Over the past several months, I have been becoming more intentional about how to make 2019 my best year ever, especially since 2017 and 2018 were a bit bumpy. Some things can’t be helped, like accidents, sickness, natural disasters and the passing of loved ones, all of which I’ve experienced in close succession since September 2017. In my life, when it rains, it pours. Luckily, the sun does shine again, and this is going to be my year for sunshine. Strike that, my decade for sunshine.
Creating sunshine is important this year; I will be sixty in seven months. I was just getting used to referring to myself as middle aged, and now, perhaps I am considered old. I don’t consider myself “old,” mind you. Anyway, all the more reason to make this time in my life extra special!
I’ve spent more time, in advance, thinking through what I’d like to experience this year, and how to go about bringing those experiences into my life. I wonder if may of you are doing the same thing: dreaming about the future, maybe even creating a vision board…maybe using planners or just spending some quiet time dreaming big dreams. My friend Laura and I are getting together on December 31 to share our big dreams and support each other as we embark on new adventures.
If you’d like to follow along and do your own recalibration for the new year, here’s what I’ve done so far:
Assessing this past year:
Before I felt I could move into 2019 successfully, I took some time to really evaluate 2018. I looked at what went well, and where the wheels fell off and why. No matter what happens, there is something to learn from the things that haven’t gone well; there are reasons you found yourself in a pickle. There are lessons to be learned and growth to be achieved, even if it is as simple as shifting your mindset.
Yesterday, I asked members of a Facebook group what they did to release negativity, hurt feelings, and heavy energy that accompanies conflict and some types of change. They had some amazing ideas. I’ve found that doing a little ritual has a way of shifting the energy and creating closure. Of course you can create what ever you think will help you gain closure and move on. Here are a few ideas:
- Take some time to really face your feelings. Allow them, watch them, sit with them and see what happens.
- Recognize that as long as you are still thinking about your hurt, and the person who hurt you, you are tied to them. Imagine yourself lovingly releasing yourself and cutting the cord between you and the other person. Imagine them floating away from you.
- Try the Buddhist blessing prayer, starting by blessing yourself and feeling love, then spreading the love to friends and relatives, then acquaintances, then adversaries, then the world.
- Write out your issues, frustrations and all that you want to resolve or release, and burn it.
- Speaking of burning, many people smudge or sage their space. I’ve never done it myself, but my friends swear by it.
- Do a gigantic clean out. There is nothing like really digging in, and cleaning out your space to clear the energy.
- Use prayer balloons. I purchased some a few years ago, but have yet to use them. They are made of paper and float upward by the light of a small candle.
- Let me know in the comments how you release and forgive and I’ll add it to our list for next year.
After I’ve worked out some of the things I wanted to release, I sit down and list all the wonderful things I am grateful for. Friends, family, health, success, abundance…this is the time to really drill down and take note of the micro moments as well as the big sweeping wins.
I keep a gratitude journal, in it I write the things I am grateful for each day as well as prayers and goals. At the end of the year, I go through my journal and take note of all of the prayers that were answered as well as those things I am grateful for.
Last year, Brooke used a gratitude jar. Each day she added a little note about something special that had happened, a memory or something she was grateful for. She enjoyed looking at her year and how wonderful it was.
Creating A Vision for the Future:
From the Love Space I’ve created by forgiving and expressing gratitude, I like to move into delicious day dreams of things I would like to bring into my life. I thumb through magazines, and play around on Pinterest, I imagine living my version of my best life, where I’d live, what I’d be doing, how it would feel, who I’d be with. I cut out images that evoke those feelings along with words or phrases that fit.
Some people set one intention, or use guide words, others set four or five goals or intentions. I’ve had great success with guide words, vision boards and a short list of goals or resolutions. I do best when I have one over arching goal rather than a whole bunch. This is where you can play around and experiment and figure out what is going to work best for you.
Making a Plan:
I like to map out a plan, sometimes from my goal backwards, other times I plan forwards. Planning from the goal backwards seems to work pretty well for me. It reminds me to break my goals down into manageable chunks and lets me see that my dreams can come true if I follow my plans.
Just Do It:
Here’s where the rubber hits the road, Dear Readers, in the implementation department. I was in an accountability group briefly last year, and watched as my fellow group members did all sorts of things OTHER than the thing they said they wanted to do. They organized, they cleaned, they re-arranged their desks and work spaces over and over again. It’s a horrible spot to be in, I know, because I’ve been there myself. There’s plenty to be said for a tidy, well organized work space, but it doesn’t get the blog post done, nor does it pay the bills, right?
Now, when I notice I am avoiding doing something, I take a few minutes to sort out what’s going on, then start-anywhere, just to get some momentum going. My reason for getting stuck is usually some irrational fear or not being sure how to do something. But there’s Google and YouTube for step by step instructions to do almost anything. And everyone starts somewhere. And, if you don’t start now, five years from now you will be even further behind.
Implement, Implement, Implement!
Don’t worry about being perfect out of the box! Gosh, you should have seen (or maybe you did see) how completely crazy my blog was when I first started out! I had the most rudimentary knowledge of WordPress, on old theme, and had to learn how to do everything by watching YouTube Videos, Googling and taking courses. Little by little I got my blog looking the way I wanted it to.
I have a degree in business. Yep. Business. I wanted to be a writer, so why not get a degree in business? One of the things I learned from studying business was the practice of continuous improvement. After every event and project, my staff and I would have sit down and discuss where and what we could do better the next time. We did that every time, without fail, and continued to improve a little here and a little there. Roger and I do it weekly. It’s one the perks of being in a relationship with me. When we finish the photo shoot, and look at the pictures, we discuss where we need to improve. We look at the blog posts and talk about what we might do better next time.
So…That’s what I’m up to this week, finishing my plan, making a vision board and enjoying lunch with a dear friend. I can’t wait to see Laura’s vision board to support her adventures in 2019.
Dear Readers, I hope that you will join me in making this year your best ever. I’d love to hear your intentions this year, whether you are using a Vision Board or a guide word. Let’s support each other.
I chat on Facebook Live every Tuesday night at 7:30 pm eastern time, and am active on Instagram (@sharing_a_journey) and love to play on Pinterest (sharingajourney) so be sure to follow my boards for my favorite outfits, recipes, decor, seasonal inspiration and travel.