2021: The Year Of Courage

Have you heard the good news of yearly themes? They’re the agile version of New Year’s resolutions. They leave a lot of space for whatever the year might bring. A good yearly theme has a firm what and why but a flexible how.

For example, instead of deciding “my New Year’s resolution is to read 50 books,” why not make it a “Year of Learning”? That way you can still win if you decide in February that online courses are a better way to learn things.

Or instead of deciding “my New Year’s resolution is to run 10 miles a week,” how about instead going for the Year of Health? When you sprain your ankle or get runner’s knee, your 10 miles a week goes kaplooey but the Year of Health lives on.

Here’s a video that goes into more detail if you’re curious:

A couple of my friends wrote about their themes for 2021 and they convinced me. So I pondered, and I threw some ideas at some people, and I’ve ended up with The Year Of Courage.

Right now, The Year Of Courage means to avoid avoiding and chase my values instead. It means to stop looking for validation or permission for something I want to do, and instead just do it. It means putting myself out there instead of worrying about what people may think.

That’s what it means to me right now, but I have no idea what it may mean in 6 months or more. And that’s exciting! That’s the power of the yearly theme!

In the past few months, choosing courage over comfort has gotten me:

It’s easy to assume we have milked an idea for all that it’s worth, but that’s usually not true. So let’s keep a good thing going, right? If choosing courage over comfort has given me all that in just a few months, I can’t wait to see what it gives me in in the next year.

Improvements are only temporary until they become part of who you are.

The goal is not to read a book, the goal is to become a reader. The goal is not to run a marathon, the goal is to become a runner. The goal is not to learn an instrument, the goal is to become a musician.

This year, focus on the identity you want to build.”

James Clear, Atomic Habits

What’s your theme for 2021?

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