Host your own personal New Year Summit

It is the first day of the New Year and even the rain and the cold can’t put a damper on my anticipation of what’s to come.  The lavender candle is lit, the preschooler is tucked away in quiet time, BF is getting a work out in, and I am left with my yellow pad and favorite pen to imagine all sorts of possibilities.  This, this is my personal Super Bowl, people.

But what fun is a personal Super Bowl if you can’t share it with friends?  So, today, I want to give you a peak at how I host my own personal New Year Summit and invite you to do the same for yourself.  Now, because I must write this post and host my own super bowl  Summit all in the span of Quiet Time, this post will get into every single nitty gritty thing I do or all of my answers (I am sure I will share those at some point).  What I will do is give you a very good sense of how to guide yourself through your own summit in hopes that it gives you as as much as a charge as it gives me and that you finish the summit with a real sense of possibility (and probability) for the year.  So light your candle (or not), get your yellow notepad (or whatever you want to write on), tuck your people away, and let’s begin.

First, an explanation as you might be wondering what in the world a personal New Year Summit is.  First, it is the book end to the End of Year Personal Summit I shared a few weeks ago.  If you didn’t do the end of year summit, you can now or you can start fresh with the New year, whatever works for you.

A New Year Personal Summit is about getting clear about what you want for yourself which may or may not, ultimately, end up having something to do with resolutions.

But as I mentioned in Monday’s Word for the Year post, the first step to getting the life we imagine is having clarity about who and how you want to be in the world.  The thing that matters most in our growth is articulating how we want our lives to feel, how we want to feel, really assessing who and how we want to be in the world.  Because when we know that, we can build a life that allows us that feeling and then every day feels like we are living in our true calling.

So before I can write any list, I have to know what yearnings I really have, what desire is driving the list.  A New Year Personal Summit gets you quiet at the beginning of each year so you can get clear on what intention you want to have in the new year– what focus, truth you want to guide you actions.

Step 1.  Figure out what you want to feel in 2013.  

Intention is about having an internal resolve, a desire to move towards something that will serve you better as you move forward.  It is claiming the desire to live your life in a certain way so that things happen on purpose rather than by accident.  After setting an intention, you can claim your vision, and then it is after that vision has been formed that you can begin to move into action.

What feeling do you want to have most regularly in 2013?  What do you want to be manifested for yourself because of actions you have taken?  What feeling does your life most need right now?

Get as clear as possible about what feeling you want in your life and what intention you most need to focus on for that to become real.  Then, if the idea speaks to you, you can choose your word for the year- the one word that will be a grounding and inspiration guide to you as you move through the year and embrace your possibilities.

Step 2.  Figure out your yeses.  

Now, that you have a sense of your intention, it is time to captures your vision for the year and one way to get started with that is by writing a yes list (you can also make a vision board which will be January 7th’s blog post).

What will the feeling that you chose give to you?

How will your life change if you are able to embody this feeling on a regular basis?

How will your life be different at the end of 2013 with this concept more present in your life throughout the year?

What do you want your life to feel and look like? And what – if you had more of it- would give you that?  Here, write down all the things you could incorporate into your life to give you more of what you want. This is your “yes” list- the things you should be doing more often in your daily life.

This being said, you may also want to write a parallel no list.  What are the experiences, interactions, and responsibilities that strip you of what you need?  What do you need to do less of or not at all in 2013?

 Step # 3  Name your priorities.  Design your action plan.   

I came up with several categories of where I would like to devote some intention and attention this year.  And I could try to do them all right starting today but then that just means I’ll get pooped and worn down and give up.  So I like to look at my list, prioritize, and then come up with an actin plan for intention and vision.

If an all-or-nothing approach to resolutions has been your downfall, loosen your grips on the absolutes. Instead, give yourself a ratio. I am going to make these choices 80 or 90 percent of the time. Then, you have grace for not always hitting the mark. Knowing you don’t have to be perfect can often be the impetus you need to move you closer to the life you desire.  Your resolutions, dreams, desires do not have to look like anyone else’s.  There are other ways you can approach improvement without being so absolute about them.


Set Monthly Goals.  Make 3-4 monthly goals on the first day of each month and then prioritize those for the four weeks ahead of you.  When the month is done, you can figure out what worked for you and if it’s a continuous opportunity (say: take 2 yoga classes each week vs. organize the kitchen junk drawer), you may know that it added enough to your life that you are wish to continue it while focusing on your new monthly goals.

Set a weekly or bimonthly focus.  I’ll turn 40 in mid-November and, for whatever reason, the idea of choosing 40 focuses between now and November 18th is appealing to me (a week with no sugar, a week of writing thank you notes to significant people who helped shape my life, a week of going to bed early and really cultivating and adhering to a bedtime ritual, a week of doing yoga everyday, etc).  I need to finish my own personal summit to see if that might work but that is one distinct possibility I am seeing.  Perhaps something like that might work for you. too.

Try a monthly challenge.  Maybe there are three areas that you want to address in the new year—your relationship, professional life, and wellness habits.  Maybe every month you choose one of those areas and prioritize behaviors that you are really going to concentrate on in that area for those thirty days.  If that kind of focused thinking works for you, then handle your resolutions that way.


What did you discover in your personal summit?  What do you want to say yes to in 2013? What do you want to say no to in 2013?

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3 responses to “Host your own personal New Year Summit”

  1. Tami -- Teacher Goes Back to School

    I absolutely love your process posts. Thank you for sharing your organizational wisdom.

    This post is starred in my reader and will be put to good use later in the week/month.

    PS – 2 year olds are a pain.

  2. Jeni

    This is exactly what I needed today. Thank you! I’ve never thought about the feelings I want to have, only the vague “happy” that is fairly difficult to predict. Now I’m thinking about feelings like “joy” and “accomplished”, Sort of like how you (I) feel after a long hike…

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