We held our final happy hour of the year a few weeks ago and were lucky enough to have Visual Storyteller and all around #rockstar, Emily Marko, compile everyone's goals for 2017. The above image is the result of that work. Talk about inspiring!
It also got us thinking about our own goals for 2017 and how we go about setting them.
Truth be told, we're not big end of the year planners and dreamers. Don't get us wrong. We plan. And we dream. But we tend to do that in August so that it sets us up to create and launch programs in December and January.
The one thing we BOTH do though, without fail, is to choose a word that will set the tone for the coming year.
Kate's word for 2016 was IMAGINE.
Emily's was CURIOSITY.
Both words helped to anchor us in the things we wanted to create for ourselves.
Kate wanted to stay open to the possibilities that presented themselves. To imagine what life would be like IF. Forget fears. Forget comfort zones. And instead, imagine what life would be like if you were already there.
Emily wanted to follow the breadcrumbs of her curiosity and see where that would lead her. To stay open, and playful, and to not feel locked into something if she was feeling pulled in another direction.
This year, Kate has chosen RELEASE. To remind her to let go of control and just be present to what is happening in her life. Because when she can do that, she can push past fears and break through to new goals.
And Emily, she chose OWN IT as a reminder that it's all hers. The beauty, the success, and the dreams, as well as the fears, the excuses, and the messes. If she can own it, she can move forward. No matter what.
So, how do you go about setting your intentions or choosing your word for 2017? See below for 4 simple steps on intention setting for the new year.
1. DO A BRAIN DUMP.
"To achieve a goal, you must first know what your goal is."
The act of writing is a really powerful tool for uncovering fears and patterns in our lives. And it can be even more powerful when it comes to intention setting. Start by writing down the things about your life that inspire you, the things you want to do differently, and even the things that you want to try in the new year.
Pay attention to any patterns that come up in your writing.
2. IDENTIFY WHAT'S MISSING.
Now that you've begun to get a feel for where you are, it's important to take a look at where you aren't. Are there things that didn't happen this year that disappointed you? Is there something that's missing for you, in spite of everything you've accomplished? In other words, you want to think about what would need to happen in order for you to be exactly where you want in your life.
Perhaps it's having more time, taking better care of yourself, meeting more people, or saying no to the things that aren't serving you. Whatever it is, write it down.
3. CONNECT WITH THE FEELING.
Up to this point, you've gotten a snapshot of where you are in your life and what's missing. Now? It's time to think about how you want to FEEL. Specifically, how would you feel if you were to be exactly where you wanted to be in your life?
How would it feel to say no to things that aren't serving you? Empowering? Energizing? Exciting? Naughty? How would it feel to take better care of yourself? Joyful? Peaceful? Powerful? Kind? Magical? What would it feel like to embrace uncertainty? Exhilarating? Scary? Risky?
There is nothing inherently bad about a word or feeling. It's more about what it means to you. So choose the words that make you feel expansive and proud. That feel exciting, centering, and balancing.
4. ONE + TWO + THREE = YOUR INTENTION.
At this point, you've figured out where you are, where you want to be, and how you want to feel. Now it's time to pull it all together. It's okay if you have more than one area and/or feeling that you've identified. In fact, it's great!
Pull together those goals and feelings and make a master list.
Now that you see it all together, what sticks out to you? Are there words or areas that seem like a bigger priority than others? Star those and begin to cull your list. Is there a higher-level goal or word that can tie everything together? If not, is there something that would need to happen FIRST in order for the rest to happen?
And if nothing is sticking out, see how the words or goals sit with you on a more physical level. Do they make you feel tingly and open? Do they make you feel tighter in the chest? Do you feel anxious or scared? Pay attention to the clues your body is telling you.
At the end of the day, there is no right or way to choose a word or set your intention for the year. And if you've chosen something that doesn't feel motivating or inspiring for more than a few weeks, you can always change it!
And just in case you need a little extra inspiration, here are some additional resources for setting an intention or finding a word of the year: