It is time for a new yearly theme! Note: I don’t buy the journals, but Myke and CPG Grey popularized the idea of creating yearly themes.

What is a yearly theme? Here’s a summary:

Instead of setting resolutions at the start of the year, you set an overall idea of how you would like to approach each year or season. This then becomes a guide for your personal and/or professional life throughout that period.

This is my fifth yearly theme. Looking back over the past four:

2023 Retrospective

I give myself about a B- on my 2023 theme where I opted to focus on morning routines. Fitness routine is where I’m doing the best: I’m either walking a golf course (and carrying or pushing my clubs) or rucking with at least 25 lbs three times a week, and almost always in the early mornings. My daily push-up count is up to 150 and my normal routine is to do 90 push-ups before noon. I hit that target about 9 out of 10 days.

However, I said:

I also want to begin to prioritize creative work in the morning. This could be guitar playing (once I’m reunited with my guitars), note writing, blogging, even songwriting.

Other than writing blog posts (2023 was another busy year with 91 posts) my creative efforts never took hold. I played a decent amount of songs on the guitar, adding one to my permanent memorized repertoire, but nothing sparked on the songwriting side.

One meta-improvement I’ve made for 2024 is to add a monthly reminder to revisit the theme and think about changes I want to make in order to stay aligned.

2024 Theme

Spending a month taking Spanish language lessons in Madrid ignited a desire to build on that foundation and continue my studies. Therefore, 2024 will be the Year of Language. Simple.

This theme builds on prior years in ways aligned with a personal slogan I worked on with my Spanish teacher Ana on the last day of class:

Un poco más mejor cada día. (A little better every day)

  • I will work on this every day and track it with Streaks.
  • I will leverage accountability and professional help.
  • I will incorporate this into my morning routine.
  • Finally, every day I should be a little bit better at it than the day before

Julie and I have stepped away from Duolingo and are using Busuu now for daily work. We will continue to talk in Spanish together and converse as much as possible in Spanish for the duration of our trip here. Once we are settled back in the USA we will likely seek out 1:1 online coaching and instruction. The routine schedule combined with spending money should establish a solid accountability structure.