What’s Your Tagline? Some Thoughts on the New Year

First Things First: Your A(a)chievements in 2017

Whether Big Deal Accomplishments or quieter triumphs (which, honestly, ARE Big Deal Accomplishments), we have probably all attained some successes this past year. We may not have explicitly written them down as goals to work toward or we may have put them on a New Year’s resolutions list. Regardless, in some ways we have moved forward.

Examples from my own 2017: I set a cycling goal of completing a half-century (50-mile) bike ride by 8/31/17. I actually completed it on that very day and two weeks later, I did my second half-century. The deadline was helpful, but as I’d also injured my foot earlier in the summer, I was perfectly fine with changing the deadline (frankly, any deadlines you set should have some flexibility built in). To me, that 50-mile ride was a Big Deal Accomplishment. I also set a goal of making my own marshmallows, which I completed back in March. Probably less of a Big Deal Accomplishment. Or maybe not.

A less showy accomplishment is the friendships I developed and deepened. Harder to quantify and more difficult to measure in an objective fashion, the growth in these relationships is probably my most important success of 2017. Achievements needn’t end with certificates or shiny medals. Your own internal honesty will you know if something is an achievement.

The Tagline

Okay, now on topic. A tagline is a simple, easy-to-remember catchphrase. Think of Nike’s “Just Do It” or McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It”. Although in advertising, these slogans serve to encapsulate whatever feeling the marketing departments want would-be customers to experience, this same concept could be repurposed in lieu of (or in addition to) New Year’s Resolutions. Think of the simplicity of a simple slogan (e.g. “Be Bold, Speak Up”, or “Running toward Victory” or “Trust and Surrender”1)—no need for bulleted “I will lose weight, declutter, eat healthy, go to the gym thrice weekly” lines. Or, for those whom solid and explicit goals work well, the tagline can serve as a way to bring an order to disparate objectives, a way to tie everything together. It might be easier to remember a tagline than a list of resolutions. Plus a tagline can be called upon to deliver a short burst of motivation and focus, easily uttered in the car on the way to work.

Picking your Tagline

It’s January 1st, the beginning of the month of changes, transformations, reinventions, even. What phrases resonate with you? Which simple sentences synopsize your goals and visions for the year? Pick one, pick several! If you have more than one, why not try each out for a week to find the one that sings to you the most? Use it and then, come December 31, review your year in the context of your tagline. Look at your accomplishments and achievements and spring forward with a new tagline for 2019!

And Happy New Year to all!

1That one is courtesy of Anne Lamott.