Can you believe it?! We’ve almost come to the end of another year! I love the end of December because, well the holiday time is filled with so much love and joy, but also because it’s the best time of the year to reflect on how far we’ve come. This is the time of year to dig deep into the good, the bad, and the in-between of the last 360-ish days. Then, we get to experience a “fresh start” in the New Year!
The reality is, we can experience a fresh start whenever we want, but there’s something about the new year that makes it so much grander. When I think about reflection and goal setting I get a bit overwhelmed. I barely remember what I did last week let alone in January of this year so I decided to break it down into manageable chunks; questions I can ask myself to help facilitate this process! If you’re like me and don’t even know where to begin when it comes to moving into 2020, I’ve broken down some tips to help you!
Recap the Good
First thing, identify your big wins! What experiences or accomplishments took place this year. The obviously stand out moments, maybe an event, graduation or career change (it’s okay if there are none!). Then move into the small wins, what went well for you this year? What area of your life evolved in a positive direction – think career, relationships, personal development. Maybe you scored the perfect winter coat for a good deal; it doesn’t need to be a super significant thing! Noticing what comes to mind will also show you what moments stood out for you this year. Browsing back through your calendar/planner can be a helpful reminder.
This year, the good was SO good for us and we are both extremely grateful. We went on our big Europe trip which was an absolute dream! I also had the opportunity to become a partner at my work and continue to grow professionally. I was on a billboard for FIGS in Times Square in New York which is kind of a big deal! I still can’t believe that happened lol. Chris and I also bought and moved into our dream home which has been a really rewarding project. Thanksgiving in Michigan was also a very standout weekend with the fam. Needless to say it’s been a great year and I can especially say that, after taking time to reflect on it, I can really see how amazing it has been!
Recap the Bad
I know, it’s the thing no one wants to do, but it helps us to be better for 2020! Plus as you were trying to think of the good I have a suspicion the bad stuff was bubbling up. Rest knowing that it’s already in the past! Don’t reflect in regret or anger, or shame or guilt, instead just identify what you learned along the way and how you can course correct in the New Year and take different action as you plan to tackle all of your dreams. There might be some things that you need to intentionally avoid, some self sabotaging thoughts that need to be tossed out the door, or people in your life that are bringing you down and you need to let go. We all have different versions of anchors that are weighing us down without even knowing, and this is an excellent time to reflect on that.
I found that I sometimes avoid my goals, even though I had plans to expand my brand, I let myself get paralyzed by imposter syndrome and I get worried that I’m not ‘ready for this’. Even though I’m already doing it everyday and you’re all here! I wrote a blog post about Imposter Syndrome recently which has more of my full thoughts and tips.
I also found that I haven’t scheduled enough “true” downtime. Yes, Chris and I spent a lot of time traveling, and while the hustle and bustle of exploring new places is fun and inspiring it’s not necessarily restful. This coming year, I’m aiming to schedule more time with myself and truly resting. Staycations over plane rides, and quiet days once every other week minimum. To be transparent, I’m not sure what I’ll do to make this happen, but it needs to happen! I’m thinking I’ll look at my monthly schedule and lock down some catch-up days (which we know we all need), but then also some full rest days and make them non-negotiable!
Plan for the Future
I’m sure you’ve read it a million times already but Start. Planning. For. 2020! And not just Jan 1 but the whole year. I think that there’s something magical about the fact that we’re heading into a new decade. Use this time to reflect on the last year or ten, appreciate how far you’ve come, then turn around and crush the next ten!
No plan will move forward without some tangible and measurable goals! Dig deep into what you want to do this year, the things you want to achieve and who you want to become! From there, we can ask, “What do I need to do today to get me to XYZ?”. Get as specific as possible when writing your goals and make sure they are attainable but still challenge you. Finally, what measurable milestones do you have? If your goal is to start a blog what are the steps leading up to the launch? List out your steps and then create a timeline.
What is it they say, “A goal is just a dream with a deadline” – don’t quote me on that, I’m not sure who said it. But, if you’re planning to set goals, then they need to be realistic. If your goals are really broad, try breaking them down into quarterly steps which will make them more attainable.
List Your Wildest Dreams
What wild thing – or things – do you want to accomplish this year? WRITE THEM DOWN! I think our brain/mind/ego whatever you want to call it immediately blocks us from dreaming super big because we are scared of failure. But no one needs to know about your big ambitions and perhaps if you are feeling doubt or you think others would doubt you then perhaps we are all simply thinking too small. Anything is possible for you if you are willing to go out a work for it! There is so much power in putting pen to paper, this is one of the best ways to manifest your goals and dreams into real life in my opinion. That and shouting it from the mountain tops can keep you really accountable. Give your wildest dreams a place in your day planner or journal, then they are always in the front of your mind.
Find Your Tribe
Identify who is going to help you achieve these goals along the way. Who are you excited to spend your energy and time with this year? Who can support you and who are you excited to support? Maybe it’s your partner, or friends, perhaps it’s your mom. Regardless, find the people that are in your corner and those who are here to help you every step of the way!
Cutting people out of our life is hard, even when we know it’s completely necessary. Maybe you have the friend you’ve known your entire life that is just so negative, the college friend who just hasn’t grown up, the family member who doesn’t support you whatsoever. I get that cutting someone off is way easier said than done, all we can do is limit the time we spend with them, redirect conversation when possible and at the end of the day remember not to take negativity personally and also know you are not responsible for other adults’ lives.
Invest in a Planner
Whether it’s the Google Calendar app on your phone or an old school physical day planner, make sure you have something to write down these dreams, deadlines, and plans. It does not need to be fancy or cost $100; just a practical item that you can carry around and refer to to record your deadlines and appointments. Popular brands include Passion Planner, Best Self Co. and one of my favorites, Sugar Paper.
There’s no perfect way to plan for the new year but I do think reflection and setting new intentions is important and super valuable! I hope that this list can help you get started. Reflect, show gratitude, see how you can improve, and create a detailed plan to make it happen!
Cheers to an amazing year to come!