Here we are at the end of another calendar year. Whether 2017 has been a year you'd love to remember or can't wait to forget, it's always good to take some time to reflect on what was.
The following is a process that I like to use. It takes a few things from other approaches (Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map, Leonie Dawson's workbooks) and mixed in with my own processes. Take from it what you will, and add in what works for you.
If you're in Melbourne, come along to my Laneway Learning New Year Goal Setting class on Tuesday 16 January, where we will be going through the process in a more guided and in-depth way.
1. Begin by reflecting on the year that was. Write out all the positive things—the wins in your personal and professional life, the growth you went through, the lessons you learnt. When you have finished, give yourself a high five, and thank yourself for the year that was.
2. With all the great things come the not-so-great things. The next step is to let go of what you no longer want to take with you into the next year. You can do this in a few different ways: write it out and burn it; go for a swim (ocean is best) and before getting in the water set the intention of what you want to let go of; lie in a bath and say out loud or to yourself all you want to release, then as you let out the water imagine it all flowing down the drain. Choose what works for you.
3. I like to choose a theme for the year. You might instinctively know this theme, or you may like to do some journalling around it first and see what comes up. Try to choose one or two words. My theme for 2018 is Strong.
4. Get a piece of paper and write your theme word in the middle. Divide the rest of the paper into six areas for health, relationships, career, finances, hobbies/interests and spirituality (if you don't gel with the word spirituality, you may like to call this last one personal growth or self-development). I have created a template for you.
Write how your theme will translate into each area of your life. For example, to be strong in my health I want to be physically fit, for my relationships to be strong I want them to be meaningful, honest and have healthy boundaries.
5. Now you know how you want to feel, you can start to work out your goals and actions for each area. e.g. to be physically fit I want to bring more movement into my days, especially cardio, and to work on my arm balances in yoga.
You may find you have some cross-over between the areas, and this is great (e.g. yoga is part of my health, hobbies/interests and spirituality).
6. As you go through the year, check in with yourself on a regular basis:
Do I feel strong at the moment?
Where do I feel out of balance?
What do I need to do to feel strong?
This process isn't exclusive to New Year—you might like to do it around your birthday, or when you want to move on from a situation in your life.
Happy reflections and Happy New Year!