I love this week – the one between Christmas and New Years when the world collectively takes a break from the hustle and bustle and spends some time planning for the year ahead. Call me crazy (it’s ok, my daughter calls me crazy all the time), but I LOVE it!
When it comes to setting resolutions, it can go one of two ways. We can quickly list off some random things in our head on the way to the grocery store like lose twenty pounds, get more organized, find a husband (or get rid of one), be less stressed and make 2018 the best year ever! Or we can be super intentional about our goal setting, sit down with some friends and work at crafting our desired year. Which do you think yields better results?
Last year I published a post called 7 Habits to Embrace for Your Best Year Ever. In it, I share seven simple habits that could totally transform your life this year, and if you are anything like me and love the promise of a new beginning and fresh start, I encourage you to go and check it out!
Each year I sit down with some of the most successful and creative women I know to craft the next year. In fact, I leave in just a few days for Florida to do just that. But before I go I want to walk you through the practice I’ve done the past ten years that has yielded huge emotional, spiritual and financial growth in my life so you can have an incredible 2018 too.
HOW TO CREATE A NEW YEAR, NEW YOU – NEW EVERYTHING
1. SET THE SCENE
When you can take the time to create a space that mirrors what you want to feel, goals become more tangible. Do you want more order in your life? More of nature? Do you want to let go of perfectionism? You might want to have an elegant dinner with friends, sit on a blanket near the ocean, build a campfire in the woods or stay home in the space that feels most soothing for you. No matter what you chose, make sure it sets the scene for the year ahead.
2. CELEBRATE THE YEAR
You can’t figure out where you want to go unless you reflect on where you’ve been. Don’t skip over the most essential part of goal setting – celebrating! In your journal or on a piece of paper, answer the following questions:
- What were the top three highlights of 2017?
- How did you grow as a woman over the year?
- What were some of the best decisions you made in 2017?
- What were the low moments of 2017?
- How has my money situation improved over the last year? What evidence do I see of this improvement?
- What am I most proud of when it comes to my finances?
- What am I ready to let go of? (Any behaviors or thoughts you want to rid yourself of because they no longer serve you or your goals.)
- In what ways were you waiting for the money to come, the weight to fall off, or relationships to get better before you went after what you want?
3. CRAFT A MEANINGFUL 2018
Now comes the fun part. Either meet up with your girlfriends, family, or your partner and support one another in crafting your best 2018. Brainstorm and share to build the excitement for creating your fabulous 2018! When answering the questions think about how you can impart more meaning and intention to each area.
- What are your most cherished values and core beliefs?
- What are you most excited about in 2018?
- What’s your number one goal for your money?
- What’s your number one goal for your relationship with yourself?
- What’s your number one goal for your romantic relationship?
- What’s your number one goal for your career?
- What’s your number one goal for your health and well being?
- What am I willing to do to make this happen?
- What do I need to change to make my life more meaningful?
- How will I know if I’m successful? What will be the evidence of that success?
4. IDENTIFY THE BLOCKS
2018 will be no different than any other year. There will still be setbacks and obstacles, fears and self-doubt. Accomplishing the goals you just identified will not be easy, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. But, you have a much higher chance of accomplishing your goals if you are aware of the blocks and obstacles and prepare for them.
- What could get in the way of you accomplishing your goals in 2018?
- What has been a frequent issue that has tripped you up over and over in the past?
- What are some ways you can move through this obstacle? (examples: stop letting my kids rule the roost, talk to my sister about the pattern I have with money that I’m inadvertently teaching my kids, get over my perfectionism, stop waiting for my life to be perfect to start living).
5. SCHEDULE IT
When it comes to goal setting, I see three main reasons why they don’t come to fruition. First, we add more into our life without taking anything else away, we fail to make the new goal a priority and therefore don’t put any real time towards it, and we fail to break down that goal into bite-sized pieces.
If you have a goal of paying off 10K of debt this year, it will make a lot of sense not to add other lofty financial goals to the picture unless of course, you know you’ll have the resources. If this is indeed what you want to achieve, you’ll have to evaluate how you’ll make this happen. Will you have to cut expenses in some significant way to achieve that goal? And finally, instead of looking at paying off 10K, maybe frame it into quarter goals and track your progress every 12 weeks. You’ll still meet the goal, but it will seem less insurmountable.
Lastly, use a planner or other system to document your goals and monitor and track your progress. I love the Living Well Planner for this purpose and suggest if you’re serious about goal setting you invest in yourself and a system that you will use all year long.
MY NEW YEAR – NEW EVERYTHING
As for me, when I sit back and reflect on where I want to go this year and what I want to accomplish I am pulled toward making some changes to the way in which I present specific information to you, my readers.
I’ve done a lot of soul-searching on this, and although I know that some of my readers might be disappointed, my primary focus will no longer be on the nuts and bolts of getting out of debt. There will be fewer articles on subjects like emergency funds, saving, budgeting and the like. Although a critical component, what I know first hand is that an outside-in approach to money management and debt elimination (90 Day Bootcamps, Spending Freezes and All Cash Budgets) does not work over the long run. It’s like putting your finger in the dike. Eventually, you can’t sustain it, and you revert to old ways, and the debt begins to rise again. I know this is true because this was me for many years. I tried to budget again and again without success.
Budgeting although wonderful for many just didn’t work for me until I was ready to go deeper.
I want to help you go deeper too. So instead of a focus on the fundamentals of budgeting, I will be honing in more on busting you get out of “debt jail” once and for all, by learning to understand your emotional triggers to overspend so you can start LIVING. I’ll be focusing my articles, newsletter information and courses moving forward on helping you to take an INSIDE OUT approach.
This means evaluating all parts of your life and the reasons why you overspend. It’s going to be eye-opening and out of the box, and if you’re brave enough, I’d love for you to join me on this next adventure.
Of course, we’ll continue to post articles on cleaning and decluttering, but those too will have a new twist to them as well. The accumulation of things is an emotional response to life circumstances, and so we’ll dive into that topic with a fresh perspective and a new approach to help you eliminate what you don’t want in your life.
I’m super excited for this next version of A Mess Free Life. I believe it’s what’s sorely needed in both the personal finance space and decluttering movement. I hope to bring you a unique and thought proking platform whereby you can transform your life and permit yourself to start living NOW.
There’s no reason to wait, and I hope you’ll continue to join me on the journey!