A few years ago I came across this article written by my favorite blogger Kimberly Luxe the creator of the amazing women’s journey & stories blog ” From a Wildflower“. In the article she outlined how she prepared herself for the coming new year typically starting at the start of each Fall.
We go through many experiences through our day to day life and neglect to take time to re-evaluate our present moment, our goals and future. It is crucial to take time to just stop all we’re doing and find ourselves. Who am I really, and what have I accomplished so far this year and most importantly who do I want to be in the new coming year?
Typically October to November are the months I begin to evaluate where I’m at, ask myself where I’m headed and what changes I can incorporate to my current lifestyle that will be brought into the new year. This is a 12 week self evaluation where I take 1 week for the next 3 months & dedicate a theme each week to something I want to change, honor or rediscover about myself. I adapted a few recommendations from Kimberly’s 12 week step program as well as changed some things around to best suit me and my lifestyle and of course you can also do the same.
I recommend you consider this as well or simply follow with the initial 12 step program to rediscovering the new you.
Here is my personal Pre-New Year plan listed below.
Before you start- Map out your goals: It is recommended you get a notebook/journal to start your program. This way you can write out your plans and most importantly list the goals you wish to accomplish before the year ends. This will also allow you to journal about the process and refer back to it later in the new year. List your goals by month for all of November, December and into January.
Allow yourself time for each goal and be reasonable with how many goals you list. This way you don’t feel pressured or overwhelmed by too many goals. You can also break it down by 12 days or 12 months, get creative. The point is to dedicate time to the new you.
My Weekly Goals into the New Year
- Spiritual Goals
- Health Goals
- Self Care Goals
- Financial Goals
- Anti-Procrastination Goals
- Career Goals
- Long + Short term Goals
- Mindfulness & Meditation
- Love & Relationships
- Releasing & Forgiving
- Early Spring Cleaning
- Expanding Creativity
Week 1: Spirituality
Spirituality is very important to me and central to my day to day life. Every morning I take a moment to honor those that came before me and give thanks for all the opportunities in my life.
Ask yourself: how can I get more in tune with your higher self?
I personally like to study and research a new subject for the new year, whether it be numerology, astrology or any aspect of the unknown or unseen. To others it may be going to church regularly or incorporating rituals for enlightenment or prayer. Yoga or moments of silence like meditation can be a way of honoring your higher self too. Try setting up an altar and familiarizing yourself with a deity or guardian angel you identify with the most.
Speak to your higher self and pour out the good. bad and ugly of your current life.
Sometimes having real conversations with yourself can be very healing and can bring you to honest realizations about yourself. Or speak to your pet or plants and surround yourself with nature so you can feel rejuvenated and refreshed. I normally like to sit at the foot of a tree and take a few minutes to explain (or vent) my situation or give thanks for the good things in my life.
Sitting by a tree and asking it to give you strength and fortitude like the tree itself can be a way of communicating with your higher self without the judgement of others.
Week 2: Health Goals
My personal health goal is to sleep more and drink less soda. Its been a very difficult task to minimize drinking soda, but I have been doing quite well with getting enough sleep. What we put in our bodies has a major effect on us mentally, physically and spiritually believe it or not. If I don’t get enough sleep I feel out of focus, I become moody and my immune defense suffers making me more susceptible to random colds and illnesses.
To piggy back off the first goal, eating better is a way of honoring your higher self, nourish your temple. Try to meal prep ahead of time so you can have time to eat more healthy as opposed to rushing and giving in to unhealthy options.
Incorporate a new food into your diet and try to add more colors to your food selection. Water is also very important and if there is anything you want to start with, water should be it. It helps clear out your system and allows for the absorption of more vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat.
Week 3: Self Care Goals
Self Care goes hand in hand with health goals but a little more different in the sense that your’re caring for your emotions and how you view yourself as a deserving person. Especially with the holidays approaching we may get caught up with the rush of what to get whom or where to spend the holidays and more often than not neglect ourselves and needs.
Self Care could be anything in which you dedicate some time to yourself, treat your self to a place or simply limit the amount of “yes” to every request and need of others. This could be more than just going out to buy something for yourself, but more about focusing on self improvement, daily positive affirmations or simply relaxing and letting go of worry and anxiety.
Week 4: Financial Goals
Finances for everyone can be burdensome for most, especially if we’re not good with managing our money properly. The budgetnista has some amazing tips on how to effectively manage money. One tip that really helped me with my finances was to lay out all of my expenses even that hot chocolate or green juice I tend to pick up on my way to work each morning or afternoon. Although $3-$5 a day may seem minimal, I realized these things add up to a lot at the end of each month and becomes an expense that I realistically can’t afford.
By setting up a spreadsheet of all my bills, shopping expenses, and other miscellaneous expenses I began to see where my money was being leaked and why I was not seeing or saving money each month. I even had to get a part time job to help bring down some debt I had and catch up and be able to save some money. By making some simple adjustments and setting out goals you can meet your financial goals of saving or taking that dream vacation.
In addition to the Budgetnista, I also incorporated some tips from The Spending Diet. I make sure to pay everything that must be paid ahead of time or on time, no miscellanous spending and budget myself tightly to be able to have some savings at the end of the month. What I liked about the spending diet is that I can have a miscellaneous spending budget of $100 each month so I don’t feel deprived. But once those $100 are gone I don’t dare tap into my savings. This teaches resilience and respect for one’s money.
Week 5: Anti Procrastination
What needs to be done now? What is it that you’re keeping at the back burner and why? Often times we tend to procrastinate on things that give us fear. Fear or failure, rejection and not meeting expectations. I’ve had several projects in the works (some for years) that I have simply not given much effort to due to fear. But in the year 2016 especially these last few months I’ve dived into those things I’ve been avoiding and just clearing them out of my subconscious mind. I get done what needs to be done and get it over with.
I’ve also limited distractions that were sweet escapes to not doing what needed to be done, like social media, keeping 100 tabs open on my computer. I write down all that I’ve been avoiding, reevaluate what needs to be done and if it does not fit me, I don’t have time or simply am not inspired to do it, I clean it off my plate sort to speak and start off with a clean slate. This has helped me with not being so overwhelmed by so many expectations I have set for myself and be able to focus and complete the things that do matter.
Week 6: Career Goals
Are you at a job you simply don’t like? Although we may hate getting up each day to a job we don’t love it does not mean you can’t make small adjustments to realizing your dream job. Often time due to fear of change we settle for jobs that stifle our dreams. But if you work toward your dreams you don’t to have to hate Mondays. Every year I reevaluate my current job and ask myself, “Do I see myself here in the next 5 years?”. As with every career choice we have highs and lows and depending on your industry there may not be a lot of opportunities for growth.
I always reevaluate my skill sets, be it something I feel I may be lacking or I can improve on, I expose myself to new skills that I feel will make me more valuable at my place of work. Do I need to attend a workshop? Read up on other available jobs on the market? Whatever the case, its always good to give your career a refresher. Over the years my communication skills both written and oral have improved significantly by gaining confidence and exposing myself to situations I normally would not in my career. I also reach out to my co workers and my boss for feedback to see where they may provide constructive feedback on areas I may be lacking or may need improvement.
I also have a dream of becoming my own boss and have established a small shop as a side job to not only make some extra cash, but also manifest another area of my business skills outside the corporate setting. With owning your business or developing your hobby into a potential business can give you a fresh perspective of the other side of business. Organization skills, accounting, networking are some of the skills you develop when attempting to build your own business or dream job. It can be a scary task, but with self assurance and faith it can be achieved.
Week 7: Mindfulness & Meditation
I’ve always been a firm believer that my thoughts can work for or against me. Thought forms are just that… formations of thoughts. They can manifest as obstacles or blessings. Being mindful of your mindset can be your best weapon against the ups & downs of life. If you’re constantly negative or are sure that the worst things always happen to you more often than not that’s what will manifest. If you don’t believe in yourself and are constantly feeding into negativity you will surround yourself with negative people, be exposed to negative situations and constantly exist in a negative mindset.
