As I prepare for the closing of one year and the opening of another I like to collect my journals. Each morning I write three pages of whatever comes to mind.* Sometimes it’s short stories, or a letter, or just complaining about whatever has me in a funk that morning. Some days it’s all about the weather or good news. It depends on the day. But often littered inside all of this writing there are gems – lists, to do items, goals. Dreams I have that I haven’t examined more deeply. These ideas may be used to write your resolutions.
Now at the end of the year, I am reviewing my journal entries and looking for goals and ideas. Sparks that I have had in the last twelve months that I either wish to make progress on or would like to add to my plans for 2023. I also do a word-web and find what is most inspiring or rising to the top of my list but we’ll talk about that in another post. What is most important is the focus on what I’ve already put on paper. I am highlighting and documenting these items on a list – if they were important enough to write down once, they’re important enough to write down again.
My strategy is to combine all of these ideas into a list and then separate that list by topic – I like my resolutions to fit into several areas of wellness:
Physical Health + Fitness
Social circles – Family + Friends
Community + Charitable Works
Looking at my goals and where they fall in this list it shows me where I’m focusing my energies. And perhaps where I need more growth in the coming year. If my list is long and heavy in career but I only have “take more walks,” in my physical fitness area, I know that fitness needs a little more focus. Of course, these will never all be equal, there are some areas that are harder and some years where we’re just not ready to tackle a big project – like spirituality. These areas all require work and attention in order for us to live balanced lives. The goal here though is not to look at these as tasks or errands. If anything they are guide posts.
Will I achieve everything on my list in 2023? Absolutely not! I didn’t finish this work in 2022 and chances are I won’t get to finish everything on my list this year either. However, it does give me a place to start. It gives me an opportunity to see where my interest and focus has been in 2022 and to show myself some gratitude because littered in among the dreams for the future are also my accomplishments. Seeing my accomplishments highlighted (in a different color) feels pretty great. It’s incredibly empowering to look over a year of writing and see how much I’ve grown, to look back at happy times or see how I worked through challenges and obstacles.
However you choose to organize your resolutions or plans for the coming year, I hope you take some time to yourself to take stock of how far you’ve come. I know I am always proud and impressed by the work I have done in a single year. The next year will bring its own challenges and opportunities. I hope we all come to it honestly and authentically, aware of who we are and what we are working towards. When we know what we want we can align our steps and plans to achieve it.
This tool is just one of the ways I clear space and organize my strategy for the coming year. It’s time consuming but also a labor of love. A gift I give to myself as the year winds down. A little space and time to reminisce and reflect on who I have been. Which gives me better insight into who I hope to become in the next year.
May your New Year’s be peaceful and serene. May your resolutions scare you just enough to inspire you to work hard. I wish you balance, light, and love in every day of this New Year! I look forward to seeing more of you in 2023. – M
*Morning Pages is a concept created by Julia Cameron. If you want to learn more I highly recommend her book, “The Artist’s Way.”