One Theme, One Year; How to Rise to the Commitment

conversationswithmysister_name your year
Posted by on January 28, 2017

“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”

Meister Eckhart


Naming Your Year is a simple concept which involves picking one theme, for one year and committing to making it your best yet! We are not talking New Year’s Resolutions, or worrying over goals we might or might not have even started. Rather suggesting you keep it simple and give yourself a fun ambition to rise to for the next 12 months. One which will also provide you with flexibility as exciting and unexpected opportunities unfold.

Many terrific ideas begin during a great conversation and Naming Your Year is no exception. This idea was shared with me years ago by a Cousin of mine, as a small group of Family and Friends gathered around a table during an end of year celebration. Ten years later the annual ‘Name Your Year’ tradition continues and choosing a unique theme has also been established as a hot topic here on the CWMS blog.

Is it any wonder this Cousin has just won the 2016 National Value of Advice Award within his industry.

How Naming Your Year works – A 2016 Recap

When you Name Your Year you establish one area of your life you are committed to improve. Once you have confirmed this focus, you will also discover it provides clarity during your decision making throughout the year. An annual routine which, although provides you with a clear direction, allows flexibility along the way.

Our family named 2016 One Day is Today, a year dedicated to no longer postponing the dreams ‘tagged’ for the future. Choosing to say yes to opportunities which came our way, tackling some items from the ‘too hard’ basket and choosing to live a few unique experiences building up on our #bucketlist – right now!

The year started as we meant to continue, by ticking off a huge ‘One Day’ adventure which was a family trip to England. My Mum joined us as, the purpose of this holiday was to provided her with the opportunity to introduce her Grandchildren (our children) to their relatives. During this adventure she was also able to share with them childhood memories she has from growing up in the UK. You can read about 3 of our favourite experiences enjoyed during this visit here.

As you move from one theme into the next, armed with a new set of intentions, life tends to find a rhythm. The lessons learnt from one year flow seamlessly into creating new lifestyle choices and routines along your journey.

The next big One Day is Today goal we ticked off was gaining residency and creating a family home in the UAE. Furnishing this home was quite a daunting task considering we arrived in Abu Dhabi with only the amount of luggage the airline would permit. Choosing to continue the momentum created from 2015 – the year we named Less is More (#lessstuffmoreexperiences), we slowly but surely decorated our new home committing to purchasing 80% Preloved, 20% new items. A proud accomplishment which also aligns with our Keeping It R.E.A.L ethos. Use this link if you fancy a sneaky look at a couple of finished corners I have shared on the CWMS Instagram page.

Organising our holiday prints on canvas. That's how I am going to combat Post Holiday Blues. Then begin planning our next trip! How would you overcome it? 😜 . This little corner of the lounge room is done! We have been successful with our 80 % preloved – 20% new goal while decorating our expat home and this '#preloved' leather @natuzzi lounge has to be one of my most exciting buys yet. Now complete with a couple of 'new' items to snuggle up with @thebeachpeople roundie (which moves between beach, bed and lounge throw) and handmade, local @hathistore cushions. Was planning a white/neutral theme but, it seems, colour has snuck in…🤔 . . #finditstyleit #lessismore #lessstuffmoreexperiences #ouruaelimexpathome #reallivingmag

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“Don’t make change too complicated just begin.”


A year named One Day Is Today was always going to inspire the answer of YES to most opportunities and experiences which came our way. Consistently aligning our decisions with our theme is how we moved through the year which quickly filled with exciting and unexpected adventures.


2016 Adventures

Thrills & Spills In Val Thorens: Family Christmas In The Snow

How to Enjoy the Magic of Meribel – Chalet Holidays in the Snow

GoGet Car Share – Convenience without the Commitment

My Madinat Jumeirah – An Eco Experience in Downtown Dubai

Wadi Bani Khalid: Unique Family Adventure in the Desert of Oman

1000 Nights Camp – Why You Need To Go Glamping In Oman


So how do you Name Your Year?

One Theme, One Year – it all begins by asking yourself one important question

This years Name Your Year conversation was enjoyed sitting in the lounge room of our Chalet, surrounded by the surreal backdrop of the French Alps. The bottle of bubbles was popped, the charcuterie was laid out and we were well and truly settled in for a good old chat. The year named One Day is Today was enjoying a spectacular finish as we joined Family and new Friends to experience our first ever White Christmas!!!

The conversation might have started with thoughts of Gratitude but that wasn’t destined to be our 2017 theme. You see Gratitude is something I practise every single day and, Naming Your Year is more beneficial if you choose something you would ultimately like to improve on or, an action you might need a little nudge to take. Consider this overall vision first and you will find individual and specific goals will organically evolve from there.

And that one important question:

 “What is the most important action I would like to improve on or achieve this year?”

Take all the words which pop into your mind, for example: gratitude, success, calm, slow down, patient, health, fitness etc. Write them down, then decide whether one word or a simple phrase best sums them up. This is your new theme.

Lisa Messenger named 2016 ‘Hustle’ – you can read more about her one-word mantra here.

