I think it is so important to send the past year out thoughtfully and invite the new year in equally thoughtfully. This year, I took some time on New Years Eve to consciously and carefully consider the mistakes, successes and lessons of 2015, as well as to figure out my intentions and desires for 2016. I did a little bit of list making, of writing and thinking and discussing and I wanted to share my prompts and process with you.
In my mind, you have until Chinese New Year (in February sometime) to get your New years goals/resolutions properly sorted, so no worries if you still haven’t found direction for 2016. Take this ENTIRE month to think about it, come back to it every night before bed and every morning when planning your day.
I think it cannot be emphasized strongly enough – it really, really helps to plan, to have vision and to be thoughtful and intentional with desire. Otherwise, the years pass and you have nothing really to show for it. To execute something big and meaningful REQUIRES careful planning and forethought. Nothing big and meaningful EVER happened by accident or just by luck.
That being said, you don’t need to have all your ducks in a row just yet, and success is NOT the goal here. Your goals will probably shift over the course of the year. The only thing that matters is setting an intention, and then being open to ALL the possible ways for that intention to become reality. Seriously, if you think only for a few seconds about how you want your 2016 to go, you are still infinitely better off than someone who didn’t give it a single thought at all. The smallest seed can still grow into a powerful tree.
Our brain is SUCH a powerful tool. Visualization and planning really truly yield amazing results. It’s a shame so few of us take advantage of this ability to shape reality with our thoughts. But if you are interested, here are some things to think about for 2015 and 2016 – these are the prompts I used with my own retrospections and intention setting.
New Years Ritual
Here are the prompts I used for my new years ritual this year:
Begin with the past year – make sure you give this year its proper due and a fabulous send-off!
Past Year Writing + Meditation Prompts
I think it’s important to do these prompts in the exact order presented for maximum benefit, but you do you. Also, take some time to THINK before you begin writing – no pressure, just see what comes up – maybe even free write for a little bit before making your list. Also, very powerful if you have a witness or friend to discuss with.
- People who were important to me and why they were important to me – a list of 3+
- Successes/acheivements of the past year – a list of 3+ (these do not need to be huge! “Learning to sear salmon properly” totally works.)
- Failures/mistakes of the past year – a list of 3+ (it is important to make sure these were not in vain and that we took away lessons and character building)
- Lessons learned – a list of 3+ (use your successes, failures and important people to guide you here)
- Things to leave behind/let go of (grudges, sorrows, bad habits, anything that requires forgiveness. IMPORTANT – when you write these down, TRULY LET GO. You can even do a ritual of your choosing like this one to help that happen.)
New Year Writing + Meditation Prompts
- Core desired feelings for the new year. I usually choose 3. And your CDFs will change with time. (I LOVE this idea and I love the woman behind it – Danielle LaPorte. The idea is to focus on how you want to FEEL and then let that guide what you DO, instead of what we tend to do, which is the exact opposite. Here’s a library of CDFs, to get you inspired. For additional inspo, here are my 3 CDFs for the year: I want to feel: Generous. Trusting. Safe.
- Theme word for the year. I think this is such a better idea than resolutions. You pick ONE word that sets a theme and helps guide your actions. My theme for last year was connection/community and for this year I *think* I want it to be “trust” although I’m still finessing – I want to make that more specific/actionable somehow.
- Goals/resolutions. These can be tricky. Be sure to not set yourself up for failure. Be sure these goals are your AUTHENTIC TRUE SELF goals, not something you think you SHOULD do, or feel compelled to do for someone else’s approval, ie, lose weight. For me, I set business goals AND personal goals and they are SEPARATE. Business goals are important because then I can measure progress more easily, and get back on track faster. Goals make me WAY more productive and I set them with that in mind. For moss, I want to expand my wholesale presence and I have a very specific number in mind. For myself, I want to take better care of myself, and get a daily self-care structure going. I have a process in mind – might share more deets in another post. In all of the other lists I let you make 3 or as many more as you wanted items. Important – for this one, ONLY do 3. You will want to do more. DON’T. Only three – the 3 most important. Otherwise, you spread yourself too thin and get distracted and overwhelmed. Learn to edit. Learn to prioritize. ONLY 3.
- Luxuries/indulgences. So often we get caught up in work, and success and driving ourselves more and pushing ourselves harder. I include this prompt to make sure I am actually making space to LIVE and ENJOY life. I also like to indulge MINDFULLY – it helps keep guilt and over-spending at bay. Make sure these DO feel like luxuries and indulgences, but also make sure they are realistic for you. Like, I wish I could buy a condo in Paris, but…not this year. If you know me, you know that life is not worth living without a deep focus on pleasure and joy. For this reason, this list is as important to me as any other for the upcoming year. For me, here are a few things I put:
- membership at a yoga studio (to me this is expensive but definitely worth it in terms of self-care and community. And it’s a truth that we ALWAYS find the money for the things we REALLY want. Not having money is just an excuse, and not a valid one.).
- vacation/travel for at least 1 week. Haven’t traveled in AGES and can’t wait!
- permission to buy expensive foods without guilt/shame
I hope these help you release the old year and greet the new year with love and wisdom, contentment and desire!
SO EXCITED to hear any and all of your responses, if you feel like sharing in the comments!