Meditation and affirmations allows me time to shut off the world and converse with myself on a truthful and even playing field. When negative thoughts creep in I ask myself why are they overpowering me at this given moment? Most people, believe it or not, feel more safe in a worried state of mind. They feel that being worried and expecting the worse is a way to give a false confirmation that you’re doing something about a given situation, when in fact you’re not.
Allow things to flow and let them manifest as they will. Control is all but an illusion and at the end of the day we have no control of outside forces but ourselves. Take sometime to nourish your thoughts. Give your thoughts a break from jumping from one thought to another and help your mind pace itself.
Week 8: Love & Relationships
Love can be a complicated matter but in all honesty it does not have to be. My first rule of thumb is that in order to attract and maintain healthy relationships be it romantic or platonic you have to start with a healthy relationship with yourself. If you don’t love and nourish yourself you can’t do the same for someone else. You end up perpetually attracting the same type of people you don’t want, which don’t love, respect or value themselves, and as a return you’re left with a toxic relationship.
Take a week to visualize your ideal mate and your ideal self. What are some things about you energy wise that you can improve to attract your ideal lover? Do you see yourself as deserving of this person? Are you focusing on the physical aspects of this person as opposed to the integrity of the person?
These are important questions you must ask yourself to help you effectively evaluate the type of relationship you are willing to cultivate. The ideal lover may not be 100% what you want, but you have to make the effort to build upon that person you want in your life.
Week 9: Releasing & Forgiving
I’ve been dealt a heavy hand with most people. From my perspective many view kindness as weakness and as a result take advantage of that kindness. When that happens you can build resistance to help others as a consequence to the experience. Forgiveness however can be a soothing remedy. Just because one person behaves a certain way does not mean others have to suffer and miss out on your kind heart as a result. Forgiving those who did you wrong and even forgiving yourself for accepting those things can be very healing. Not only do you release yourself from the burden of holding on to draining emotions, but you also open your heart to greater experiences and people who will appreciate your love.
Take this week to write down the names of those you feel should be forgiven regardless of what they have done to hurt you. You can either write them a letter you will never send outlining how they’ve made you feel and hurt you and why you will forgive them. You can also simply go down the list, state their names and say, “I forgive you.” This will heal you and speak to your subconscious mind that you no longer hold on to the anger, sadness and betrayal they imposed on you. This gives you control over the situation and allows you to move on even if the person does not acknowledge your feelings.
Week 10: Early Spring Cleaning
This is my favorite step and one I do it every six months. Get rid of clutter! Clean up corners and spaces that are taking up room in your home, car and even your mind. Do a mind dump and free your mind of unfinished tasks, donate clothes you haven’t worn in a while. open some windows and let light in, Get rid of toxic and dark people who don’t serve you. A complete overhaul of the things that serve no purpose for you today are important to helping you feel lighter and refreshed to conquer a new day, new year and new life.
Week 11: Expanding Creativity
Life’s everyday routines can take a toll on creativity. Especially when we’re constantly catering to the needs of others it can be difficult to feel inspired to expand creativity or expand on a new hobby. But it is important to give consideration to our inner child and wild imaginations every once in a while. Is there something you’ve always dreamed of doing? Slowly adjusting your mindset and dedicating time to the things you enjoy can be a great precursor to developing new habits and rituals.
Week 12: Just Be
Take this last week, last goal to just accept yourself. Accept your flaws and accept that you can’t always be perfect and live up to everyone’s expectations. Stop recycling negative habits and people and just release yourself from old thoughts that no longer serve you. Love yourself and see yourself as a loving and deserving being with so much to offer to yourself. Once you’re able to accept yourself, you’re able to see that the world is a beautiful place and it needs your light to shine in the darkness.
Black Girls in Flora