Did you have a rough go of it last year? You’re not alone. If your 2017 was as dismal as mine, I’m sure you’re probably hellbent on making 2018 your best year ever. When I have a bad year, I make it my mission to turn things around. I can’t stand being stuck or not achieving what I set out to.
And usually, the reason behind a bad year is that I’ve forgotten a few things: I’ve disconnected from the vision of who I want to be and how I want to feel.
So how do you have an amazing year? What does it take to crush it totally? And how do you turn things around when the previous year might not have been so stellar?
Part of rebuilding your life requires some introspection. Looking deep within and reconnecting with (or finding) who you want to be is an important first step to not only having your best year but also becoming your best self.
Questions to ask yourself to have your best year
I start out by reflecting on the previous year…no matter how painful it may be. You saw some of it in my Dear 2018, Let’s Rebuild post. I did a lot of journaling, so I took some time to go back through my journal entries and monthly reviews in my planner. Even though it wasn’t the greatest year, there were a lot of great things that happened. I got a lot done, faced my struggles and learned from them.
It’s human nature to focus more on our struggles and the negative things that happened. When you’re faced with this, make a list of 5-10 things you achieved to retrain your brain to focus on your achievements instead of your struggles all the time.
So take a few minutes to reflect on the past year, be grateful for the challenges you faced and your wins, then say goodbye to the previous year.
Now it’s time to think of that blank canvas that’s sitting in front of you…if you could create anything, dream anything, be anything, what would that canvas look like? What would you envision?
I like to ask myself:
- Who do I want to be? What type of woman do I want to be?
- How do I want to feel this year?
- What are the goals and intentions that will get me there?
- What goals and intentions best support my personal and professional goals?
- What are the habits and routines I can put in place to achieve my best year?
And last but certainly not least, if I were looking back at 2018 a year from now, what would I absolutely love to see? What changes or achievements would I be super excited about? What would growth look like?
Take a few minutes to journal your answers to these questions. Choose 3-5 focus points for 2018 and your main intention for the year.
Here’s my list:
Intention for 2018: Simplify and Rebuild
- Healthy Eating – limited sugar, caffeine, and alcohol intake. More raw foods.
- Money – repaying my debt – ALL OF IT! Healing my relationship with money and wealth.
- My work focus — growing this blog and building a client base for freelance copy and content creation.
- My purpose or mission for life.
You’ll have a different list and different intentions, of course. Just remember, don’t limit yourself! Don’t be scared of what’s in your heart, of what you really want from life, and of who you want to be.
Looking for some inspiration on setting your goals and intentions? I’m a firm believer in having balanced goals and intentions. You need to take care of each area of your life and do your best to keep them in balance.
Building a framework around key life areas will help you stay balanced and thriving:
- For you
- For family
- For your heart and soul
- For your mind and creativity
- For work
- For play
Don’t worry if you don’t have it all figured out!
If you find you’re having trouble answering these questions, or you’re getting overwhelmed by the thought of figuring out who you want to be, take a step back and try again another day. There’s no rush. You’re not a robot that knows the answer to everything at the snap of a finger. Some things take time to figure out. It’s a process.
One thing that helps me, is to stay off the internet. Do a digital detox for a day and immerse yourself in one of your favourite things to do, or grab a coffee or tea with a friend or family member. Doing this helps you to find yourself again without anyone else’s voice or opinions of who you should be getting in the way. It lets you relax and be you.
And remember, these aren’t written in stone. You can tweak them, improve them, and they will evolve. I can’t even tell you how many times mine have evolved because it’s happened so many times.
Tips for staying on track to having your best year
Write it down and post it where you can see it.
Once you have your intentions, goals and/or framework, write it down so you can see it daily. This way, you’ll keep your mind focused on what you want and who you want to be. You’ll automatically question when something is off or if you’re heading off course.
Track it in your planner or digital calendar.
When you schedule things, you generally do them. If it’s written in my planner, I do my best to get it done. It becomes a priority. So make sure you’re writing your self-care days, your exercise days, and your other intentions and focus points into your planner. If you’re trying to create new habits, grab some planner stickers to track hydration, diet, or exercise goals.
For 2018, I chose the Day Designer Flagship Planner in Black Stripe. I’m super excited to start using it and planning out my year this weekend. Yes, I know I’m a little behind, but that’s life. Better late than never!
Mind Map it.
Can I just say how much I love mind maps? They are my go-to for figuring out the in-between little steps to get to my big vision or 5-year plan.
Do a vision board.
Are you a visual person? Well, maybe ripping some pages out of your fave magazines or creating a Pinterest vision board would work well for you. Find images that best represent your intentions and focus points and get pinning.
Take the questions above and turn them into daily journal activities. Switch it up to look like this: What did I do today to be the woman I want to be? What could I do better?