I always think of a New Year (always in capital letters thankyouverymuch) as a blank canvas.
You, as the artist, stand before it, paint brush in hand, ready to create your masterpiece. There’s hope, excitement, trepidation, love, and fear all rolled into one delicious ball. The palette and design are entirely up to you and no artist’s process is the same. Sometimes an artist has a definite plan as she approaches the canvas and other times the picture takes shape as the paint splashes on the canvas…sometimes it’s a combo…neither way is right or wrong. And that is exactly the point.
I propose that you approach your 2014 in a way that feels good to you.
Some of us thrive on goals and objectives.
This works for things like:
Losing weight (I will work out for 60 minutes/day and cut out junk food to lose 1-2 lbs/week) rather than ‘being healthier’
Completing a writing project (I will write for 30 minutes/day and will complete a manuscript in 6 months) rather than ‘writing a book’
Goals are successful when they are SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and timely), but not everything can be measured through goal setting.
And for some of us creating goals just causes anxiety, pressure, and feeling like a failure when you don’t meet the goal or objective. And then you’ve trapped yourself in a spin cycle of a “what’s the point” mentality.
Maybe selecting a theme for the year is more appropriate for you
A theme is an anchor point for your year ahead. An idea or concept that you’d like to have more in your life.
Perhaps 2014 will be the year of “Creativity” for you, reminding you to explore your creative side with more abandon.
Maybe it will be the year of “Play“, inviting you to step out of your comfort zone in a way that feels good to you.
How about one word for 2014?
Close upon the heels of a theme is just one word to anchor you in 2014.
One word may be all you need to carry you forward into the New Year. This is a perfect opportunity to feed your PostIt obsession if you have one.
For me 2014 is about expansiveness. This past year I felt cramped, hemmed in, and bound up in feelings, emotions, energy, and situations that did not serve me (well hello martyrdom). I do not want that in 2014, so the word to keep my intention is expansive.
Creating the Vision
Pictures are a powerful way to set up your intention for 2014 and for you to play a bit. It’s not just about cutting out pictures of things you want, but more about pictures that represent how you want to feel in 2014. If you’re drawn to a picture of a vacation home, consider why that appeals to you. How will that make you feel? As an aside, Pinterest is a great tool for this.
Personally, I’m a combo kinda girl. I like to set goals in certain areas, I have my theme around 2014 (FLOW), and my word. Over the next few days, I’ll be working on my visual poster for 2014 (connect with me on Pinterest to see it).
As you look ahead to 2014, take a reflective look back at 2013 (remember it’s now in the rearview mirror, so don’t stay there long). Reflect, process, and do your thing moving forward.
What went well? What were you doing and how did you feel?
What did not go well? What were you doing and how did you feel?
What do you want more of…less of?
Who can help you move forward?
Who has been holding you back?
What inspires you?
Resolutions (personally not a fan of resolutions…sounds like all work and no play), goals, themes, intentions, visions…the important thing is to do what works for you. Maybe none of the things I mentioned work for you, and that’s cool too. Don’t feel pressured to do any of it if it makes you feel squirmy inside.
Set up whatever feels good…and then let it go.
The process of how you paint the picture is up to you; just don’t leave the canvas blank…that would be tragic.