I'm the world's worst at New Year's resolutions. My effort at making resolutions is best summed up by Mark Twain, "New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual." As a business owner, however, I see the new year as ripe with opportunities, and it feels like a great time to begin anew. Consequently, I feel the ever-present tug to set resolutions for my business, at least.

Rather than set resolutions, which I know are doomed to fail whether they are for my life or for my business, I have vowed for the past few years that my best New Year's resolution is to refuse to make resolutions. Yep, that's right. Nada. Zip. None. What's the best thing that comes from this anti-resolution resolution? No guilt come the end of January when all of my resolutions have fallen by the wayside.

Instead, I follow the wisdom of my former life and business coach, Edie Pereira Hulbert, who encouraged me to set a theme for the year. When I do this, the goals I set for my business seem so much more easily obtainable, as they feel real, authentic, and not contrived at all.

My 2011 theme is "Transformational Opportunities." I feel as though I'm on the cusp of something big this year, and I think it's going to transform my business and my life in ways I never expected.

How do you go about setting your theme? Here are 4 quick keys to make yearly theme-setting work for you:

1. Relax your way into it. Sit back and get comfortable, and do away with all distractions. Think about the year ahead. both personally and professionally, and pay attention to your thoughts. What feelings or visions are you left with? Write those down.

2. Make it short and punchy. Don't let yourself get complicated and wordy in setting your theme. Make it short, sweet, and to the point. Most importantly, it needs to resonate with YOU. There are no wrong answers here.

3. Touches your business/career and your life. Your theme should encapsulate both aspects of your life. As a business owner, your life and business often intersect, so your theme shouldn't leave out any aspect of either your business or your life.

4. Rings true for you. Most importantly, your theme needs to feel authentic and real to you; if it's contrived, it'll never work. I get so excited about my theme that I make a sign and hang it on my wall with the words of my theme. You could even take one additional step and create a vision board with your theme and cut out magazine pictures that help you illustrate your theme.

Join me in making an annual anti-resolution resolution and set a theme for yourself instead. What's your theme this year?

Author's Bio: 

Internet Marketing Automation Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals create prosperous online businesses that make more profit in less time by teaching them how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise, and get found online. Would you like to learn the specific Internet marketing strategies that get results? Discover how to increase your visibility and get found online by claiming your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, at ==> http://www.TurbochargeYourOnlineMarketing.com.