When most people discuss the New Year, they typically are referring to celebration plans for December 31rst. For me, the January 1 represents a new beginning. I love creating a distinction between this year and the next.
Establishing a clear starting point for the new year isn't as simple as saying that you "want things to be different in 2017." Because guess what, 2017 will be exactly the same as this year unless we do something to differentiate it.
It's up to you to decide what you choose to leave behind but it's important to create a physical change in your life symbolic of the year to come. Making a physical change is far more powerful than simply saying "things will be different for me in 2017." Positive words are awesome but they need your help to become real. Even if I think about picking up a pen, I still the help of my arms and legs to make it happen.
In order for things to really be different next year (or next week), we have to cause it. And there's no better time to cause things to move in a new direction than right now!
Typically, I see the last week of the year as a ripe opportunity to set the stage for what I want to usher in over the next 12 months. Now is the perfect time to leverage the law of vacuum prosperity which basically states that we should be creating the space the things we desire to come into our lives. This is why I typically invest quite a lot of time in clearing out clutter this time of year. Altering your physical environment is
Here's an exercise I want you to try.
Find the voice recording feature on your phone and when you have some time alone, I'd like to you record yourself in this scenario:
Imagine that a year from today you run into a good friend you haven't seen in a long time. You guys are really excited to see each other again and can't wait to get reconnected! Over lunch, she eagerly asks you to tell her every detail about how your year went.
This is the moment where you describe (out loud) everything you wish to experience in 2017. But for the sake of the exercise, you describe everything in past tense like you've already experienced it. I love this activity because it requires us to vocalize our intentions in clear detail. Plus, you can incorporate positive emotion(s) as you describe the ideal circumstances of your life. I used to engage in these types of Creation Conversations quite a bit. Yes, it seemed like I was playing make believe at the time but it's been a highly effective process for me.
After I've vocalized what I want, I work backward and determine what needs to happen to make it a reality. I love the planning process. Most of this week will be dedicated towards planning. I'll figure out what I did well this year that I need to do more of. There are also habits and actions I engaged in this year that slowed down my growth. For the unsavory habits, I brainstorm ways to replace them. Then I think of methods to make the new habits stick.
Essentially, next 7 days will set the tone for the entire year. Let's be intentional. Let's get focused. Let's make sure that 2017 will be our best year yet!
p.s. Here's the obligatory Compound Effect video that I watch at the start of the every new year.