Wow. I can’t believe we are already almost halfway through January. I must admit, I didn’t take much time at the beginning of the year to sit down and really go over everything from 2015 or even think about the year ahead of me. But doing an appreciation and intention setting activity is something that I always truly enjoy, so I knew I needed to get myself into gear and set aside some time to do this! While you may have already set some intentions or resolutions for the year ahead of you, I still recommend trying the steps below. Finding your true motivation, plus a little extra appreciation will help you uncover new and deeper inspirations that you might not have considered, and help reinforce the intentions you may have already made. Of course, if you’re like me and haven’t done any reflection yet, now is your chance! It’s NEVER too late to commit to making yourself better.
1) Grab a notebook or piece of paper and a pen and settle yourself in for some self-exploration. Get comfortable…grab a cozy blanket and a cup of tea (maybe even a piece of dark chocolate!)
2) Set a timer for 5 minutes and write down as many great things as you can remember from the past year. What were your biggest moments of joy or biggest accomplishments?
3) Wow, lots of stuff right? Now, read through each one with an expression of gratitude. This may seem like an easy step to skip over, but it’s one of the most important ones. Even just simply stating each item as, “I am grateful for XXXX” will have a big impact on how you relate to your past year.
4) Next, take a look at what you identified as your big moments from the past year and pick one or two words to describe those moments. They can be literal, like travel if you did a lot of traveling, or emotional/feeling words like freedom or passion. Take a few minutes to really connect with your words and feel into them.
5) Now, think about the year ahead of you. How do you want to feel in 2016? What words could be used to describe your motivations for the year to come? If you have a goal of losing weight or getting into better shape, what would that feel like? Strength? Positivity? Confidence? If you want to build better relationships with your loved ones, friends or family, what words come up around that for you? Healing? Connection? Community?
6) Take these words and write them separately on a new piece of paper. Now just as you did with the past years events, express gratitude for your UPCOMING year and the feelings and experiences you have yet to have. This may sound odd, being grateful for something that hasn’t happened yet, but it will open the door, and your mindset, to receiving these things into your life. Make sure you keep this piece of paper somewhere you will see often and reflect your gratitude every time you see it.