How To Design Your Best Year Yet

How To Design Your Best Year Yet

I’m not sure I’ve been so excited for a new year in ages. Most people I speak to are ready for 2020 to be done. But actually 2020 was my best year yet. I spent time working on me, working on my leadership, and workinG internally. And it’s been my biggest growth year.

So now that we’re heading into 2021, I want to continue that success. I’ve been working for the past month or so to reflect on the year past, see what worked and plan on things that I want to do in 2021 to continue with the growth that I’ve started in 2020. Here are some of the things that I’ve done.

WORD OF THE YEAR

Each year I choose a word of the year. It’s a defining word, a word that acts like a compass to everything that I do. It frames my year, my actions, my goals, my habits. I’ve been doing it for about 5 years ago now and each year whether I go really deep on it, or it’s just in the periphery it’s always a guiding light and I discover at the end of the year it really has been something that has pushed me along.

My 2020 word of the year was ‘MAGIC.’ I finished 2019 burnt out and crawling to the finish line, so I wanted to walk into 2020 finding the magic moments in every day and bringing my unique magic touch into every situation.

In 2021 my word is High Vibe. I want everything I do in the new year to raise my vibration and the vibrations around me. I want to live more awake, more conscious, more aware of everything that is going on around me.

When choosing my word of the year I usually sit down and think about everything that has been coming up for me, have I been reading about certain topics, thinking on things, writing about things. I brainstorm everything and then try to find a common thread. I usually give myself a 30 days cooling off period to see if it really fits.

Once It’s locked in I create a phone Home Screen image that sits on my phone the whole year. Every time I open my phone I’m reminded of my word.

[IMAGE: HOME SCREEN]

VISION BOARD

The next thing I do in preparing for the new year is to create a vision board. I have to admit in the past I thought this was a bit loopy - how would cutting up a bunch of photos help me to achieve my goals and dreams? Turns out the act of visualising and putting myself in the vision board does actually help me.

Because I’m such a digital baby, I create my vision board on my iPad using the app Procreate. I wrote about my process in a previous blog post which you can read here.

My vision board is basically just a visual brainstorm of all the things I want to accomplish in the year, how I want to feel, what I want to do. And it lives both on my iPad Home Screen as well as my Notion Dashboard, so I’m reminded and look at it every single day.

[IMAGE: VISION BOARD]

VISUALISE MY PERFECT DAY

A few years ago a coach did this visualisation activity with me and it has stayed with me for years. I had to close my eyes and imagine my perfect day. Everything from what time I woke up, where I woke up, what I had for breakfast, who I was with, what did work look like, and so on and so on.

It was vividly descriptive and to this day I am working towards that perfect day scenario. For me it’s not just a daydream, I actually take action and think about how I can make that happen. For instance part of my perfect day is to only work 4 hours a day, so that’s become a big focus for me as to the steps I can take to reduce my working hours by working smarter, leveraging my time and my skills.

So, as I was scrolling through Twitter the other day I saw that Vensy Krishna had created a 2021 Visualisation Worksheet. I duplicated it into my workspace and started working through it. I would highly recommend doing the same.

As I said, visualisation isn’t just a daydream. It’s a powerful tool that helps you to stop, and really think about what you want. And design the life that you’ve always dreamed of living. So much of our lives is a hamster wheel and things like visualisation help us to get above all the day to day and imagine a life full of possibilities.

LESS/MORE LIST

This is an activity that we did with our coaching clients in our December workshop and I LOVED it. It’s a great reflection exercise as well as prep for a new year. Basically you make two lists. One list is everything that you want to do less of. That could less junk food, less negative talk, less mindless scrolling.

Then you also make a list of things you want to do MORE of. These things are things that worked for you during the year and you want to implement more. These could be things like more meditation, mor exercises, or more creativity.

I like this activity because it’s really simple and usually quick and easy to do. Here are my More and Less Lists:

  • More Sunrises
  • More Ocean Swims
  • More Walks
  • More Thinking
  • More Stillness
  • More Travel
  • More Creativity
  • More Bike Rides
  • More Yoga
  • More Writing
  • Less Busy Work
  • Less Mindless Scrolling
  • Less Rushing
  • Less Consumption
  • Less Waste
  • Less Last Minute
  • Less Netflix
  • Less Uber Eats
  • Less Spending
  • Less Screen Time

BHAG GOALS

To be honest I’m not a big goals person. Never have been. I’m all about the day to day, I live intuitively rather than pushing towards goals that seem far off. Maybe that’s because I’ve set goals in the past and because they seem so big or so far off I kind of get bored or forget about them.

But I’ve set some goals for myself this year. I think having everything in on system that is interconnected through Notion makes things much simpler and easier. It means that I can see those goals everyday in my dashboard, I can see the progress I am making towards them. Thy don’t get lost in some note somewhere.

Along with writing down the goal, I also write down something I can do everyday to get me towards that goal. That’s what makes goals more concrete for me. If I can do something everyday to get me there - that puts me in control.

DAILY RITUALS/ROUTINES LIST

The last thing I do to get ready for a new year is to review my Daily Rituals and Routine. I look through the things that have served me, and the things that I could do without. I look at my vision board, my goals list, my more/less list and I think about the things that I can do each day to make those things a reality.

The truth is, this is probably one of the MOST important parts of this whole process. Because your success is determined by the things that you do everyday, not the things you do once in a while. If you can commit to rituals and routines everyday - ones that connect to your goals and dreams and outcomes - you’ll achieve those things.

It might seem like a small goals to read 10 pages of a book each day, but at the end of the year that is 3,650 pages that you’ve read. That’s a lot. And each time you tick a day off, it gets easier. It’s more ingrained. I cannot state highly enough the power of daily habits - they really have the power to change the trajectory of your life.

Once I have locked them in I create them as checklist properties in my daily journal/tracker.

Living the life you’ve always dreamed of doesn’t just happen, it takes being intentional, taking a step back and really getting above it all. It can be daunting to tackle all these things at once. I’ve been working on this list since about mid December. Each day taking some time out to think, reflect and do some of these activities.

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I created a free Notion template that you can duplicate and work through each activity so you can design your perfect year. You can access the template below via Gumroad.

If you’ve never though about designing your year or your life, I suggest doing one thing on this list and seeing how it feels. If you’ve got more time over the holidays, choose a couple of things. I think you’ll be surprised at how it affects your year (in a good way).

Also, I’d love to know if you tried any of these or you do something different to set your year up for success. Hit my up on Twitter and let me know.

Ev x

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