Now that the chaos of the holidays is over and the kids are back in school, it’s the perfect time of year to reflect on the year that’s passed and the one ahead of us.
For me, reflecting on the past year means sitting down and writing. I’ve developed a system that helps me be really conscious and awake to what’s been happening in my life and what I want to happen in the future.
One note about this process: I don’t recommend doing all this all at once. Take your time and write. Then come back and revise, rewrite, and edit. Let the answers to come to you, rather than forcing them onto the page.
The first step is to write everything down. Write down all the major events that happened in your life, good and bad, over the course of the year. Then categorize everything in 2 columns: what went well, and what didn’t go well.
The second step is to think about what you learned from these experiences, both good and bad. This is helpful on so many levels, but primarily because it allows you to reflect on what lessons you’re taking with you into 2018…and what you want to leave behind in 2017, never to be seen again.
The next step is to think about what you want to create in 2018. Plan your goals in every category of life, from business to parenting to health to personal life. Once you’ve written down a few goals in each area, add details on how you want to feel. It’s important to note that what we’re really after is the feeling derived from the goal (eg feeling healthy and strong and fit)…not just the goal itself (eg losing 10 pounds). So the desired feelings are really the most important part of this exercise.
Next, list a few actions you’ll take in order to achieve each of your desired goals/feelings. Otherwise, you’ll just have desires with no plan. For example, say your goal is to lose 10 lbs and feel healthy, strong, and fit. The actions you’ll take are: to only eat when you’re hungry, to write down everything you eat, and to exercise 4-5 times per week. That turns your desire into a real, tangible, achievable plan.
The final step is to come up with your word for the year. Pick one word that will guide your decisions and actions throughout the year. For example, if your goal is to take better care of yourself and live a healthier lifestyle, your word could be “self-care.”
Once you’ve completed all these steps, you’ll have a handy reference guide on how you want to live your life in your journal, that you’ll refer to again and again throughout the year. It will guide your decision-making process and your mindset.
How do you prepare for the new year? Let me know in the comments!