My Theme For 2017
I know I say a version of the following statement every Jan 1st, but…….
……………….can you believe it’s 2017 already??!!
Every year I select a word or a theme for the year that guides and encourages me daily. The theme is a way for me to focus on what’s important and expect the most of my life! I write my dreams down because I believe that when you “write the vision and make it plain” as it says in The Bible, wonderful things happen to our dreams and desires! When we write them down, our visions begin to take shape and become our reality.
My Theme/Word for 2016 was GRATITUDE. I wrote several blog posts about GRATITUDE in 2016. If you want to check them out, here are a couple:
Obviously, these blogs posts only scratch the surface of the millions of things that I’m grateful for. I thank God every single day for my many blessings – everything from waking up in the morning with breath in my body, the ability to speak, see, smell, hear, operate with clear thinking, to being thankful for my family, friends, patients in my medical practice, my sorority sisters, to the random people I meet in the grocery store who show respect and kindness, etc. If you really just take the time to sit down and be grateful for the things that you have, you will realize how astonishing and humbling life is.
Being GREAT begins with being GRATEFUL!
So, now we are in 2017. Thank God for the blessing of entering into another year on this earth. The very fact that I am here means that God has work for me to do and it’s my duty to do that to the best of my ability every single day!
As I do every year, I will reveal what my Theme for the year is, then encourage you to develop one for yourself. I even have a graphic that you can print off, fill out and post in your home and at work, just like I do 🙂
My Theme for 2017 is a funny-sounding phrase, but one that holds a lot of meaning. Here it is:
I had never heard this phrase until I met my husband lol. It’s an old “southern”/ “country” phrase that he probably picked up from one of his grandmother’s or someone at least a generation older than him lol! When I call or text him toward the end of a long work day just to say hi and ask him how his day is going, he’ll sometimes say “Hey babe, I’m just trying to hold it in the road!”, translated —–> “It’s been a long day, but I’m still working hard to get the work done”. I laughed hysterically the first couple of times I heard him say it because it sounds so “old-fashion” and truly “southern”. However, because I am a southern girl at heart, the phrase started to grow on me.
Admit it, even when you are doing your life’s work, working in a job and/or career that you love, enjoying the relationships in your life, and life is good, it can also be met with difficulties, bumps in the road and can flat-out be exhausting sometimes. We all get tired every now and then. Even a car needs a tune up from time to time! When a car needs a little work, you get a tune-up, get it back into optimal working condition and continue driving it. You don’t send the car to the junk yard just because it needs a little work. Likewise, when things get a little tough or you get a bit tired, that’s not the time you should give up. It just might be a trick of the enemy to wear you out so that you give up before you reach your destiny and the wonderful experiences waiting for you along that journey!
When I was in residency, there were days when I was on call that I literally felt like a walking zombie walking the halls of the hospital. I would be so flat-out exhausted some days that I would literally want to just throw the on-call pager in the toilet, OR out of a window, OR bury it in the foot-high snow there in Detroit, MI LOL! There was even a time during my first year of Residency that I questioned if this was really the career I wanted for my life. It seemed all so overwhelming. I took comfort in speaking with our residency coordinator who told me that she’d been working with medical residents for many, many years and that every single one of them, at some point during residency, most often during the first year, expressed similar emotions of feeling overwhelmed, second-guessing being a physician as the right choice and even wanting to quit. When I started talking to other residents I found out that she was right! Knowing that so many other residents had very similar experiences to mine helped me and all of a sudden I didn’t feel so alone.
I had to remember everything my parents ever taught me growing up about never giving up! I drew upon everything my faith teaches me about “reaping if I faint not”, about “counting it all joy”, and that in all things with pray AND Thanksgiving, I must make my requests known to God Had I given up at that point I would not be the doctor and entrepreneur I am today. I learned to “hold it in the road”, even in those times when I wanted to call it quits!
There are promises that I am waiting on God to manifest for me and during that process of anticipatory waiting, I will continue to “Hold it in the Road”! I will continue to pray AND meditate AND envision AND day-dream those promises into existence! When I “hold my car in the road”, the wheels say firmly on the ground, the car doesn’t veer off course and there is no slipping and sliding involved. I remain focused on getting to my destination successfully. The same is true for my life and staying focused on the desires of my heart. One of my most favorite scriptures is Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” and I know this to be true because it manifests in my life over and over again 🙂
This practice has transformed my life! What I know for sure is that the things we think about, we bring about! The themes that we focus on in our lives the most are the things and experiences that become our reality!
So pictured below is a graphic for you to print out, fill out and post up in your home and at your office. I hope you choose a theme for yourself this year that will encourage you and inspire you to be your best self. Sit in silent meditation for a while and listen to the theme/word that consistently pops into your mind. I usually start meditating on my word in Oct, Nov and Dec prior to the start of the new year and follow through with the word that most consistently comes to me and feels “right” during the meditations. I encourage you to do the same!
Happy New Year!!
Dr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2014 Nashville Emerging Leader (NELA) Award Winner, a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. She is a Law of Attraction Practitioner and an advocate for the power of positive thinking! Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership and Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.