2015. It was a year that posed so many questions for me.
How will I live without my mother? How do I honor her legacy?
What will I do for good health (I battled an unending, debilitating sinus infection for 10 straight months that has led me on a long overdue journey to better physical health)?
What will I do to stop useless cycles in my life?
When does sacrifice become too sacrificial?
What am I willing to do to live the way I intend?
What would it be like to not do X or to do Y?
How can I be true to each of my intentions today?
If there are indeed years that ask question and years that answer them, then my intention is for 2016 to be filled with answers, answers that I deliberately seek and enthusiastically embrace so that they may serve me and those around me well.
Creating a 2016 that provides answers starts with me doing the work of asking and answering some deep questions for myself.
While last week, we focused on looking back at 2015, this week, I want to encourage you to look forward in a New Year Personal Summit. A New Year Personal Summit is about getting quiet enough to discern what you most desire, so that your intention for the year is articulated and you can build your focus and actions from that deep soul direction.
Ready to get started? Here you go.
Identify your intention for 2016.
Intention setting is about naming an internal resolve, a desire to move towards something that will serve who you are and how you wish to be 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 2015? 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 this feeling regularly?
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 11th if you want more perspective on that).
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 2016 if you are able to make your above intention 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?
What do you wish to be doing more often in your 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?
Let your yeses and nos from this exercise be a guide for your new year. For more thoughts on saying yes and no, check out The Wholehearted Continuum.
Design your action plan.
What are your biggest dreams for 2016 (think in terms of all areas of your life: professionally, relationships, sense of wellbeing, personal development, spirituality, etc)?
How do these dreams align with how you want to feel in life? Do they take you closer to what you feel will bring you happiness and congruence in your life?
What growth opportunities do you need to explore?
What beliefs or behaviors might need revision to lead you closer to your dream?
How ready are you for this dream? How do you know this?
What first step are you ready to take?
What do you need to begin (this could be resources, training, support, time, etc)?
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?
Some thoughts about action plans: 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 January 1st 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 when each should happen.
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 (This week, go to bed at 10:30. Next week, you can add the 60 ounces of water a day and the next week you can add the fifteen minutes of reading daily). This way, you build grace into how you experience and create your 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.
Celebrate. The New Year isn’t a time to make yourself feel bad or to shame yourself. It’s an opportunity to remember that all of life is journey and we can choose our journey any time.
Want even more support as you reflect on 2015 and plan for 2016? Join me this Friday or Saturday for visionSPARK or re:NEW.