Digesting 2018 As You Intentionally Move Into 2019
Here's an exercise best done between the eve of Solstice and New Years Day! To get started, create some personal retreat time, a quiet afternoon or evening in the next couple of weeks. Think of this time and process as a way of gaining creative power in your life. I suggest three total sessions. Allow yourself to embody this personal inventory.
It can be helpful to do this exercise outside of your usual environment to allow for more expansive thinking. You may do this alone, with a small group, family members, or a special person. If distance is a factor, be intentional about being in the same space or at least coordinating so you do the exercise at the same time. Read through the entire process first for a sense of commitment as well as the journey ahead. Then find a notebook and writing utensil. You may wish to add more questions to this appreciative inquiry process, and that is GREAT! Make it your own! Do this exercise once for your personal life and once for your professional life... Or, ask yourself if the timing is right to bring yourself more into congruence in both areas. Consider what works best for you? Then begin.
What are the significant lessons that you learned in the past year?
What are ways that you strengthened yourself, stepped more fully into your power?
What changes and difficult moves you were able to make—sought out the kind of discomfort that could create more comfort?
What was the biggest risk you took? Remembering to, “Fail early and fail often” in the wake of reaching for your dreams.
What are your significant and smaller achievements of the last year?
What new area of your life did you seek support in?
What was the most loving service you performed?
Who made the biggest difference in your life? How did you acknowledge them?
How did you bring your life into greater alignment with your most cherished values?
How did you improve your significant relationships and friendships?
Are there any amends that need to be made to others? How can you make them? Or amends to yourself?
Do you need to advocate or stand up for yourself ( or others) in a relationship or situation?
Do you have any regrets that can be recognized and learned from or improved upon (and forgiven by you) for the year ahead? Please be both friendly and objective toward yourself with this question.
What else do you need to say to be complete for 2018?
After you have taken the time to acknowledge (congratulate yourself!) and digest the year you have just come through, take a break, go for a short walk or do something active to clear your mind. You can even plan to come back for the next session another day. Then prepare for the second part of this process...
Before you get started, draw three circles on a piece of paper and label them as follows:
I am passionate about...
I am skillful at...
Proceed to fill in the circles with qualities and activities that describe you and your life. Now look for interconnections, are there items that exist in all three circles—places where your passion, skill and meaning all intersect? This will offer clues for helping you design the year ahead for a high level of fulfillment. How will you live the next 365 days? And what would you like to say about the way you lived it at this time next year?
What is one new habit that would have the greatest impact on your life?
What is one change action that could possibly make the greatest impact on your life in 2019 and into the future?
What qualities would you like to strengthen or cultivate in yourself?
What do you want to learn?
What talent do you wish to develop?
What will be the greatest act of loving service you will be likely to perform this year?
How will you be a channel for grace/goodness each day of the year ahead?
How will you encourage others?
How can you bring more of your daily activities into alignment with that which you feel passionate, skillful and purposeful about?
How can you encourage each of your moments to demonstrate your most cherished values?
What are the specific goals or intentions you seek to achieve? How do you want to feel while you are pursuing them?
What is the greatest risk you could to take? Remembering to, “Fail early and fail often” in the wake of reaching for your dreams.
Given that we often need to become uncomfortable on the way to becoming more comfortable, how might you challenge yourself in 2019. Where is that edge of both vulnerability/power for you?
Where would it benefit you to practice radical self-acceptance in the year ahead?
How would you like to respond to the inevitable challenges that will present themselves to you this year?
What worked really well in 2018? How will I use that knowledge and success to build, cultivate, and steward my 2019? Who is in my “flock”?
Now, what else do you want to say about how you want to navigate 2019?
I hope you enjoyed this process! It is not a chore; it is a gift to yourself and those who love and care about you. It is meant to open new doorways for you as you move into creating 2019, especially if you share parts (or the whole) with an accountability buddy, coach, or partner! But even if you do not, pausing, reflecting, and making a point to write it down will have an impact. After you have envisioned your 2019, take another break, go for a short walk, or do something active to clear your mind. Remember you can plan to come back for the final session another day. Read over both sections and then prepare for this final part of this appreciative inquiry process.
First, look back over your intersecting circles. Now make a separate sheet for each of the following 2018 and 2019 sections. Decorate it and make it as artful as you want or just use an Excel spreadsheet. Whatever works! Make this something that gives you joy, motivation, and centering each time you visit it. Feel free to modify and clarify your thinking throughout the year.
In 2018 I experienced this...
I was my ideal self when I hit it out of the ballpark by:
My flock and I (names and actions):
My accountability buddies were (names & attributes):
My resources were:
The impact was:
My 2019 Intentions are...
My ideal self is:
My strengths are:
I will use those attributes to:
My flock and I will (names and actions):
My accountability buddies are (names & attributes):
My resources are:
My impact will be:
© 2018 Gwendolyn VanSant