New Year’s Overwhelm

A few years back, I started selecting a theme for the new year. For instance, when I’d experienced a lot of turmoil the prior year, I chose simply “stability”. The following year, I chose “strength”. I kept the theme in front of me over the course of the year, and always ended up truly embodying the theme I chose. It’s turned into a wonderful tool.

But this year, I have to admit that I’m stumped. There are so many things I want to embody this year. Health, balance, profitability, focus, generosity, support, joy, growth – all great themes, but for some reason I can’t choose.

Remarkably, instead of stewing about this, I recalled two simple lessons that always help relieve the pressure of feeling pulled in too many directions at once. In case you’ve got a case of “New Year’s Overwhelm,” I’ll share them with you.

  1. Instead of forcing the issue – pause.
  2. Ask others for help.

If you’re willing, please post your theme for the year. I always value your insightful comments, and expect that you’ll provide some of the clarity I’m looking for.

Happy New Year!

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Mary Cravets

Founder Mary Cravets started Simply Get Clients because she saw small business owners complicating growing their businesses. Or falling victim to the "build it and they will come" myth. So she developed the simple structure to cut through all the noise of social media, "experts", online funnels, advertising and more to focus on the central problem of business owners: getting more clients. And you know what? There is NOT a one-size-fits-all solution.

Reader Interactions


  1. tekamba says

    I think you may have answered your own question (at least in my mind it seems like the logical answer). This years theme should be PAUSE. Remember that things will start to go fast and frantic rather quickly. Take a moment, pause, reflect, reexamine, and then hit play again with a renewed energy.
    Seems simple enough to me! (-:
    P.S. Whether you choose that or not, I think I am going to start this as my own tradition. With my first year being PAUSE.

    • Mary Cravets says

      I love it! I realize that mine is going to be “Clarity”. Adam and I were listening to The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale, and I heard one line that really struck me – “To act promptly and decisively when the course is clear.” I have no problem working hard, and working all the time, but I need to clarify that the course is clear rather than just working to justify being busy all the time. And when I’m not clear – pause!

  2. lkbishop says

    I love the Theme of the year – I do this too!
    My theme this year is Courage.
    Courage to stand in in the presence of fear and doubt and still keep love as my compass and my own hands on the wheel.

  3. Olin Robie says

    My theme for this year is “Outreach”.
    It is inspired by two things – first my daughter’s work with an absolutely amazing organization called Invisible Children in San Diego ( and the changes they are making in the world through their outreach programs, and second by the realization that I am too comfortable sitting in my office at my computer and communicating by email. I need to pick up the phone more and get out of the office and meet clients and business people in person, like at networking events but also beyond that where the personal contact has more depth and meaning. So, I’ll see you around out there somewhere…

  4. Michia Casebier says

    Thanks again, Mary, for your exquisite ability to share exactly what I need to hear! A theme for the year is an awesome idea, and something I need to share with my step-son.

    I know this works, because on New Year’s Day 2010, I attended a party at Lori Rubenstein’s home during which we did a visioning exercise that has had profoundly positive repercussions for me. I’m sure you’ve heard of this/done this exercise or something similar before: cutting pictures from magazines that represent hopes, wishes and dreams for yourself in the coming year and pasting them on – in this case – brightly-colored cardstock.

    I hung mine where I would see it almost every day on the brightest, sunniest section of wall in my exercise room, a.k.a., the guest bedroom. Interestingly, without knowing it, the four cardstock colors I’d chosen to paste my pictures upon closely match the warm colors of the room (including some artwork I’ve had since childhood).

    The most special and important thing, however, is how that collage of photos, words, quotes, and energizing color has inspired me since January two years ago. I didn’t see it every day. I don’t often truly read or study it even when gazing at it, but it has changed/improved my life anyway.

    There are many things on the collage I have yet to achieve; e.g., “house”; “storyteller”; “No work. All play”; “CLUTTER FREE”; “Stopping the back talk” (my own); “Help us save 1 million trees” (that’s taking a little time) and “budget” just to name a few. But the things that I have achieved are making possible those I’m still working on: “Oh, yes I can!”; “small steps”; “Create the ideal”; “Debts to be paid” (other than the IRS, I have none); “Doing business with Uncle Sam”; “family”; “cash”; “get your happy”; “read”; “giggle” (one of my favorites); “strength”, etc., etc.

    The power of suggestion is inestimable, so I think my 2012 theme requires the delicate juxtaposition of the first two words on your list: “health” and “balance”.

    I wish you all the best this year, dearest Speed Networking Maven! Your gifts to us through this blog keep on giving!

    • Mary Cravets says

      Michia, I must have just missed you at Lori’s! Thanks so much for this comment. I was just wondering if I should have more business topics on my blog, so it’s nice to know that my stream-of-consciousness style still hits home.

      2012 better watch out, because it sounds like my friends are getting prepared to take it by storm!

  5. Jan Baudat says

    Pursuit! Instead of focusing on survival, I intend to pursue! Pursuing my dreams, the end result that I really want when all is said and done. If something does not get me closer to that end result, then I will not focus on it but “handle it” and “MOVE!” I know this sounds quite general but then the pursuit will look different to each person. So step one is “define your dream”. Then PURSUE it!