Have you come up with your theme word for 2020 yet?

In our final coaching call for 2019 in the Photography Business Accelerator, I took my PBA students through a powerful 2019 Closing Ceremony process to celebrate the end of the year and the decade.

Then, we went through a goal planning process to get clear on our intentions for 2020 and finished by finding one “Theme” for the year.

Why would you even want to choose a theme, perform an End of Year Closing Ceremony or set goals in your photography business and life?

Well, as one of my students Kristen said:

All the things I accomplished in 2019 are because I wrote down everything I wanted to achieve — just like this!!”

I remember when I did a vision board back in 2014 — I printed it 20x40inch and had it framed — and when I looked at it in 2016, I realised I had achieved probably 70% of everything on that vision board.

And — I realised when I thought about it more honestly and in retrospect, that 10-20% of the goals I didn’t achieve, I actually didn’t REALLY want to do, be or have… they were more egotistical goals that were based on comparing myself to other people.

So — if you are feeling like you are too busy or can’t be bothered to take the time to do this exercise…. I just want to ask you one question:

How different would your life be in 1-2 years, if you achieved 70% of the goals you plan for today in your photography business and life?

The ladies in the PBA absolutely LOVED the End of Year Closing Ceremony, so I thought I would share the process with you as well.

It doesn’t matter if you do this before the end of the year or at the end of January;

It doesn’t matter if this takes 10 minutes or 10 hours;

It’s the energy of acknowledging the past, and then being intentional about what you seek to be, do, have and experience in the future.


How to Perform a Simple End of Year Closing Ceremony, Create Goals You’ll Actually Achieve and Come Up With Your 2020 Theme Word

I have taken inspiration for this very simple process from books I’ve read, mentors I’ve worked with and work I have done myself.

In particular, I’ve found the following people to have resonated and helped me the most when it comes to setting goals and intentions and understanding what drives and motivates me:

  • Denise Duffield Thomas:  my Money Mindset Coach (do yourself a favour and subscribe to her weekly blog)
  • Kylie Ryan: my NLP Coach (the work I did and continue to do with Kylie is life-changing)
  • Paula Bailey: my Performance + Productivity Coach (join her free group, The Sassy CEO Society here)
  • Danielle La Porte: The Desire Map Experience (get this on Audible, her voice is amazing)
  • Lana Schlafer: Manifesting Miracles (Lana does lots of free challenges that I always find are fantastic to reset or push my beliefs)

Step 1: Acknowledge Your Wins

As humans, we tend to minimise our wins, or move the goalposts on ourselves – or sometimes not even acknowledge what we have achieved at all!

The first step to attracting what you want is to acknowledge what you already have done, been, experienced, achieved…

Often we look at our bank account or the income we made and then feel disappointed if we fell short.


By acknowledging our wins or growth or lessons, this raises our vibration to get us in the right headspace for growth and planning.

Come up with between 30-100 things you are proud of, that you feel was a “win”, that you learned something from.

In the Photography Business Accelerator, I ask the students to tell me at least 3 wins per week – so that when it comes to the end of the year, it is much easier to come up with a list of 100 wins and achievements.

Sometimes thinking chronologically helps (ie remembering what happened in January, February, March etc) — or sometimes I find thinking about my year in categories (ie finances, health, family, etc) helps me to remember.

Here are some ideas for you to get your positive mindset juices flowing:

When you feel like you simply can’t come up with any more wins, ask yourself “what else?”. I always find looking up or closing my eyes helps to find just one more win.


Step 2: How did your wins make you FEEL?

If you haven’t done any work on your values or core desired feelings, you may not realise this:

The reason we create goals;

The reason we want to buy a house;

or lose 10kg;

or have a baby;

or run a marathon

— all come down to how doing, being or having those things, will make us FEEL.

Look at your list of 30-100 things you are proud of, and write at least ONE emotion or feeling next to that win or achievement.

I suggest reading the win out loud, closing your eyes and stepping back into the memory as if you are reliving it right now.

What can you see, hear, smell, touch? How did this experience make you FEEL?


Step 3: Create Your Goals for 2020

I personally find using categories for my goal setting works best for me. This is a personal preference and totally up to you how you categorise your life 🙂

You could do it in broad categories such as

  • Wealth & Lifestyle
  • Relationships
  • Health & Well Being
  • Society

Or you could get super specific with your categories like:

  • Romance
  • Friendships
  • Family
  • Work
  • Money
  • Possessions
  • Home
  • Fashion
  • Travel
  • Wellness
  • Fitness
  • Food
  • Mental Health
  • Relaxation
  • Interests
  • Hobbies
  • Self-development
  • Self-expression
  • Community
  • Causes
  • Inner Self
  • Spirituality

Create a table with three columns – your categories, how you want to feel and finally your goals for 2020.

Fill in the first column with your categories – whatever works best for you is fine, there is no right or wrong.

Then, look at each category and ask yourself, “How do I want to feel about _______ this year?” [eg my business].

Write down all the feeling words in the second column next to the category.

Then once you have your feeling words for that category, ask yourself “What do I need to BE, DO, HAVE or EXPERIENCE in  _________  this year to enable me to feel this way?” [eg my business].

Do this for each category, until you have filled in the whole table.

Then narrow it down to maybe 1-2 goals per category for the year, so you don’t overload yourself.


Step 4: Decide on Your Theme for 2020

I love to come up with one word or phrase at the beginning of the year to help guide my decisions and be very intentional about the year that I want to have. In past years, I have done this really well and stuck to my theme, and other years I have completely forgotten what I even decided my word was by February.

The easiest way to narrow down your word for the year is to look at all the feeling words you wrote down in your goal setting in Step 3.

What words really resonate with you?

What words give a tingle up your spine when you read them?

What FEELS right in your gut?

Choose a word or a phrase that sits really well with where you are at, how you want to feel and where you want to be by this time next year.

I’m still playing around with mine, but something along the lines of “Luminous Alignment” is feeling about right for me.


Here’s a list of 261 words that might help you come up with yours.


Or, if you are short on time and love fun games as I do, perhaps this “2020 Theme Word” game below might be something fun for you to try as well!

Press play, screenshot and share your results with us!


Or feel free to share this Facebook post with the 2020 Theme Word game with your friends!)


[Tweet “What’s your Theme Word for 2020? Click here to play Clare’s #2020ThemeWord #Game for #Photographers!”]

Optional Step 5: Create anchors and reminders of your goals

An optional (but I think important) final step to achieving your goals is to actually REMEMBER them.

I know if I don’t have reminders and anchors around me, I often will forget what my goals even were.

Depending on what works for you, here are some ways I anchor in my goals:

  • Create a Pinterest Vision board
  • Create a physical vision board
  • Print out my Theme Word, my Core Desired Feelings and my Goals and put them somewhere I can see them daily
  • Change my passwords on my phone, computer, logins to my goals
  • Add my goals and visions into my Think Up app as affirmations (if you haven’t read this post, you totally should)
  • Add my goals to my project management software (I use Teamwork)


I hope this helps to get clear, get focused and start your 2020 with intention and purpose.

If you take anything out of this post today, I hope that it is this:

Our intention creates our reality

If you have enjoyed this and want to go deeper, I’m running a free Photography Business Reinvention Project Challenge in January for photographers – who want to get super clear on their photography business goals and map out how to get more clients, more consistency, more cash and more ease in 2020. Join us here.

And of course, please do share this with anyone who might find this helpful!

I would love for you to share your ahas after going through this process as well 🙂

What has come up for you?

Much love,

Clare xx



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