This post was originally published in December of 2012. It’s been completely updated and brought up-to-date.
It’s December, a natural time to start thinking about plans, and set intentions, to get clear about your visions for the coming year. You may even be thinking about those things right now.
Honor yourself in the most sacred way and allow for closure for all the beautiful actions you took in 2014. Take the time to look back, and acknowledge your magnificent accomplishments of this past year. Give yourself the gift of completing and releasing the year that’s coming to an end before you begin looking ahead — when you do, you’ll be creating a firmer loving foundation for your intentions and visions.
Here’s how to create a strong, workable, sustainable foundation for your vision, goals and intentions for an amazing 2014! In this workbook you can make note of what challenged you, and what may still be incomplete. Celebrate yourself for all the new, audacious, brave, risky things you’ve taken on, tried, and manifested. The actions that worked out as planned (or better!) and the ones that didn’t. Everything that was wonderful, everything that was challenging, and everything in between. When you get to gratitude for all of it, you are lovingly cutting the ties to what may hold you back from your magnificence in the New Year.
“When I started the workbook, I was feeling pretty down on my year that was ending, but in the process of reviewing the questions, I found that I actually took more risks — and some significant ones at that — in the past year, and that each risk, each action, was deserving of my mindful attention and gratitude. I found the overall “taking stock” to be helpful. The language was at once direct and empowering, serving as an invitation to reflect upon this year in a way that was forthright, yet kind to myself. This is new for me — previously I’ve found “year in review” type activities to bring out a serious amount of harsh, critical self-judgment. I left this activity with a sense of clear renewal.” —Christine Scudder, MSW.”
They call it failing forward. I promise you, taking the time to do this completion work will remove the weeds and undergrowth from your path, so that your new start —the goals, visions, blessings, and miracles you will bring to 2015 — will germinate, root, and flower beautifully for you.
Pricing, purchase links, more information, more testimonials, the whole megillah (yup, that’s Yiddish again — means the whole story). Check it out. Put yourself high on your gift list.
But wait, there’s more!
If you’ve been a reader or subscriber for a while, you may remember my annual rant about resolutions. They start off so powerfully, don’t they?, in the Capricorn energy of the New Year (more about that below, in the section about the upcoming New Moon, the time when we are naturally drawn to our vision work, to our goals and intentions. Have you noticed how resolutions—commitments to wellness, more money, deeper love, more satisfying work—start off strong and evaporate over time? Is your gym more crowded this month than last? Check again in March and you will probably see that the attendance has returned to normal levels.
Say you had a powerful vision over the holidays, something you really want (I hope you did!). Maybe it’s a new deep loving long-term relationship. Or maybe it’s developing and launching a new product line for your business that will be of service to your tribe. Or maybe it’s having more financial abundance.
We’ll use increased financial abundance as an example. You had this beautiful vision over the holidays, and you know what you have to do to get there (some combination of raising your rates, growing your practice, or developing some new products to sell). And you get started. Just as in the past, you start taking actions toward that goal, but soon your actions begin to lessen, to the point where you eventually forget the vision altogether. What’s your relationship with the resolution?
When you believe that abundance is only available to you in the future—once you’ve attained your goal or manifested your vision—then an unresolvable dilemma arises, and your relationship to the resolution weakens. It gets to be too painful to hold onto, and eventually becomes forgotten.
New Year’s resolutions are a pervasive cultural habit. And useless. Think about it. How many times have you made that list of resolutions:
lose ten pounds
join a gym
get a better job
invite your family over for dinner
have a child
and on, and on, and on…
Then, few weeks into January you find yourself disappointed that you’re not following through. If in fact you even remember your late-December resolve. There’s a really interesting article by Jonah Lehrer that appeared in the Wall Street Journal last year that speaks to the science of why 88% of all resolutions end in failure.
My theory is that the resolutions habit evolved out of the practice of year-end inventory: taking time at the end of the year to reflect, review, reassess. Businesses balance their year-end books; so can we as individuals and entrepreneurs. Getting clear about where we’ve been allows us to then set concrete goals and an action plan for the coming year.