I was that person who LOVED to get new planners at the office supply store. I would spend thirty minutes looking at every kind of day timer, trying to find the exact one to fit my needs. The blank pages represented so much promise and possibility for the coming year. I would take my planner home, get out my pens and highlighters, and go to work creating my schedule.
The new year always feels that way to me – like an empty day timer. The number of days and hours are set, but you can fill them with whatever you would like! This time of year especially, people talk a lot about dream boards, goal setting and “New Year Resolutions”. I think this is hugely important and started incorporating it into my yearly routine about eight years ago. I actually keep a notebook on my desk that includes goals for the year, pictures that represent certain feelings or things I want to accomplish and inspirational quotes and sayings. I review it throughout the year as a reminder of where my focus should be, and what my priorities are. Then, when the New Year approaches, I’ll go through it and make changes as needed for where I am in my life now.
I know many people go through a similar process, and I think there is so much power in goal setting and setting intentions for our lives. There is one extra step I go through that I don’t hear many people discuss, and that I think is actually the most important part of the process.
That is giving thanks for the previous year and honoring what’s occurred to get us to this point.
At the end of every year, before I create any goals or ideas for the next year, I write down the “highlights” of the previous year.
I personally keep a journal on my desk, and I just write down a list of the major memories or events or accomplishments of the previous year. It only takes me five minutes and has been such a gift for me. Sometimes we get through an entire year and look back and say “What just happened? I didn’t accomplish any of my goals!”
Well, maybe you didn’t run the marathon that you had originally written as a goal, but you ran two 5K’s with your kids! Awesome! Write it down!
Maybe you didn’t take that European vacation, but you went to a family reunion with cousins and aunts and uncles you haven’t seen in years. They might be crazy, but it was a once in a lifetime chance to reconnect. Write it down!
You will be so thankful you took a chance to recognize what happened and record it.
If you are like me, the previous year might just seem like a blur and, while you know it was wonderful, you aren’t sure what just happened. I know I accomplished some of my goals for 2014, and then there are some I forgot I even wrote down.
That one about doing a pull-up? Yeah, that will be carried over to next year.
That’s ok, though. All I have to do is look through my phone at the hundreds of pictures of smiles and videos of laughter and I know it was the most amazing year yet. Eventually I will get to my goals for next year, but first I will write down and be grateful for another amazing year of this glorious life.