I love celebrating the New Year, the chance for a fresh start, a new beginning, a blank page. I think there’s so much beauty in that. And with this year’s celebration we will not only bring in a new year but a new decade. As I sat down to reflect on 2019 and write out my goals and desires for 2020, somehow it felt a little bit different this year than it has previous years.
I’ve had a long standing New Year’s eve tradition where I take a few moments to myself to reflect on the prior year. It’s my way of considering where I’ve been before deciding where I want to go. Every year I ask myself for the past year:
- What am I celebrating?
- What am I grateful for?
- What did I give or contribute?
- What was a goal I set that I achieved?
- What is something I learned?
- How did I grow?
- What did I earn? (Money, accomplishments, awards, degree, certification, etc.)
- What felt like failure in the moment and ended up working out for the best?
I answer these questions before writing my goals for the coming year because it gives me a chance to reflect on where I’ve been. So many of us set goals for the New Year without considering what the past year has taught us. Maybe this past year taught you that you need to spend more time growing, learning, feeding your mind and yet because of habit the number one goal you’ll focus on for the coming year will be how much money you want to make. Maybe this past year taught you that your health is your wealth and without that nothing else matters and perhaps that will change where you choose to spend your time in the coming year. Whatever it is, it’s important to reflect on our lives before we decide where we want to go. Often we’ll find patterns and lessons that we might have missed without asking the right questions.
I’ve found a lot of meaning this year in the idea that we’re coming into a new decade. Maybe it’s because I haven’t celebrated that many entrances to a new decade in my adult life but somehow this year’s goal setting felt different. So instead of just answering these questions for 2019 I reflected on the entire last decade. What an incredible experience. I was absolutely overcome with joy, gratitude and celebration! I spent more time writing than I ever had before and as I ferociously wrote I felt tears starting to slide down my cheeks. Tears of complete and utter joy at the story I had written these past 10 years. What had changed, what I had learned, what I had achieved and contributed, what I had earned and built, all I have to be grateful for, the person I am becoming, what I thought had been failure and was actually great triumph or divine intervention.
And as I answered the following questions as I do every year when I goal set, I thought about the story I would want to write for the next 10 years. This will be the first chapter of 10, what will I want it to say?
- What is the one result, outcome or goal that if I were to achieve it would set my soul on fire?
- What is the most important habit, skill, knowledge I acquire in order to achieve that?
- What relationships do I want to nurture, who do I want to be in those relationships?
- What key relationship do I want to fill in my life? (Mentor, lover, partner, friend, business associate, etc.)
- What will I earn? (Money, accomplishments, awards, degree, certification, etc.)
- What is one area of my life that needs more attention and what habit will I acquire in order to improve that area?
- What will I contribute and give?
- What plan will I create and how frequently will I check in to reach these goals?
Today begins the first blank page of the next 10 years. My story will be entirely up to me and yours will be entirely up to you, what will you write?
I love hearing your experience with these exercises, comment below or email us and let us know what you discovered.
Here’s to the next decade, together!