Consciously Starting the New Year

If you have had a chance to review the year and have written some journal entries about it, several weeks later is a good time to re-read what you’ve written. I’ll bet that re-reading those entries now will reveal new perspectives.

Here are a few additional ideas about wrapping up last year:

You might choose to dialog with the year–the whole entity, or dialog with a particular event–either personal or cultural, or dialog with a person who played a pivotal role in your year.

Another suggestion, from Sue Meyn,  is to say goodbye to the last year, by listing your regrets, resentments and appreciations of the year.

Then, with last year firmly behind you, you can focus on your hopes, expectations, and dreams of the coming year. How do you take what you learned from the last year  (and the years before) and apply it to the next year?
What do you want more of in the coming year that you experienced in the past year?
What do you want to disappear or limit in the coming year that you had in the past year?
What do you want new in the coming year?
Of course you may have goals that will take more than one year to accomplish, but you can incorporate them in the coming year.

As Henriette Anne Klauser, encourages you to do in her book Write it Down, Make it Happen: Knowing What you Want–And Getting It! ,write down your goals so that you will attain them. Although this process at first sounds simplistic, Klauser supplies evidence that the act of writing your goals is a set-up for reaching them. A key point is that writing what you want helps you define your goals.

Here are some suggestions how you might approach the task:

  • Make a list of all goals. What are your most important goals? Consider whittling them down to a manageable handful.
  • Some people create one only goal at time so they can fully focus on that one goal. Does that work for you, or do you like to have multiple goals?
  • You can also create mini-goals to get where you are going. If you are intimidated by a large goal and can’t imagine getting there, break it down into the smallest bite-sized goals.
  • Write one goal for each of the facets of your life: relationship, work, physical health, emotional health, spiritual, intellectual, financial, physical space (e.g. your house/apartment).

Then, write a journal entry for each goal, including what you plan to do to attain it, and the big steps you must take to take to get there. Assign a date to create the next step and open one or a series of Letters for Another Time just about that step. When you complete that step, create the next step (the smaller the step the better) and the next one.

Here are directions for using “Letter to Another Time” in the Timeline of LifeJournal for Windows:
1. Click the Timeline LifeJournal toolbar button.
2. Click the orange envelope in the Timeline toolbar and a Letter to Another Time dialog will open.
3. Write your letter, a title, and the date that you want your letter to open.

When you open LifeJournal on the assigned date (or after, if you haven’t opened LJ on that particular date), the LTAT will appear. You can click the “Insert’ button and the LTAT will open a journal entry and insert the text of the letter.

Also, if you want to read any LTAT, open the Timeline, and find the orange squares in the lower portion of the Timeline. Double click on them, and the associated LTAT will open.

Build in rewards for yourself along the way for making progress on your goals–giving yourself some tangible pat on the back. You may want to create a list of self-rewarding activities of all sizes that you can choose from, such as:

  • a dinner out at a special restaurant
  • a phone call to a friend who you haven’t spoken to in a while
  • going away for the weekend
  • taking a day off to do ONLY what you want
  • getting a massage or facial or some other pampering activity