I love a good/bad dad joke, and I’ll admit chuckling to myself with the memes that did the rounds on NYE talking about standing on your right leg to see NYE in, so you started it ‘on the right foot’. Dreadful and a little bit clever – my favourite sort of thing!
Dad jokes aside, the psychologist in me likes to start a new year with a little bit of reflection to close out the year just passed, and to give some focus to the year to come. I find that I tend to think in terms of seasons – sometimes these are seasons of a particular project, relationship, or challenge – but for most of us ‘a year’ is one of the easiest ‘seasons’ to engage with, when it comes to planning and dreaming.
I think it’s enormously important to have a vision for the future – even if that vision doesn’t always come to fruition – and so, now that the silly season is well and truly over, I thought I’d share with you a ten-question process I’ve developed with my clients, in the hope it might help you to create your own!
Grab a notebook and pen, or open a blank word document, and let your thoughts flow. There are no right or wrong answers!
- What are the things I’ve created in 2018 that I feel most proud of and why?
- What am I most grateful for from 2018?
- What disappointed me most in 2018 that I have power to change in 2019?
- What disappointed me in 2018 that I have no power over and need to let go / forgive?
- What do I choose as my focus word(s) for 2019?
- What are my top three priorities for 2019?
- What are 2-5 small “bucket list” activities / goals that I’d like to work on this year?
- What is my main creative project(s) I choose to focus on in 2019?
- What are three character traits I would like to bring out more in myself in 2019?
- What are three questions I have about myself that I choose to explore in 2019?
When I worked through these reflections myself, in spite of 2018 being a personally very difficult year, I noticed there were shining lights in beautiful friendships, improvements in self-care, and deep gratitude for having a spouse who was unerringly supportive of me, in sickness, health, and all the madness that comes with life.
I was most disappointed in my lack of progress with writing goals in 2018 (something to let go!), but I feel connected with the power to change this, and have already started structuring and planning my year, so that I form better writing habits with increased support to keep me going! In 2019, my ‘focus word’ is “WRITE!” – complete with capitals and exclamation points – because this is what I love and want to create more of in my life (and this blog is part of that!). I’m excited to focus on writing more picture book manuscripts to build up my ‘manuscript library’, and after this, I’ll be looking for a wonderful agent to support my publication dreams.
I also feel incredibly honoured and excited to see ‘I’ve Got A Cow Called Maureen’ come to life this year with Clear Fork Publishing! 2019 will be full of book promotion and engagement with readers, which is new and uncertain and a little scary, if I’m honest! But my love for this story – the true story of my Nana Maureen becoming Australia’s Champion Swiss Yodeller – far outweighs any fear! She’s my favourite person in the world, and I’m so excited for the world to meet my hero!
Personal growth, I have discovered, is never easy. Our brains love to put up resistance to change, however big or small. I hope these questions, and this process, help you to find a little push that helps you to see some of your dreams grow from seed to flower this year.