Organizing Theory & Artistry

Marcia Francois’ Goaling Tips: Choose a Theme Word and Frame Your Goals

My 2012 theme word.

If you have been reading all of this month’s Ruly posts, by now you should have some good ideas about your goals for the year as well as an appreciation of the challenges you are likely to face attempting those goals.

Today, I wanted to share two ideas for organizing those goals. These tips were inspired by reading the blog of Marcia Francois, “The Organising Queen.”

So, say you have a bunch of goals for the year either in your head or written down. That’s a lot of words. Could you streamline it all down into just one word?

One word?

Yes! Marcia advises that you select a theme word for your year. You can read her compelling reasoning here and here.

Applying this to myself, my theme word for 2012 is:


As busy as I am and as many commitments as I have taken on, there are still more things I want to accomplish in any given year or improve how I am doing things currently. I fully realize that I can’t do everything but I feel that too often I give up on the attempt too easily because I tell myself something will take “too much energy” and I also know that I waste a lot of time too. Are there ways that I could get more energy in my life? Is it also possible that in order to get more energy, you have to expend more energy (eating well, exercising, implementing new organizing routines, etc.)? So, within that theme, I think of my goals/resolutions falling into the following subcategories:

1. Expend energy to get energy
2. Energize other people
3. Avoid energy drains
4. Recharge

The other very clever tip Marcia Francois shared last September on her blog was to frame your goals and put them on your desk/fridge, etc. where you have a beautiful, formal reminder of what you are trying to get done.

You could use this tip to frame up any of your other insights too. For example:

  • If you have a list of common excuses, you may want to frame those along with what you say to yourself to overcome those excuses.

I found this great, but inexpensive 3-opening frame. I am going to put my theme word, my core motivations and my excuses in each of the openings and hang it by my desk.

When I went to frame my words, I was pleasantly shocked to see this note on the stock paper in the frame:

Almost every picture frame is made in China these days so the fact that this frame (or at least the plastic front part) was Made in the USA, plus made from recycled materials plus sold at WalMart for an inexpensive price was astounding!  Such a high achieving frame is a great backdrop for my own goals!

If you are doing this project for a professional office, you might want to be careful with how much you share publicly in your frame but you could always write your theme word in a hard-to-read artistic font, in a foreign language or in code so only you know what it means.

Aren’t these great tips? I am excited to know that Marcia Francois plans to publish a book this year and can’t wait to hear what the subject will be.

Do you have a theme word for the year? Do you frame or otherwise formalize a display for your goals? Please share in the comments.

P.S. I have no affiliation with Marcia Francois other than thinking she is incredibly clever and reading her blog.