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KerryOn: Theme of the Year

My brain processes information and situations by creating themes. For example, when my husband and I were designing and building our house, we identified a theme to embody the space: Simple Elegance. This theme kept us on the same page - especially with the complexities of moving to a new area, starting jobs, and navigating a family of three children under the age of three. Sticking with our theme repeatedly served as a decision-making tool. Whatever the problem or choice we had to make, we relied on the theme to help us stay on course. Over and over, as we met with our architect, walked through building supply stores, picked out furniture, or selected colors and patterns, we repeated our theme. It was Simple Elegance that helped us keep everything in our house clean, crisp and cost-friendly. And today, decades later, it’s still the first two words we say before we make any purchase or major changes in our home.

I share this story as an example of how creating a theme can do wonders to help focus energy. Webster’s dictionary describes theme as “a specific and distinctive quality, characteristic, or concern”. A theme can describe a unique perspective or way of thinking about the world around us, and I believe each of us carries a unique theme just waiting to emerge.

The point of a theme is to keep us grounded, and stay on track. It can help us stay focused on what we identify as important. Themes can help us to make sense of the variety of options available to us and synthesize them into a clear way of identifying what we truly want to create. Sometimes just knowing what we are looking for, helps it to appear. Perhaps as we embark on this new year, or anytime really, we can use this information to help identify a Theme of the Year.

For the past several years, my family has sat down early in the new year and identified a Theme of the Year. The theme represents the way each one of us wants to shape our year with ideas, influence, and actions. It is what we truly want to manifest in the world. We even make bracelets with the theme to wear. I’m always in awe when we share our Theme of the Year with each other, because each one is uniquely different and brilliantly specific to the person creating it.

Last year, my Theme of the Year was Shine Bright. It was meant to remind me to focus on positivity and cheerfulness. This year it’s Shine Bright Shine Through moving further into action by sharing this with others. Identifying this theme has been beneficial to me as I embark on challenging and uncomfortable endeavors (e.g. this blog). The beauty is, as I continue to evolve and change, it’s most likely so will my theme.

So here comes the fun part; identify your distinct qualities and start creating your Theme of the Year. The year is going to go by anyway, you may as well make it uniquely worthwhile to you!

KerryOn Questions

- What are the qualities that you bring to the world?

- What do you want to focus on manifesting in your life?

- In what ways can you reach your goals/purpose by connecting to your theme?

The Kerry behind KerryOn

My name is Kerry K. Fierke, Ed.D. (pron. Fear-Key) I have a unique combination of skills and experience – decades of fast-paced corporate experience in Fortune 100 companies and large health care organizations, combined with the academic rigor of a highly ranked research university. My focus is supporting others to create their own path to leadership development, lifelong learning, and a unique leadership legacy. Take a moment to focus on leadership, then KerryOn!

To see all KerryOn's and other leadership stuff, visit

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