After more inspiration? Here are our themes from the last 9 years…

  • 2008 – Year of the Baby – ‘nuf said
  • 2009 – Year of the Renovation – now that was a HUGE year of preparing our first original ‘Queenslander’ for sale
  • 2010 – Year of the Expansion – sold our newly renovated home and moved onto our next project. A slightly bigger o’ Queenslander
  • 2011 – Year of Consolidation – project managed my Mum’s move and unit renovation
  • 2012 – Year of the Baby’ – #2
  • 2013 – Progress not Perfection – CWMS moved from a dream to a reality
  • 2014Striving For Balance – determined to manage a family with two children, a website and my sanity
  • 2015Less is More – time for living with less stuff, enjoying more experiences
  • 2016One Day is Today – ticking things off the bucket list right now

Which brings me to the part when I publicly declare:

2017 the Year  – ‘To Just Be’.

I feel a sense of calm each and every time I say this out loud {insert contented sigh here}.

This year I intend to focus on reminding myself to slow down a bit. Be grounded. Make time for the little things. My grand plan is to take the time To Just Be and enjoy the lifestyle we have created during this UAE Chapter of our life. Something which seems simple, is not always easy…

This is also the year I ‘celebrate’ turning 40 – ahhhhhhh 😱!
conversationswithmysister_Captured By Karlie

Photo credit: Captured By Karlie

Yes you will be pleased to know I have decided to celebrate this day, rather than hide under the doona and wallow. You see I had a look back over this list from the last 10 years and reflected on how life has unfolded. I have realised, I am actually quite chuffed with my unique and individual journey and really excited for the future which lies ahead.

While I am consciously re-grouping from a busy year, I am certainly not planning on stopping. Our next holiday is all but booked as our #bucketlist isn’t empty yet. Still enjoying and sharing adventures as we explore and discover, complimented with times spent deliberately practising To Just Be.

Wish me luck!

So there are my aspirations for the year – now it is over to you!

How can I help as you ask yourself – “What is the most important action I would like to improve on or achieve this year?”


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|| One Theme One Year - how to rise to the commitment || conversations with my sister



Share your ‘name’ with us as we begin this conversation below in the comment section and over on our Instagram and Facebook pages. One of the great outcomes of sharing is the opportunity to have a positive impact on someone else’s life. Your annual theme may just be the encouragement needed to inspire someone else to action.

X Shea

Previous conversations

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Last week…How To Make Your Own Succulent Terrarium In 5 Easy Steps

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Lunchbox Essentials to Simplify Your Life, Save You Money, and Change The World

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My Madinat Jumeirah: An Eco Experience in Downtown Dubai

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GoGet Car Share – Convenience without the Commitment

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Next week…How To Enjoy The Magic Of Meribel – Chalet Holidays In The Snow

18 Responses to One Theme, One Year; How to Rise to the Commitment

  1. abbey linfoot

    What a lovely way to approach life! x

  2. noor


  3. Haneen

    Loved the idea Shea! it’s really a great way to achieve goals!

    • Shea

      We really have enjoyed huge success from committing to this annual tradition Haneen. Please keep me posted if you decide to give it a try…

  4. Mel

    Wow Shea I thought you were yrs younger than me!! This yr we both celebrate our 40 th and just like you I am going to celebrate and embrace what I have achieved and spend the yr enjoying where we are at! We have a big trip to the U.K. Booked so that exciting! Will be chaotic but fab! Take care lovely lady! Xx

    • Shea

      Looks like all the cool people are 40 this year Mel!!!!I am soooooooo excited for you – stop over in Abu Dhabi on the way through…?

  5. Bilna Sandeep

    Girl you look stunning in that red dress!!!

    • Shea

      HAHAHAHAHA thanks Bilna, LOVE wearing that red dress!!! So pleased everyone likes it as it will be all I’ll be seen, in for every occasion, from now on #30wears 😂

  6. Tarana

    I really like this concept, and it especially helped to read your review of 2016. I would like to reflect on what I can make of this year – thank you for sharing this!

    • Shea

      That is so encouraging to hear Tarana, considered leaving my review part out as the word count on my posts tend to get out of control!!! 😜 Would love to know if you decide to name your year… X

  7. Abigail

    You look stunning on red!

    I absolutely love this idea sonce I really struggle with multiple resolutions (stresses me out). I also think this is a great family tradition.

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Shea

      Thank you so much for such positive feedback Abigail (and the compliment on my red dress 😘). Yes it has evolved into a ‘Family thing’ in our household. Maybe when the children get a bit older they will branch out and commit to their own, but at the moment we all benefit from the one theme. X

  8. Zeyna S. Mummy On My Mind

    I absolutely love this idea! I am definitely going to have a good long think about what I want out of this year, and what I will name it. Thanks for inspiring me.

    • Shea

      HOORAY! It has absolutely made my day to see how well this idea has been received this year. Please please keep me posted when you have made a decision Zeyna (even with a private message). Love to hear what everyones intentions are for the year!! X

  9. Tani

    This is such a beautiful idea, Shea! Love it. Guess our 2017 could be a named “growing together”. We learn how to live as a family of four. And we, as parents, learn how to grow as parents but also as persons. Thank you for sharing this xxx

    • Shea

      Tania that sounds absolutely perfect, thank YOU so much for sharing. What a fun year you all have ahead of you…X

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