2020. Most would say it was a bust, but for some they thought it was a very cathartic year of growth and change. Sometimes we need to press the reset button. That’s what 2020 was for me.
This past year actually flew by (for me) at lightning speed. Yes, even amid a world-wide lockdown. I am an introvert, and yes, it was a “7 year” for me (my kids are eye-rolling right now) which meant that I was already going to be using this year as a chance to do some inner work, learning, gathering, and gaining spiritual knowledge. I needed the time to look below the surface to reveal how I needed to grow personally. I was going to be doing this anyway, whether we were locked down or not. Any other 7s out there in 2020?
How to Plan Your Best Year Yet
Most of December, but mainly the week between Christmas and New Years I like to reflect on the past year and see what needs to shift in the upcoming year ahead. Here are the action steps I take when deciding what my focus will be going forward into the new year:
Reflect On the Past Year
You can’t really know where you’re going until you look back at where you’ve been. Here are some questions to ask yourself as a way to check into how you are currently feeling:
- Do you feel energized and excited when you wake up or lethargic and dreading the day ahead?
- Are you in flow with your life? Do you feel connected and purposeful or confused on where you are going and feeling alone?
- Has the pandemic or other event shaken your financial security in some way? If so, how are you going to pivot or address that this year if everything were to stay the same? (meaning more COVID-19)
- Has your weight increased due to unhealthy eating, lack of exercise or excessive pandemic drinking?
- What are some of the “wins” or blessings you had in 2020? Do you want to see more of them?
- What are some of the “losses” or challenges you had in 2020? How has that shaped or changed you?
Now is the time to answer these questions and any others that are perhaps keeping you up at night.
Decide What Gets To Stay In The New Year
After reflecting on the past year, decide which things are no longer important to you. Why? Because having something hold a space in your life, even with good intentions, will distract you from something else that will propel you forward. One of my favorite quotes is one that I live by daily:
“If it’s important to you it will become a priority, if it’s not it will become an excuse.” -Eleanore Roosevelt
So, if you set some goals last year that never got accomplished, you really need to ask yourself if it wasn’t as important to you as you had thought it should be.
Yes, I know that a world-wide pandemic can take the best of our intentions and shoot them to hell but I do believe that we all need to be crystal clear on what our priorities are. If, for example, you’re really planning on losing those last, stubborn, ten pounds but you stopped and started diets and exercise programs and actually gained a few pounds this year. Maybe, it’s really because you didn’t make it a priority? That’s okay. Own it.
Think long and hard on this one. Let go whatever doesn’t serve you in the future year. It’s your life, get rid of what’s not a priority so you can focus on what your real priorities actually are. Know them.
Understand Who You Are
Who you are was written in the stars (literally) the day you were born. However, we all have different ways we can manifest our dreams and desires. As in my last post, My Guilty Pleasure-Numerology, I like to figure out what the universal energy of the year I’m moving forward into and how it works with my personal (numerological) year, to see how I can use the year’s energy to support my goals and dreams and not work against them.
Believe me…this can save you lots of frustration in knowing where you are in the energetic cycle of life. This may sound a bit “woo-woo” and perhaps it is, but for fun, I challenge you to figure out what year you were in this year and see if it rings true. Then figure out next year’s number and plan for the best!
Set Your New Year Goals & Break Them Down
Without a plan for what you’re wanting your year to look like, it won’t happen. You are the co-creator of your life. How are you going to make it successful? One of my best friends used to have a room called “the room of good intentions“. She called it that because it was the room where all of her ideas, started projects, and piles of good intentions went to die. I thought this was hilarious! But, it’s true. We all have a “room of good intentions”, or maybe a closet or a drawer full of good intentions. It’s the result of not having a clear, concise plan on how to execute your goals. AND, stick to them.
“A wish is a goal without a plan”
So, decide what you want to accomplish this year. Whether it’s financial, spiritual, health wise or other. Then decide on what will be required to get you there. A side hustle? Meditation? Diet? Break your goals down by month and then even by week and by day. When you can get clear on what you can do today, and only focus on today, you can and will achieve your goal by year’s end. I promise!
Which brings me to my next thing to incorporate into your new year routine:
Start Using A Planner
Well, maybe because I’m an Enneagram 3 (Achiever) and live for checking things off my To-Do lists, I know this is a helpful practice for everyone. Having a list to keep you on track will result in less errors on “forgetting” to do the things that will get you to achieving your goal.
I use a planner every day. The old school type. Pen to paper. And I cross off, check, and highlight every, single, day. Sometimes I even write things down that I just did, so I can feel the accomplishment in the moment.
It feels SO good! It’s powerful.
Find Your Ikigai
Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being“. this balance is found at the center where your passions and talents intersect with the things that the world needs and is willing to pay for.
One easy way to find your Ikigai is to think about these questions:
- What do people turn to me for advice on?
- What am I really good at? (even if it feels like it’s no big deal to me)
- What activities or hobbies that I do where time flies by? (You get lost in them and forget to eat, go to the bathroom, etc…)
- Now think about how others could benefit from that “thing” you do.
Upgrade Your Daily Habits
A big part of goal setting is making a list of the good habits you want to form and the bad habits you want to stop. Write them down and expand on the reason and how these habits, both good and bad, will help you get closer to your goals, or further away from them.
Some of my daily habits that have literally changed my life:
- Starting each day with prayer and meditation
- Using a Gratitude Journal
- Making sure I exercise or go for a long walk every day
Create A Vision Board
I know this is a “cheesy” New Year thing that everyone does, or just thinks about doing (room of good intentions, anyone?) But, unless you are creating your vision with emotion, looking at it every day, and taking the actionable steps to make it a reality, it won’t happen. You can create your own vision board through Canva, Pinterest, or good old fashioned magazines and poster board. Wherever your creative juices flow most freely.
Things To Keep In Mind When Creating Your Vision Board
- Choose pictures, phrases, or words that illicit a good emotion. This isn’t only about what you want to have happen, it’s how reaching that goal will actually make you feel.
- Focus on that feeling.
- As a co-creator of you life, it’s been said that by focusing and feeling a good emotion for at least 17 seconds, it sets forth the manifestation into your life. It may happen quickly, or it could take years, but don’t worry…it’s on its way.
- Put your vision board in a place you will see it daily. Look at it several times per day if you can. Each time focusing on the feeling it stirs inside of you.
This one is a hard one to understand. Especially for those of us out there who are really trying hard to create an abundant year ahead. But, surrendering doesn’t mean giving up your dream or your goal. It’s actually quite the opposite. What this means is that you are doing the work while having faith in the outcome. Trusting God, the universe or whatever you believe in to have your back. Because it 100% does have your back.
Realizing you have the power to change your year going forward and thus changing the trajectory of your life, while affecting everyone around you is one of the most powerful and purposeful thoughts you can have entering into 2021.
Go ahead, make it a year worth remembering. One that you will look back on as the year you took charge of your life and it was the best year yet!