As a recovering Perfectionist and High Achiever-type in the academic world for most of my life, I have mined the gems and adjusted them to fit my current life. (It’s an ongoing process, promise.) It is useful to be organized, thorough, linear in thought, disciplined, and on and on.. To an extent. More on balance/harmony later ;)
When it comes to making 2024 Intentions and actually, finally following through on them, these qualities of the rational mind become rather supportive.
At a high level, here are things I do at the turn of each year:
Take stock of the year prior
Be thorough ;)
Really see where I am today
Be discerning and blameless!
Consider your life’s purpose and meaning, and what you value most
Vision the path forward (& choose a word for the year)
What quality(ies) do I wish to BEcome?
And in more detail….
What are key events and memories from each month? What lit you up? What challenged you? How did your word for 2023 guide you and support you? How have you evolved? What supported you most? What exhausted you most? What did you let go of this year? What new priorities have you uncovered in 2023? What connections have you cherished most? If your body could talk, what would it be saying this year? How have you taken care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, or not? What can you release about 2023? What are you grateful for in 2023? What are you proud of? When did you most feel like yourself? What have you healed, or identified needs to be healed?
A neutral point between past and future thought. What is present right now, in your body, heart, and mind? Considering the past questions above, notice the sensation in your body and describe the qualities, without judgment of yourself and being as discerning as you can.. state the facts. What meaning do you make of your own life? What is your purpose, as though you’re compelled to actualize it this lifetime? Of all things/ways of being in life as a human, what do you most value? (ie honesty, respect, communication, empathy, reciprocity, wellness, self-actualization, trust)
What questions or explorations are you curious about for 2024? What do you need more of? What do you need less of? Envision your ideal day, and even write it down. How do you want to feel? What is definitely happening in 2024, and what are you hoping will happen? What dreams do you want to nurture in 2024? What area(s) of your life is/are asking to be supported in 2024? What does your heart need? Who are you becoming, and how does that feel? What is your word for 2024? It could also be a mantra, a short phrase, or a couple of words, it could span inward and outward/internality and externality. Why is this word what you need in 2024? If you embodied this word every day, what would you do differently? What one thing could you do daily to anchor your word(s) into your routine?
My words for the years gone by: 2020 presence, 2021 sovereign, 2022 generative, 2023 synergy. Now 2024 feels so right to have two words… harmony & commitment (more on that later).
All of this gets written down. I type proficiently and have gotten use to this method, but a good ol’ fashioned notebook, cup’a tea, and a warm nook really do wonders, too.
Feel free to copy/paste anything here in your own notes!
After all of the above musing and writing, here’s where follow through comes into play:
How do we make sure we keep this going? Firstly, you, internally, MUST want it. Your motivation must be high enough to ensure even when things go wonky, you can return to the practice. It’s common to get derailed and get back on top of things. That’s the whole point of mindfulness and meditation too - the real work is in the recall back to the focus at hand.
So, here’s what I do:
I manually track each month some things related to my Word for the Year.
When did your word make a difference this month? What is your word teaching you about yourself? How can you bring more of your word into your home and relationships? How can you bring more of your word into your work life and dreams? If you were to truly embody your word this month, what would you do? What would you let go of if you lived with more of your word this month? Does your word still feel like the word for your year? Are there additional words that would support you?
I post my Word for the Year in several key places so that I’m reminded every day, and I intentionally look at it (not just let it become background noise): the wall behind my computer setup on a sticky note. A note on my phone screen has been useful at times, as has sticky notes in places like the bathroom and on the fridge, and even on my car’s dash. The key is that you post it where it will be relevant to you!
I hold myself accountable by telling close friends and loved ones what my intentions are and asking them to support me. This is the real juicy area! Friends that follow up on you asking, “oh how’s your intentions for __ going?” result in some of my favorite moments! It feels so supportive to me to be inquired on in this way, and I trust it will for you too.
At each turn of the year, I also re-assess my finances for the year ahead, any travel plans I can forecast, and perhaps goals in some broad categories I like to focus on. Here are those categories:
Connection to Spirit ~ Physical Health ~ Mental Health ~ My relationship with Me ~ My relationship with my partner ~ Social relationships ~ Masculine/Feminine Polarity ~ Learning/Study ~ Home ~ Finance ~ Career
One last thing I’ll leave you with is to ponder:
With all of your intentions, where can you implement systems?
A mentor of mine once said, “systems over goals.” Goals are good and all, but so many people drop them.
Create systems for yourself, and change your life.
In Loving Service,
PS - if you want coach accountability in following through on your intentions, I’m running a special 2024 coaching starter kit opportunity with me: FOUR 60 minute sessions 1:1 with me across one month of time for just $300. I usually run packages, but want to help you kickstart your year at an affordable rate. To me, 2024 will be a POWERFUL year… 2+0+2+4 = 8 which is a sideways infinity … so much is possible!
PPS - I’m offering my Mental Fitness program as a FREE BONUS if you get my 4-sesh coaching starter kit. This is a $995 program I run as a Positive Intelligence® Coach, and I kid you not it’s changed my own life!
Shoot me a message to grab your 4 coaching sessions and bonus Mental Fitness program!
appreciations to ….. Susannah Conway who creates yearly writing prompts that have inspired me. Find her work here. Shirzad Chamine for the POSITIVE INTELLIGENCE® coaching program which is infusing all of my own work. Find the website/book/app here.