I just love the start of a new year. To me it’s just like I imagine a fresh blank canvas must be to an artist – or the first page in a new notebook or journal is to so many stationery lovers. I love the excitement and infinite possibility of looking to the 12 months ahead and dreaming up what I want to achieve. To me it’s exhilarating because I know from my experience in life that what I can dream I can find a way to achieve.
To celebrate the start of a beautiful new year, I thought I’d share some of my tips in case you might find some inspiration of your own to dream and to set your goals for the year ahead.
- DREAM: I love starting with a new fresh note book where I start jotting dreams about how my ideal, perfect year ahead might look. I don’t think about how I will make it happen. I don’t put any constraints on myself. I write as if no-one will ever read what I have written and I just dream up my ideal year in words, lists, pictures and doodles. I try not to pre-judge whether any of my dreams are possible and I just dump them all on paper – one after the next. Rough. Quick. Letting my instinct and my inner self free.
- MOVE TOWARDS TURNING DREAMS INTO REALITY BY SETTING GOALS: Based on my dream year – I then start thinking in a more rational way about what I need to do to make my dreams real. Breaking everything down into small achievable steps. Thinking about who can help me. What barriers I might encounter and how I could overcome them and trying to synthesize thoughts into the simplest goals I can set to get me close to my ideal year. I then cull everything down to just 5 goals that are the most important to me and which if achieved will deliver me my dream year.
- VISUALISE: Once I have my clear goals on paper I then set about creating a vision board that represents the goals as I see them. For example, if I have a fitness goal I may put quotes on fitness and health that will inspire me to keep fit. Or a picture of someone in perfect health who inspires me to take action . This is such a fun project. I don’t try to make it perfect, because I know I can always change or add to it during the year. It’s all about progress not perfection (which is a philosophy that has guided me for many years).
- THINK HABITS: We are all such creatures of habit. Once I have my goals and have started on the path to visualizing them I think about what the habits are that I would like change to make this the best year yet. What do I need to remove – or stop doing – that no longer serves me. What can I start doing that I know will make a difference and take me closer to my goals?
- ACT DAILY: Probably the most important step of all – I remind myself daily that I just need to do a few simple small things to take me forward today. I know I need to do things every day that are easy to do – and also easy not to do. Simple small steps repeated daily are what really matter and so most important of all I take action daily to move me forward in small or big ways. To help me act daily I have a daily habit – which I love – of writing in my journal about my goals, my dreams and my progress towards them. Reflecting daily is really helpful for me and no matter how busy life gets, I find it really valuable to check in every day with myself – asking myself ‘What have I done today to get me closer to the life I want to live this year?’
Have the most wonderful time thinking about, dreaming and planning your year ahead. Make it count for you and for the people you love and make the world more beautiful by being the best version of yourself you can be.
Warm wishes for 2017.