I can barely believe it– we are at the end of 2019! Like, IT IS HERE. Are you guys trying to wrap your heads around it too?
Before we dive into one of the most fun + rewarding topics, ever, I just want to thank YOU. For being here, for following along, for supporting me and cooking any of my recipes and buying my books and being just the BEST COMMUNITY EVER. Seriously. Your willingness to share and ask questions and just be curious and on a mission with me to live our best lives is something I’m so thankful for. Especially after crazy years like 2019 has been for me—with a new baby, my new role as a mama, and a brand new book out in the world, added on top of all the usual business. Because without YOU, none of it would be possible. Or successful. Or as fun as it has been to figure out all the things together, along the way.
If you haven’t taken part in my annual check in and survey, I’d so love any and all of your thoughts! Every year I use this as a personal guide so I can keep creating the best posts, blogs, resources, classes, workshops and tools to help you guys in all the ways with what you actually need when it comes to living a healthier and more intentional life. Doing so enters you to win $25 to Whole Foods or Amazon too, so why not?
Okay, you know I love you, now enough sap. Because it’s a BIG WEEK in my eyes. It’s the last week of the year.
Around here, that means it’s time for some INTENTION SETTING. I feel like the topic it’s so trendy now, but it’s been something I personally have done every year this week for the last 6 years straight, and it’s been one of the most profound practices of my life. It’s such a great way to review and get clear on things I’d like to adjust, keep doing, implement, leave behind and more.
At least for me—-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).
So today I’m going to walk you through the exact steps I usually take for doing both a YEAR IN REVIEW, and then A NEW YEAR’S creation + intention setting practice so you can tune in and align with who you are and how you want to live your life in the coming 365 days.
If you want to join me in doing so, DO IT! Or if anything here inspires something in you to come up with your own little ritual of sorts, do that too.
I’m a big believer that anything is possible. And that life happens FOR us, not TO us. This methodology is such a helpful way to start putting that mindset into action.
Intention Setting for the New Year
Can I be honest? The bulk of this exercise will take you sitting down to actually doing it. That’s where you’ll see its power. Just like anything else that can be transforming, it takes some of your energy and attention to hone in and do the digging.
If you have an hour or even just 30 minutes over the next week or so to sit down, this is such an important exercise not only to reflect on the last year, but to see how it points to what’s next. There’s so much that happens in a year that if we don’t pause and take note of everything that happened, we’ll never know how to change. To make a difference in our habits. To pinpoint holes and goals and so much more.
We’re going to be doing this as a group in more detail as we kick off the new Simply Real Eating: The Workshop course that starts January 6th, 2020, with a printable worksheet and all, so make sure you’re signed up! It’s gonna be so fun you guys, I can’t wait. The workshop is free with purchase of a Simply Real Eating Cookbook (grab all the details here along with the other 2 amazing free bonuses that come with the book too).
Ok, let’s jump in, shall we?
Let’s start by first looking at your calendar from just the past year to take an intake of trips you took or accomplishments you’re proud of, just big massive things you’ve done this year. Twelve months is a LONG time, and it’s easy to forget big moments, whether it’s travel, with family or marriage or work, goals, friendships. Even your relationship with food which can ebb and flow just like any other area of your life. Take a look at this high-level picture of what went on this past year.
If your calendar was really full, was it full of the types of things when you look back on the year that you notice and appreciate for how they filled your time? Taking a look in this way at where you spend your time, especially if you use a calendar that does have your daily appointments and the things you’re working on and through, it can be so helpful.
I look at everything– my iCal for events and dates and appointments and also my day designer for the smaller pieces that fill my weeks. It’s just a fascinating process to kick this whole thing off, seeing what you spent the bulk of your time on or made a lot of progress on. Remind yourself of everything that’s happened– the good, the bad, the ugly, the up and down, the in between. Then I like to answer this: 1) What things were definite YES’S?! Like so life-giving and such a great use of your time and energy? Make a list of them. These are great to keep fresh in your mind for the next year.
2. What things weren’t worth the time, energy, stress, or mental space that they took up in your life? This is key to stop yourself from making the same mistakes next year and get more ruthless about where and what you’re spending your precious energy on.
3. Write down 25 things you are proud of this past year. 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.
4. Pick a word or phrase that summarized the year, overall.
5. 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?
6. 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.
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?
I like to make it pretty, this one. This is probably what you’ve seen me post on IG each year:) I love keeping this list to look back on. This will be my 6th year doing this and it’s such a great reminder of all the good stuff you’re doing and experiencing and enjoying each year.
Year in review, done.
2. Next up: Planning the next year.
Next up, I have a couple questions for you to be able to put yourself in the driver’s seat a little more and imagine the year ahead.
1. I want you to imagine that it’s December 31, 2020, one year from right now, and thinking through and imagining it was just the perfect year. What made it that way? Write it down.
And then: 2. What did you do differently in 2020 to make it so? What did you have to let go of, shift, and change in order to actually show up in the ways you’re wanting to in every area of your life? Write it down.
3. Pick a word for 2020. Write that down too- how you want to feel, a mindset you want to take on, or a way you want to show up. What is this year about for you?
Ok, you’re done!
Are there any themes you found?
Bits of gold?
You guys, keep these notes. These are treasures for yourself, that help you remember the big things in life, and how you want to live it. Whenever you feel like you need a boost, pull it out again and remind yourself where you want to go, and what needs to happen for you to do so. I personally keep these out and review them weekly, but it’s totally up to you.
And I hope it helps you take a little more control of your future, whether it’s the next month, year, or 10 from now. Living your best life requires some planning and mindfulness and intention, but it’s always always worth it. You are worth it. And you got this, sister. 2020, here we come!