I don’t know about you, but I have a funny memory. Especially so this time of year, when it seems to come so easily to others.
I’m pretty good at either remembering and focusing only on the good in smaller increments (and finding something daily, as you guys know in my #dailyjoys tags on instagram). But, I’m not so great about recalling higher level things, as in over the course of a year, without a little help.
You know, to look back and really soak in the juiciness of all that has happened, instead of just push forward with the flashier new ideas and intentions.
Sometimes I have to really, really think about it, to remember everything that’s happened. Both the uplifting and life-giving moments, and wise little nuggets to remember as I move forward.
It’s why I make it a point to sit down every year, on the morning of my birthday, and do my little writing ritual and recap.
Because I forget- how much I have done, how I’m feeling internally, and what I want to re-focus my time and attention on for that coming year. It’s very personal and internal in nature. In fact, I never share it with anyone, it’s just for me.
And I kinda plan to keep it that way.
But, I’ve been finding that for the last two years, I also need a little mental boost for the New Year. But not just setting “goals” and more boxes to check off in the game of life.
I need a recap and reminder of not just personal things, and not just business related things (those come easy and much more frequently), but also for my life as a whole: in business, in my relationships, in my dreams, in my marriage, my health, my spirituality, and in my community (both here in this space online and in person).
And with all this winter darkness, it can be hard to really remember what did happen this year.
The huge stuff can be obvious, but not always about how those goals, accomplishments, intentions, or life events and circumstances made me feel-– instead of checking it off.
(huge life stuff: you know, like holding out for this one)
Because how I feel– and how many times I felt that way throughout the year– is the best indicator how close I am to being aligned with how I want to live my life. Not a simple checklist. (If you’ve never read Desire Map, it’s a must if you’re more curious about this style of goal setting).
Because life isn’t always so clean and straightforward, you know?
And remembering ALL the good stuff– all the trips and meals, and highlight moments– helps me put the lessons and fails and turbulent moments and seasons in perspective.
So instead, I’ve come up with a little fun ritual for myself– to both remind me of all the beautiful things and feelings and experiences of the year, and the clear themes and feels I want to bring forward into the next year.
And then, brainstorming what I can do to literally create more of that in the coming year. Big picture. High level. The things that matter most to squeezing all out of this life that you can.
So, here’s my little ritual, if you want to join me, or if anything here inspires something in you to come up with your own little ritual of sorts.
- Write down at least 25 things you are proud of having done or accomplished– in your work life, family life, home life, relationship life, community, health, etc. It can be anything. Don’t be modest for one hour of the year while you do this– too often we brush things aside that do mean a lot to us- even if they are smaller seeming things. If you get any spark of joy or a smile from it, write it down.
2. Pick a word or phrase that summarized the year, overall. And then a word or phrase of what you’re craving more of in the next year.
3. Pick a word or phrase (or 2 or 3) about the undeniable biggest lessons/obstacles that got presented to you that year. Do they have a theme? Another way to think about this: what called attention to some places you may have not been paying attention to?
4. Go ahead. Do a highlight reel. Go through your calendar, instagram and facebook, and remember all you have done that really brought you joy, and made you feel exactly how you want life to feel. Or, that summarized where you are in life, if you were looking back on this 1- years from now. See ideas from my own personal list below.
5. Share it with someone you love and trust. There’s a certain beauty in saying these things out loud– not to brag, but to truly let them all sink in. To be encouraged, celebrated and to motivate you to do more of the things that matter to you in life.
6. Make it pretty. Keep it somewhere so you can look back on it next year. Or on the tougher days. To remind you of the big things, and how lucky you are to get this short time on the planet.
I’ll give you an example — I’m still working on mine this week to share, and yours can be/will be totally different depending on what’s important and life-giving to you.
But, here are some of my fav categories to recap and revel in their juiciness and memories:
- Number of trips taken/places traveled
- Number of date nights
- Parties thrown/hosted
- Big highlights of the year
- Best meals
- Cocktail order of the year
- Coffee order of the year
- Motto/phrase/word of the year
- Biggest lesson/gamechanger of the year
- Song of the year that sums it all up
- Best investment you made this year for yourself ( a time, experience, program, book, etc)
Kind of fun right?
If you decide to do it, I’d love to know what some of yours are. Leave a comment below!
Also P.S.- Speaking of healthy inspiration, have you listened to my new podcast workshop? I know you are busy, so I wanted to find a way to teach that you can take and listen to anywhere. It’s all about REAL FOOD: FINALLY EXPLAINED. About on how to weed through the confusing world of food, and how to eat healthier without being so lame (or rigid). So you can be both wise AND joyful about food. For good! Take a listen here, it’s free.
Photos by Carina Skrobecki.