As you know from September and October posts, I’m a fall goal kind of person. I’ve talked quite a bit about why the timing of fall goals seems to fit in with moms and empty nesters. However, with all that said, I have to admit I’m feeling a little different about January of 2017. Why? I think because of launching You Have To Just Start and my own life transitions.
The holiday season is fast approaching (how does that happen??) and before it takes over our lives, let’s chat about 2017. Specifically, about some goal planning that you might find worth doing. If you wait until December 28th, you’ll likely feel total panic about not having New Year’s Resolutions. That word “resolution” carries a lot of pressure with it. Try reframing it – how about “intentions”.
Now is a great time, again while the pace of our lives is somewhat manageable, to find a block of time to do some reflecting – it’s a useful tool when you’re setting future goals and will help you start 2017 with intentional action steps. If you haven’t done it before, give some thought to establishing a new tradition of a personal retreat. This doesn’t mean you have to necessarily go somewhere, but if you have the luxury of making that happen, it would be wonderful! It can be an at-home retreat if that’s what you can carve out in your schedule. Designate an afternoon, a full day or even a weekend (sigh) for a personal retreat to do that reflecting. Get the significant people in your life on board with the idea that you’re going to be unavailable for awhile. Turn off the distractions, be still and just listen to your reflections and record your thoughts.
As you look back through 2016, it’s important to notice what didn’t happen. Notice, let go of it and don’t beat yourself up over it. At this point, it’s done. Focus instead on the new opportunities ahead and what you want to do differently in 2017!
Try doing a brain dump on paper. Remember there is no right or wrong here. Just let those zingers fly and write down every single one of them. Free flow, no editing, no judging. Notice what is lighting you up right now in your life. What are you excited about? What are you looking forward to? What slows down your breathing and gives you a calm/peaceful feeling? That will often help you know you’re on the right path, rather than something that makes you feel anxious.
Some people like to choose a word for each year. An intention, feeling or affirmation they want to set and focus on throughout the entire year. I’ve done this for the past couple of years and have found it to be a grounding practice. I’ve ordered a Soul Mantra from Liz Lamoreux for the past two years, and I like the tradition. You can learn more about what she does here and here. They arrive at your doorstep beautifully packaged, and I’ve been really impressed with her customer service.
Remember – there is no right or wrong way to do your reflecting. This isn’t an assignment that you’re going to be graded on. But I’ve found it to be a very worthwhile and enlightening process. It’s a tool to get you thinking about the opportunities you want to intentionally create in your life for 2017.
“Big change comes from hundreds of tiny steps and they all matter. You don’t have the perfect plan for the next 10 years or even the next 10 days. All you need is an open heart and the next step. Not all the steps, not a big step, just the next one.” Courtney Carver
That’s what we’ve been talking about here. Noticing. Building steps. It takes courage to rise up and become who you want to be. Today is a great day to start. Make the changes now to create the 2017 you want!
Your biggest fan,
Image: Nepal Annapurna Trek 2012. Notice the puppy basking in the sun on the wall? Oh how I wanted to bring him home! Can’t tell you what the tail next to him belonged originally belonged to …