It is the last day of 2013 (but likely the first day of 2014 when you read this), and I am taking a little time while B is running errands and Happy is tucked into quiet time to have my own little quiet, contemplative time and imagine all sorts of possibilities for 2014. Because, let me tell you, 2013, especially the end, wasn’t my favorite (ill fathers, highly sensory times for a little one who struggles with sensations and, thus, plenty of meltdowns to navigate, a gnarly sinus infection, and a scary mammogram situation that turned out to be fine in the end), and I am eager for a reset button and what button is more prominent than the one that lets down that crystal-covered apple in New York City?
So, what exactly am I doing in my quiet, contemplative time? I am hosting my own personal New Year Summit (this is a great bookend to the End of Year Personal Summit. Why a personal summit at the New Year? Because 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. 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 or goals. 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.
Here are the details of the process in case you want to do the same for yourself.
Step 1. Figure out what you want to feel in 2014.
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 2014? What feeling does your life most need right now?
What would feeling like this add to your life?
How would your life change with this feeling? What would your life look like if you were living with this feeling?
What behaviors are needed to live this feeling?
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 (I will be blogging about words for the year on Monday, January 6th if you want more perspective on that).
Step 2. Figure out your yeses and your nos.
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 getting clear about your yeses and nos.
How will your life be different at the end of 2014 if you are able to make the concept from step one more present in your life throughout the year?
What do you want or need your life to feel and look like to live that concept/feeling?
What do you need more of in your life to bring this concept and feeling into clarity? This is your test list– the things you should be doing more often in your daily life.
What do you need less of in your life to realize this feeling? What are the experiences, interactions, and responsibilities that strip you of what you need? This is your no list– the things you should stop doing or do less of in order to realize the life that you imagine.
Compile your yes and no lists for a guide to your new year.
Step 3 Name your priorities. Design your action plan.
I have several areas where I would like to devote some intention and attention this year. And I could try to do them all starting today but then that is a whole lot of action all at once and is more likely to lead me to feeling overwhelmed.. So I like to look at my intentions and the actions they suggest and then prioritize future success in living my intention and vision
If an all-or-nothing approach to resolutions, goals, and/or intentions has been your downfall, loosen your grips on the absolutes. Instead, give yourself a range. Aim to make the choices you wish to make for 80 or 90 percent of the time, for example. Or aim to do one thing at a time– just for this week, I will go to bed at 10:30 and then next week you can add the sixty ounces of water a day and the next week you can add the fifteen minutes of reading daily (or whatever is on your mind). Then, you have built grace into your experience of life. Knowing you don’t have to be perfect (and you know how I feel about perfect) can often be the impetus you need to move you closer to the life you desire. Your resolutions, intentions, dreams, desires do not have to look like anyone else’s.
What first step are you ready to take?
What do you need to begin?
What is the scope and reality of taking that step?
When can you begin and how?
What is your next step?
And, as a gentle and motivating reminder, what do you want to be manifested for yourself because of actions you have taken?
Excited about really embracing 2014 in a way that makes it more about creating the life you want? Join me, starting January 6th, for Spark: Practices to Nourish this New Beginning, a daily blog guide that will detail what steps I am taking to live my intention in 2014 and offer you a step, tool, or inspiration daily through January 2014 in case you want to walk the same journey with me (or part of it). I will be back tomorrow to share more with you about Spark but, in the meantime, I hope you will share what you discovered in your personal summit, what you want out of 2014, and/or what made it to your yes or no lists?