There is a feeling to December that is irreplaceable to me. I love reflecting on the year that has mostly just passed.
I love finding the perfect ways to celebrate those I love. I love lingering over nostalgic movies and pensive conversations. I love singing carols out of tune while placing festive touches around the house.
And when the rush of the season begins to wane, the nostalgia yields to something else: excitement about the new year. What I know now is that excitement like that shouldn’t just be observed and released, it needs to be captured.
So as 2013 surrenders to 2014, I will find myself in a cozy nook, notebook in hand and hot chocolate within reach, as I answer six questions in hopes that they give me the right information to yield an intentional 2014 that sees me creating just what I need for my life.
Want to ask yourself the same questions? Here’s my list.
What do I need right now more than anything else?
Why this question: Too often, we neglect what we most need to be happy and healthy. If we just get still, ask ourselves this critical question, wait for the answer, and then act on it, we can address our short-term needs and, thus, our long-term happiness. Moreover, this question reveals where we are stingy with ourselves. As soon as you answer this question – with sleep, time to work out, a massage or whatever comes to you – make plans to meet your need!
What do I believe is supposed to happen in 2014?
Why this question: Claiming what you want is a really powerful exercise and keeps you from just running on autopilot, seeing what’s around the next corner when you get to it. When you actively claim what you want and then work toward it, you become a creator and not a reactor. Make 2014 your year of deliberate creation.
What feeling do I most want to have in 2014? What do I want to be doing more of in my life? What do I want to be doing less of in my life?
Why these questions: Sometimes what we think we want is contrary to what we actually want our life to feel like. For example, we might want a feeling of peace and relief in 2014 but keep signing up for high-pressure responsibilities. It is important to make sure that what we are doing reflects what we want to be feeling. It is also important that in designing our life, we get rid of the stuff that weighs us down while adding more of the stuff that lifts us up. So much of our happiness is really about our choices, but we don’t always remember that.
What steps do I need to take now?
Why this question: Dreaming is the fun part. Doing is like taking our medicine: not as fun but necessary. Too often, we have an idea for our lives, but we fail to move toward making our idea a reality. By actively planning what needs to happen and putting those next steps on our to-do lists or calendars, we increase our probability for success.
Rosie Molinary is the author of “Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance.”
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