We have less than 24 hours left of 2023. As I sit here in my office, drinking a hot cup of spiced tea and writing this last entry of the year, I can’t help but get a little teary eyed. This year has been full of the most incredible highs and heartbreaking lows. Despite enduring a very tragic loss this Fall, I can look back on the year with a gentle fondness. Several goals were achieved, flights were booked, memories were made and I’m grateful to be able to look back at some moments and silently say “wow, I can’t believe I made that happen.” There are pieces of this year that I will cherish forever and an inner strength I’ve gained through it all.
Now that this year is officially coming to a close, it’s time to look forward towards a new beginning. I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. However, I do find this to be a wonderful time for self reflection and an opportunity to reconnect with what it is you want most.
Here are 5 ways I’m setting myself up for the new year
Regardless if you decide to try out any of the items below, I hope you do give yourself some space to think back on what you’re most proud of from the past year. And if this year was particularly hard for you, I hope you take comfort in knowing that you’ve made it through, and sometimes, that’s the greatest achievement of them all.
Reflect on the Past Year
One of my favorite journal prompts that I always come back to is to write down 3 of my favorite memories from each month of the year. I do it in a 1-pager style, with each month taking up 1 page in my journal. I’ll admit, this takes a bit of time but also feels SO gratifying when you can flip through 12 pages of your favorite memories. It’s a really lovely exercise that showcases just how many wonderful things, no matter how small they may seem, can happen in 365 days. Usually I find that my favorite memories have very little to do with the goals I set for myself in the beginning of the year and are instead centered around relationships I’ve built and new experiences I’ve enjoyed.
Word of the Year
Choosing a word that embodies your hopes and intention for the year can be a powerful alternative to a “resolution.” Instead of focusing on what you hope to change, this exercise is more about what you hope to create. I have a full Word of the Year exercise in the beginning of my 2024 Mindful Morning Planner that takes you through the different steps to choose a word for yourself.
Last year, my word was “elevate.” Instead of sticking within the bounds of my comfort zone, I wanted to find opportunities to test myself, both with new business opportunities and how I approach my daily life & routines.
A word that is resonating with me for this year is “flourish”.
“When someone is flourishing they experience positive emotions and engagement with the world around them, and meaning and purpose in their lives.”
For me, I want to move through 2024 with less expectations of how things should be and allow myself to slow down and enjoy life as it unfolds. I’m looking forward to continuing on the path I’ve set for myself without holding such heavy expectations.
If this word resonates with you, here are 12 ways to put it to use throughout 2024.
I’ve always been a visual learner (I feel like I’m the only person I know who doesn’t love podcasts lol) which is why the idea of creating a board full of images that embody goals is so appealing to me!
Vision boards are such a fun and creative way to create a visual story around your dreams and hopes for the year. The images you choose don’t have to be literal. In fact, I find that my favorite vision boards usually are filled with images that evoke certain feelings or ideas.
You can have a vision board night with friends where you cut images from old magazines and paste them onto small boards. Or you can create a virtual vision board with images from Pinterest that you can save as your desktop or phone wallpaper. The best thing about a virtual vision board is that it’s super easy to change up or add to throughout the year.
We’re all familiar with the concept of bucket lists but I’ve gravitated towards the idea of Joy Lists instead. What is a joy list? It’s exactly what it sounds like: a list of things, experiences and places that make you happy.
A joy list should be full of things that evoke the most positive emotions. They can be simple pleasures that bring you happiness or experiences that make you feel grateful. This is an opportunity to look back on the year and ask yourself:
- What brought you joy?
- Where do you feel happiest?
- What makes you feel safe and loved?
- Who do you love spending time with?
- What activities helped you relax and feel at ease?
Planner Set Up & Small Extras
One of my favorite sections of my Mindful Morning Planner can be found before we dive into the first month. It is comprised of both the Word of the Year exercise and a Yearly Goals worksheet that has 6 different categories for goal setting. It’s something that I find helpful to write and revisit throughout the year.
I also find NYE and New Year’s Day to be a really great time to sign up for something new that aligns with your goals or gives you something to look forward to. Whether that’s an upcoming race to help motivate you with your fitness goals, airline tickets for a trip you’ve been wanting to take, volunteering opportunities within your community, or maybe a workshop/lesson for a hobby you’ve been wanting to try. Seize this moment when you’re feeling extra motivated to make. it. happen.
Life gets busy and the year moves quickly, so committing to something you want NOW can spare you the “could’ve, should’ve, would’ve” talk later.
I hope you all find this helpful as you take time to reflect on the past year and make room for all the new experiences and growth ahead. Thank you for being such a huge part of my 2023 and I hope we can continue our journey together throughout the next 365 days.
Happy New Year, friends.
With all my love,