I have a tradition that I do the first weeks of January that's fun and insightful. I tend to focus my questions on The Writing Life, but you can focus on whatever area of life you want (family, retirement, career, etc.). If you try it yourself, I'd love to hear how it goes!
1. First, I close out the previous year - with a generous eye! - and note some achievements, like: I ran my first women's writing retreat. My poetry manuscript won a national book prize and is getting published. I started volunteering. What would your accomplishments be this year?
2. I also note some challenges with the previous year, too, like: I haven't yet found a new writing project to really sink my teeth into. I didn't engage in as much activism as I wish I had. Where have you not made as much headway as you would have liked last year?
3. Next, I turn to the new year. I often do a tarot reading, and I also like to journal for a bit. You can ask yourself: What 2-3 things do I want to focus on in the coming year? Try to make them concrete and achievable but also inspiring to you. For me, I've often talked about writing a regular blog/newsletter thingy (this email is a sort of practice run....) and see where it goes. What's something you want to finally do in 2019?
4. To call in the New Year, I also create a collage. (I love collaging because you don't have to be a good at drawing or sketching to do it. I just use images from whatever magazines I have in the house, and glue them onto a regular piece of copy paper.) Collaging is a fun way to create a visual reminder for myself. I like to gather images that reflect the energy or events that I hope to manifest in the coming year, and I put the collage above my writing desk so I can see it often. I just make a collage with images, but a lot of people like to also cut out words, too. If you were to make a collage for 2019, what images/words might you include?
5. Next, I like to "interview" the collage. I write my answers on the back of the collage, so it's handy. Here are some questions to consider:
- What qualities do I want to create in the new year?
- What are 1 or 2 habits, or disempowering stories, that I want to let go of?
- Who do I want to be for myself, or my writing project, in the coming year?
- Is there one word--like Generosity, or Power, or Balance--that I want to be my mantra for the new year?
- Is there something surprising about the collage? What might that have to do with the new year, or my writing project?
- What does 2019 want to offer me? What does it hope I learn?
I hope that 2019 is the year when you commit to pursue your (big and small) dreams, too. And guess what? Following your dreams is good for you! Read about it in the NY Times.
Some years are years of planting, and some years are years of harvesting...which type of year was your 2018? What type will your 2019 be?