Looking back on 2016… Designing a year.

new year's resolution year design

No, that’s not a typo. Have you ever made a new year’s resolution? We’re going to shake it up.

Imagine it is the end of this year and you’re about to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2016.

‘Woah, slow down, the year has just begun!’… Yeah, I know, just stay with me.

You take a few minutes just to sit and reflect on the year that has just come to an end.
All the memories of the last 12 months are flooding back to you—the highlights, the lessons…
What do you see as your heart swells with joy and pride?
What do you remember as your face cracks into a big, wide smile?
What do you feel as you notice of how the year unfolded for you?

How do you want to look back on 2016? Bursting with happiness, confidently satisfied with your achievements? So full up with love and lingering memories of good times that you could just… ahhh.

Your new year’s resolution just got an upgrade.

Go get yourself a pen and paper. Tech is great but this is a pen and paper job. Post-its are ideal.

First, write down all the words that come to mind when you think about how you want to feel. Just get them all down on paper. Hold that image in your mind of your end of year reflection, and just feel it out for the whole year. Of course there will be ups and downs, but what would be that golden overall feeling?

Do you want to feel content, free, accomplished, abundant, creative, connected, grounded, energised, feminine, harmonious, devoted, blissful, radiant, playful, authentic…? Now look at your big list and pick three or four that make your heart do a little skip, or that you really dig the vibe of, whatever.

Now, think about the stuff that you want to nail this year, accomplishments, milestones, ‘To Do’ list items, the small errands and unfinished business things that have been niggling away at you for-ev-er, the secret challenge you have set yourself, what would have been your new year’s resolution, or the juicy new adventure that you can’t stop Pinning thinking about… and write it all down. Get it all out on those little sticky notes until you have a pile of possibilities in front of you.

Grab those three or four core feelings you uncovered, and stick them on the post-its into four areas or columns on the wall or table in front of you. Take all the ‘things’ and one by one, put them underneath the heading of one of your desires. If it doesn’t fit, put it aside for now.

Once you can’t place any more notes, have a look at what you have left over. Ask yourself, truly, seriously, ‘Do I want to do this? Is this going to make me feel how I want to feel? What is my motivation behind this?’ You may find that it is absolutely something that you must do, an obligation that you can’t shake, and if that is the case then ask yourself, ‘What can I do to bring this closer in line with how I want my year to be?’

If it’s committing to paying off a big debt (which totally sucks, yes, I am all over that one) then will knowing that balance is going down help you to feel more free/abundant/independent/etc?
Getting up at 5am for the gym sucks, but when you have done it three times a week all year, will you feel strong and energised?
If it is going out to meet someone new, finding a new job that rocks your world, booking that solo adventure, moving out of your parent’s place,  quitting smoking, cleaning out your wardrobe, signing up for to that yoga class/language course/writing workshop/photography competition…

You can absolutely design yourself a life worth celebrating this year.

What is it about this thing that you want so badly? Find it, take note. Everything else that isn’t under a heading, put aside for another time, or throw them out. Put them in order from the biggest thing to the smallest thing. Figure out how long each of them will take you; is it an afternoon, or six months?
Is it a one off experience once you get the balls, or is lots of small consistent actions until you reach the end?

Put a little date as a check-in point (or deadline if that is your jam) on the bottom of the note, spread out throughout the year, and then pin/tape them to a board or take a photo. You can make this into a desktop wallpaper in Canva, stick pictures alongside your goals onto a cork vision board, collage them into your journal, or stick on the back of the toilet door, just somewhere that you will see it regularly.

I like to think of the dates as checkpoints because that way if the time isn’t right, and you pass a checkpoint, you can just ask yourself if it was the right thing for you, or course-correct and get on with it. (No woosing out through just not taking action like with a new year’s resolution though, that’s not the point here… and I’m sure that’s not how you want to feel either, am I right?).

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.
— Zig Ziglar

So how did I feel this year? How did 2016 unfold for me?

I felt…
spirited / joyous / travelled
abundant [ in health, wealth, opportunities, + growth]
ease / awe / grace / resting
spacious / limitless / expansive / free
strong / feminine / nurturing / of service
accomplished / creative / connected / capable
heard / safe / loved  / grateful

My business, my book, and my life took just the right shape.
My body felt strong and feminine and I cultivated regular movement.
I completed two more semesters of Uni successfully – one more year to go.
I felt expansive and abundant in all areas of my life – and said goodbye to debt.
Booked-out coaching places left me so grateful to have been of service to the world.
Maintaining a regular spirit practice kept me grounded and true to my path.
I celebrated success, life, and more orbits around the sun with my soul-crew.
Our home was full of light, and nourishing meals, and so much love.
I made the most of my specially-carved out time for fun bucket list adventures.
(and I finally got my driver’s license… woo!)

One more thing. You gotta let go of all of this now. Remember how you want to feel, take action toward those feelings, and release the attachment to things working out exactly how you imagined them. Because if you get to the end of the year and you feel exactly how you want to feel, without the things you thought you would need to achieve to feel that way, or you got them but they don’t make you feel like that after all… well, you just have to accept that’s how things unfold, and be at peace with it, and be grateful for the adventure. That’s where the magic is, after all.

Now its your turn. Feel it out for a sec and share with me, how has this year unfolded for you? Will you try this instead of the usual new year’s resolution next year? Comment below or share with me on Instagram or Facebook.

P.S. Today I sent out an exclusive something  to my VIP list, so if you’re not on it already you might want to jump on that now. Especially if you’re keen to take this whole life design thing to the next level… just saying’…

Credit where credit is due… this post was loosely inspired by the concept of The Desire Map by Danielle La Porte  (which I will finish reading this year… it’s on the list). Featured image by Adrianna Calvo from Pexels.

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