I hope you enjoyed a sweet holiday season, whatever form of celebration or mellowness it involved.
And here we are, embarking on the fresh start of another new year — definitely a great moment to reflect on the past year and collect our vision together to “point our arrow” of intention where we’d like it to head for the upcoming year.
I’ve spent a good amount of time here at the end of December reflecting on, stirring up inspiration around, and writing about what I want to welcome and create – and how I want to be – in 2018.
But despite knowing from experience how powerful doing a year-end ritual is, I’d been dragging my feet on intention-setting this year.
My mind was telling me I needed to plot a day in some great spot “away” somewhere to really sink into my vision for the new year.
But that’s just not true.
We don’t need to be in some “perfect” space to reflect on what we want to create.
Sometimes, you’ve gotta just START, and let the flow pick up momentum as you go.
That’s what happened to me; once I got going, page after page of clarity around what I want to focus on for 2018 started crystallizing.
And clarifying your intentions for the new year really is such a powerful process. Investing some time on the front end of the year will help guide your entire year in the direction you’d like it to head.
So I thought I’d share my end of year process for you to cherrypick anything that feels juicy in kicking off your new year with the tone you’d like to set for it.
1. What are you proud of yourself for from 2017?
* What intentions did you fulfill or goals did you hit?
* What growth or uncertainty did you ride with grace despite how challenging it was?
* What accomplishments or achievements (no matter how dismissibly small the ego might try to tell you they were) felt good to you?
* Where did you show up with bravery or courage?
* How did you let your authentic self shine in some new, and maybe scary, way?
* How did you nudge out the edges of your comfort zone toward some larger purpose?
* Where did you operate from some new empowering beliefs?
* What lessons are you walking away with in the form of greater wisdom or compassion?
I know it can be tempting to the perfectionist in us to skip this step, but please give yourself the gift of pausing to reflect on the things you felt good about your growth or achievement around from last year. Give yourself a chance to start this new year with your Inner Critic in the backseat rather than the driver’s seat.
2. What are you grateful to 2017 for?
Before setting a vision for the new year in motion, lather yourself up in gratitude for these past 12 months — no matter how challenging they may have been. This will get you in a great head- and heart-space for moving forward with positive energy.
My favorite way to do this is as a “Highlight Reel.”
Make a nice long list of any and all the moments and events – big and small – that bring a smile to your face or sense of calm or positive energy to your body as you reflect on them from 2017.
It’s amazing how easily the mind will forget about all of our growth and accomplishments in favor of leaning toward the upcoming year or regretting things that didn’t feel like enough from the past year.
So, again, I really encourage you to linger with these first two steps before diving into the next pieces.
3. Clarify your vision for the coming year. (In with the new)
Armed with your new wisdom from this last year, what are you ready to create, welcome, manifest, contribute, experience, and receive in this new year?
* If fear (often disguised as self-doubt) weren’t telling you it’s not possible, what would you declare out loud that you’re ready to create, ask for, or welcome in this new year?
4. Clear the channels. (Out with the old)
In order to create space to welcome that next-level vision for the new year, what needs to be let go of?
What’s it time to step up and be willing to say goodbye to (literally or energetically) in the name of freeing up energy to put toward what you really want to create or receive now?
* What beliefs have been limiting your greatest good or highest Self that you’re ready to ditch and upgrade in this new year?
5. Capture your intention for the year in a theme word or phrase.
Once you land on a word or phrase that just feels right, let it become your anchor and North Star for the coming year.
Any time you find your focus or motivation wandering from your conscious intention this year, look at your Post-Its or calendar reminders or signs you’ve painted with this theme word popping up to bring you back.
(My 2017 was a year of a lot of seed-planting, so my word for 2018 is BLOOM.)
6. How do you want to feel this year? (Inner goals)
What adjectives capture the essence of how you want to feel regularly in this coming year?
Grounded? Joyful? Open? Loving? Spacious? Expansive? Connected? Present? Successful? Inspired? Fulfilled? Energized? Kind? Accomplished? At ease? Confident? Trusting? Accepting? Strong? Abundant?
Write these core desired feelings down. Getting your desires and commitments on paper already starts to bring them to life.
7. What regular actions can you take / habits can you consciously create to help nurture those feelings? (Outer goals)
This is another step we often want to try to skim over, but it’s vital to the conscious creation process.
This is the start of your action blueprint for the year.
Brainstorm onto paper all the possible ideas you can imagine for how you could feel more the way you want to feel and bring to life the ideas and contributions you want to bring to life this year.
Some ideas to get the ball rolling:
* Change all your passwords to intention-aligned mantras.
* Plan ways to start surrounding yourself with supportive, positive, inspiring people: A new book club? A mastermind group? A new dance or cooking class to try?
* Buy an annual pass to the yoga studio or gym you’ve been saying you “should” get to.
* Write out a list of all the things that bring you joy or energize you and commit to picking one thing a day off this list to practice this year.
* Start a meditation practice to jumpstart greater focus, deeper connection to intuition, clearer intention, more energy and ease, and more heart-connected presence. (Of course this is on every one of my recommendation lists :))
* Write out your first three steps to “getting out there” with your new coaching practice or creative project.
* Write out what exactly you plan to say when you ask for the raise or promotion you’re due or tell your clients you’re raising your rates.
* Ask a supportive, like-minded partner to be your accountability buddy for the year.
* Write down the first step you would need to take to bring your top intention for 2018 to life — then do it right now.
But remember, there’s no need to get too fussy about this whole process. No “perfect” required (or possible) here.
Take whatever chunk of relatively uninterrupted time you can find that’s realistic for your life right now — you’d be surprised what you can clarify for yourself in just 20 minutes in early January, if that’s all you can reasonably snag with a new baby, a new job, or whatever other fullness is going on in your life right now — and just do a little reflecting and capturing it on paper.
You’ll experience whatever you regularly focus on this year (as always).
So bring some kind but consistent attention to what you want to experience this year, starting right now…
Starting by pausing to write what you most want to create or experience down. Translating the intentions in your head onto paper is like sending a flare into the universe that says, “Bring it on, I’m ready for real!”
I’m raising a glass to a 2018 filled with all kinds of ways you’d like to feel and things you’d like to create and experience.
Lots of Love,
PS – If you’re feeling a little sluggish out of the gate with this new year, this post might be a nice support.
PPS – There are a few last spaces left on our March Costa Rica Retreat, but they’re likely to get snapped up quickly here in the new year. Find all the details here or reply to this email for more information if this self-loving adventure is calling to be a part of your 2018 vision.