In this video I walk you through the 5 steps I use to design my perfect year. These are deliberate practices that help me to slow down, and really think deliberately about how I want to show up in the new year. I hope you enjoy.
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I might look driven, but I've never set a new year's goal in my life. Instead I've developed a set of practices that I use to slide on into the new year with intention. These things get me excited to live in the new year, not just accomplish stuff.
So as 2022 approaches, I thought I'd share my updated planning practices, to help spark some inspiration as you plan your own new year.
WORD OF THE YEAR
Each year I choose a word of the year. A word to define my year and act as a compass for everything that I do. It frames my year, my actions, my goals, my habits. I’ve been doing this for about 5 years now. Some years I'm fully focused and other years it sits in the periphery, but it's always interesting to get to the end of the year and see the thread that has weaved it's way through all along.
In 2021 my word is High Vibe. I wanted everything I did this year to raise my vibration and the vibrations around me. 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.
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.
I usually start to brainstorm around all the ways I want to show up in that year (with my word of the year as my guide). I search Pinterest for images & quotes that resonate and I compile them all into a collage on Procreate.
No you don't have to do this on Procreate. You can simply use a Notion page or database to collect a lot of images. The key is to find things that inspire you, that help you to visualise who you will be throughout the year.
If you're interested in my process of how I create these on Procreate, I wrote a blog about it here
To keep it front and centre I use it as a wallpaper on my iPad Home Screen, Notion Dashboard & Macbook Homescreen. Here's what it looks like for 2021.
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 still 'see' that day in my mind. It's not just a daydream, I'm actively working towards making it a reality. For instance, part of my perfect day is to only work 4 hours a day early in the mornings so I can enjoy the rest of my day in the sun and with friends. Which is something that has become a real focus for me in leveraging my time & skills.
This is one of the simplest exercises, but so powerful. Basically, you make two lists. One list is everything that you want to do less of. Less ordering food, less mindless scrolling, etc. The second list is all the things you want to do MORE of. More sunrises, more meditation, more time with family, etc. These are some of the things I wanted to do more & less of in 2021 (some I did, others not so much. Like travel... there was no travel in 2021).
- 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
BECOMING GOALS & PRACTICES
I hate goals. There I said it.
Sure, goals can be good for aligning you to your future and giving you the motivation to get there. But for me they make me feel boxed in, locked into a future I'm not even sure I'll like. But that doesn't mean I'm wandering aimlessly through life. Instead, I choose goals around WHO I want to be and HOW I want to show up each day.
I call these my becoming goals. I simply ask myself... What Does Future Ev Want To Be? And then I write down a list of things I want to become.
These are some of the becoming goals I'm working towards in the coming year.
Once I have some becoming goals set, I turn to the practices that a person like that would do. For instance one of my becoming goals is to become a person who is awake to life. Some of the practices I have chosen to pursue in this is daily gratitude, meditation, taking note, writing in my journal, being uncomfortable with silence, screen-free time daily.
Then throughout the year I'm not so concerned with the goal, as long as I'm 'practicing' daily. The more I do the things that a person like that does... the more I become that person.
It's a much less stressful and more sustainable way to accomplish goals and I find myself happier and even more driven as a result of focusing on who I want to be, rather than what I want to do.
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. I encourage you to take some time out throughout December to work through a list like this slowly and deliberately so you can walk into a new year full of intention and purpose.
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 here.
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