As we wind down these last few days of 2014, I thought I would make this post a little more personal and share a bit of how I prepare and plan for the New Year.
There is a lot of talk right now about goal setting and looking ahead to 2015, however I usually start planning for the New Year by intentionally looking back at the previous year. I spend some time celebrating the things that went well, forgiving what didn’t go as I had hoped, and acknowledging with gratitude the lessons learned.
Like most Type A leaders, I used to spend all my time thinking about what was coming next. I was always about the next goal, the next objective, or the next project. I spent very little time celebrating my achievements because there was always something that needed to be accomplished next. Intentionally incorporating this time of reflection into my annual planning allows me to see how far I’ve come and I have found it makes planning for the New Year much more enjoyable.
My New Year planning usually begins around October and November when I start listening for my OneWord. Several years ago I stopped making New Year’s resolutions and instead started picking One Word that I wanted to embody my year. My friend Alece introduced me to the idea and it has worked really well for me.
Around October/November, I start paying attention to see what word is showing up over and over again. Once I acknowledge the word, I sit with it for a few days to see if it is meant to be my word for the year. Sometimes the answer is no and another word is needed. Typically, though, the answer is yes.
My word for 2014 was RISK and I would say that I have lived into that word pretty well this year. The biggest risk was leaving my job to start my own business this year but I love the work I am doing and the people I get to serve so I believe it was a risk worth taking.
My word for 2015 is OPEN. This year’s word took longer than usual to present itself. I kept seeing two other words but when I sat with them, they didn’t feel right. Finally when OPEN presented itself I knew it was the one.
As I step into 2015 I want to be open to new experiences and new opportunities; open to dreaming dreams I never thought were possible; and open to letting go of old mindsets and embracing new ways of being in the world. OPEN is definitely the right word for me in 2015!
Once I have my OneWord I am ready to create my vision board. I started making an annual vision board about six years ago. I do it with friends and it is always a fun and inspiring time. Every year I love my board so much I can’t imagine the new board being better and every year the new board is better than the previous year .
For the first time this year, I put specific goals on my board. I usually keep it more inspiring than anything else, filling it with images and phrases to inspire me to live into my word. But this year I have some very specific goals I want to reach so my vision board is equal parts inspiration to be open to what’s coming and motivation to chase the dreams I know I want to achieve this year.
Finally I use these planning books by Leonie Dawson to help me dream and plan for the year. I came across Leonie a couple years ago and while most of the time she is a little too out there for me, her workbooks have been a complete game changer in planning my year.
I don’t do everything in the workbooks because some of it doesn’t work for me. I do about 90% of it, taking the parts that work and leaving anything that doesn’t feel right for me. These workbooks help me get a big picture idea of how I want my year to unfold and I come back to them throughout the year to make sure I’m moving forward to the goals I’ve set.
Armed with my OneWord, my vision board and my completed workbooks I am ready to take on 2015. I am excited about this year and all the promise it holds. I fully expect it to be a great year!
Now it’s your turn. What tools do you use to help you plan for the year? I would love to hear so please share in the comments below.
Here’s to 2015 being our best year yet!
From my heart to yours,
If want to make sure the year pans out differently for you in 2015 than it did in 2014, let’s connect to see how I can support you. Click here to schedule a complimentary call for us to chat.