Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Welcoming 2016: Laying the Groundwork for the Coming Year

The LaSal Mountains, as seen from Arches National Park, one of my favorite adventures in 2015.

I'm sitting here in bed, my laptop balanced on a pillow and a cup of coffee by my side. From the window in my bedroom, I can see the morning light changing over the Flatirons, turning from pale periwinkle to a bright sky blue. I woke up this morning grateful that I've had time this past week to reflect on one year and prepare myself for the next.

A part of me resisted this week of quiet introspection (but there are real things to do! the mind insists, as mine always seems to do the second I slow my pace); however the replenishing of my emotional, mental, and physical reserves has me excited and energized, ready to fully inhabit my vision and goals for the coming year.

In past years, I have greeted Jan. 1 by setting traditional resolutions or choosing a word or theme. This year, I used a few different methods, mixing and matching different frameworks, perspectives, and techniques.

Here's what I've done so far:

  • Articulated my personal core values: Growth // Exploration // Creation // Wellness // Freedom
  • Revisited and refined my core desired feelings via The Desire Map. These have evolved in the past 1-2 years, most recently I have defined them as: Engaged // Luminous // Nourished // Affluent // Adventure-Bound (more to come on how I define these)
  • Revisited and refined my "absolute yes list" as outlined in Sara Avant Stover's The Way of the Happy Woman.
  • Rewrote my 3-Year Vision and used it to set Annual, Quarterly, and Monthly Goals (a variation of lululemon's Vision & Goal-Setting technique, scaled to a more near-term timeframe)
  • Gave myself an Annual Review (Note: I didn't follow Chris Guillebeau's format exactly, but I think he does a good job of describing the general idea. I made a list of What Worked In 2015, What Didn't Work In 2015, and What I Envision for 2016 in the areas of Health, Finances, Career, Relationships, and Personal Growth.)

I also used this past week to practice radical care of my physical body and ensure I am entering 2016 with the energy and nourishment (one of my CDFs!) to pursue my vision and goals by leveraging the luxury of time to get in some really solid workouts, attending my favorite yoga classes, and preparing for another Whole30.

Finally, because I believe it's important to make room for what you want (both literally and metaphorically), I used this week to make serious progress on an ongoing goal to simplify, declutter, and re-imagine my living space. It feels incredible to let go of belongings that no longer serve me or have relevance to my vision, goals, and desires. In that spirit, I waved goodbye to ~12 bags of clothes and other random items and hello to more physical and mental space.

Now I'm sitting here, sipping my coffee, feeling so glad that I granted myself the gift of this week – but also a little bit stunned at how easy it is to become disconnected from this stuff in the hustle of our daily lives. That focusing on myself for a few days felt like an insane and luxurious indulgence tells me that one of my priorities for 2016 needs to be re-examining whether I'm spending my time in the way that matters most: noticing, for example, when I am choosing an easy distraction like Netflix over my journal and scheduling time for intentional reflection the way I would any other meeting or appointment. 

I'm wishing – for you and for me – a rejuvenating and reflective end to 2015 and hopes for another year that thrills and fulfills in all ways possible. Cheers!


  1. This is a lovely reflection of the year. I like the idea of a word - I've tried - but it never resonates long term for me the way it can for others. Approaching goals from CDFs has been influential and empowering. Thanks for sharing these others; I think I'll find some of these inspiring during my own introspection. Cheers! -Allie F.

  2. Thanks Allie. I understand – it feels more liberating to me to focus on a few words or themes using the CDFs (rather than a single word). I hope your new year is off to a great start!