Paving The Way For An Exceptional New Year
The time has come to wrap up the previous year and welcome 2019 with open arms and new intentions. Despite your eagerness to lunge into the new year armed with fresh resolutions, it is important to look back at 2018 to evaluate where you currently stand and where you want to go. I refer to this as a "year review", in which you take some time to reflect on the previous year, going over the wins and the losses to mold intentions that will help you live your best life going forward.
Here's a break down of the year review I do prior to setting intentions for the new year.
1. Write out your lists
First, I make two lists of everything I have done the previous year. One list contains things I have done that fill me with a sense of pride- for me personally this includes sticking to a daily meditation practice, eating foods that nourish me and forming a solid bedtime ritual with my 3 year old. The other list consists of areas that I feel I have come up short in- for instance, not devoting as much attention I would like to my relationships, and often not getting to bed at a decent time each night. It is important to be honest with yourself while making these lists. The point here isn't to beat yourself up over your shortcomings. Rather it is to celebrate your efforts thus far and identify the areas that would most benefit from your attention. In doing so, you begin to consciously create intentions that will be of greatest service to you.
2. Meditate on it
Upon making these lists, I do what I call a "new year meditation" in which I sit in stillness for 30 minutes to an hour to mentally go over the last year of my life. I focus on my breathing and hone in on what it is that I really want. I mentally ask myself a series of questions: Do I feel fulfilled in my life? Have I been devoting my time and energy to the things I most value? What can I do to improve my overall sense of happiness and wellbeing? From this state of mind, I am well equipped to set goals that will propel me towards a purposeful life.
3. Set new intentions
Now is the time to craft new intentions that align with what you most desire. Try to keep this list of intentions minimal in length but potent in their ability to improve your life. Energy flows where attention goes. Having too many goals scatters your attention and makes it harder to make any noticeable improvements. Likewise a concise list of intentions leads you to concentrate your efforts in these areas and can result in impressive results. Most importantly, have fun with this process. Seriously! I like to make intention setting a ritual of its own, lighting candles and visualizing the outcome of these intentions like they have already manifested themselves.
There are two ways to go about life, I like to think of these different approaches as trains winding along their routes through bustling cities and tranquil countryside. One train, let's call it Train A, has a mind of its own, passengers hop on with crossed fingers and sweat droplets clinging to their foreheads as they hope the train stops at a decent landing point. Most of these passengers don't have any sense of where they would like to go and even if they have a destination in mind, this destination is vague at best. The other train, Train B, comes with a conductor and a set of definite stops. The passengers aboard Train B know where they are headed and when to hop off to reach their desired destination.
The act of reviewing the previous year and setting intentions for the upcoming year allows you to hop over from the fogginess of Train A onto the conscious route of Train B. When you take the time to evaluate where you have been, what you want going forward and the intentions you can set to bring you to this desired end result, you begin to consciously sculpt your life and are granted with greater certainty that you will reach your destination.
Best of wishes to you on setting new intentions and crafting an exceptional New Year!
Conscious Ink Staffer