terry Miller
Miller Homes Group - Tyler, TX
Miller Homes Group and Tyler Apartment Locator

Great post and an even greater concept. Have a great and blessed 2009.

Terry Miller

Jan 03, 2009 04:05 PM #41
Linda Jandura
Raleigh Cary Realty - Apex, NC
Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist

Jennifer- What a cool idea. I'll have to think about my theme- maybe it should be  "out with the old, in with the new!".  Old ideas, old grudges, old stuff in the house!- In with new friends, new ideas, and new business.

Have a great Sunday.

Jan 03, 2009 11:41 PM #42
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

"dont subject your friends to your Pissiness" (is that even a word?)  That is priceless! 

 I had a friend call that "F.P.M."  for foul personal mood... Probably not the best time to be out and about with your SOI if you are in a FPM!

Jan 04, 2009 03:42 AM #43
Chris and Maria Jeantet
Coldwell Banker C&C Properties - Redding, CA
Redding CA Real Estate Couple

Fun post, great article by Maureen and great challenge, hmmm...picturing my 2009 theme? I suppose "un-complicate" comes to mind. I'm about to rite a post on 10 ways to un-complicate your life so maybe that's truly hat's in my heart for 2009!

Jan 04, 2009 04:14 PM #44
Sue Gabriel
Cleveland, OH

It may sound corny, but this popped into my head yesterday:

"2009 is Mine!"

Mine ~ to create the kind of life I've always dreamed of, taking full responsibility for who (and what) I attract into my life (yes, from The Secret), surrounded by people who respect and like love me. To step out of my comfort zone occassionally. To continue to build my business into something I'm proud of - and my family's proud of. And yes...above feel that wonderful feeling of Peace.

Thanks Jennifer!! xoxo


Jan 04, 2009 09:22 PM #45
Bill Brannon
Beach Bum Productions - Hilton Head Island, SC

5 days and no post?  You OK?

Jan 05, 2009 07:22 AM #46
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Bill - Yipes! I'll have to get right on that!

Jan 05, 2009 08:48 AM #47
Heather Goodwin
Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission - Shreveport, LA
GoodWin Team Realty

Jennifer, just read this and love it!  I will have to think on my theme - there are so many possibilities and so many great ideas from the comments.

I do have one resolution that I have made, and I'm stickin' with it - I will not eat anything from a fast food restaurant in 2009.  This will be tough, but I'm determined.

Thanks for posting the article.  I'm off to decide on my 2009 theme!

Jan 07, 2009 02:48 AM #48
Jessica Steele
Welcome Home Realty - Surprise, AZ

Hi Jennifer,

   I was recommended to visit your blog by Sue Eller, and I am so glad she sent me your way!  As she said, your posts do truly "speak to me", esp. the one about a New Year's theme, rather than a resolution.  I have never been a fan of resolutions (mostly because I know I won't keep them), but lately, I have been a firm believer in the law of attraction (as you can see from a recent post).  I think my theme for 2009 will be the same title as my previous post, The Law of Attraction En La Vida de Jessica.  We will see how it unfolds . . . . Best of luck to you in your endeavors! 

Jan 10, 2009 03:04 PM #49
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale

Jennifer - Very interesting and featured at: LOVE AT ACTIVERAIN, great comments by the way!

Jan 27, 2009 09:40 AM #50
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