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How to Craft a Self-Care Year

As I mentioned before, this time of year can be somewhat hectic for me. I think it can be hectic for a lot of us. But I also find this to be the perfect time (before the holidays really get rolling) to start strategizing about next year.

This is the first of two blogs where I’ll take you behind the scenes to see how I craft my year (and how you can too). I’ll talk about how I clarify my priorities, plan my year, and make room for self-care.

Let’s dive in.

At the end of 2014, I had a lot on my plate. Arguably too many things – but perhaps just the wrong combination of things. I was having major “shiny object syndrome” – signing up for everything that sounded good, without thinking about whether it fit into my life. Oof.

When I chose Sacred Focus for my 2015 word, it was more out of hope than anything else. It was an aspiration. I wanted to feel awesome about what was on my plate – and I’m sure you do, too.

Here’s how to make that happen:

Instead of making resolutions, start with a theme or intention:

Resolutions set us up to fail.

Instead, start with your intention for the year. What do you want it to look like or feel like? Your year isn’t an item on your to-do list. It’s a gift. How do you want to experience it?

I like words of the year or themes. Rather than a resolution (that I either do or don’t do), a theme is like a lightpost, calling me in the direction of how I want to feel. I went through a series of exercises to figure out what it was that I really wanted my year to be, how I wanted it to unfold. What I wanted more of and less of.

(See also: the difference between goals & intentions)

Ask questions, get quiet to welcome the answers.

Resolutions can feel prescriptive, even dictatorial. This approach is about curiosity, about genuine longing. What kind of art do you want to make with your life? What will it really take?

Here are some examples:

What do I want my year to be?

What do I want more of? Less of?

What are the three things I want to accomplish?

How do I want the year to feel?

How do I want to arrive at the beginning of 2017?

Keep it simple.

If you do want to consider your future accomplishments, by all means. This helps some people.

I thought about what I wanted to accomplish, but kept it incredibly basic – only including three big things. (If those happened, I would consider it a success.) I explored how I wanted the year to feel. I considered how I wanted to arrive at the beginning of 2016.

You don’t have to have big lofty dreams. If you’re craving self-care, maybe you’re staying closer to home this year and investing in yourself. Or maybe you’re going all out. But if you are: all the more reason to keep it simple.

When we keep our plans stream-lined, we are better able to stay in integrity with ourselves. We’re more likely to do what we say we’re going to do. And we’ll do it well.

And what about self-care?

Self-care is the perfect thing to think about when you’re planning your year. How is it going to happen? What do you want it to look like?

Frankly, self-care is more than bubble baths.

It’s about arranging your life is a way that feels nurturing and supportive. Your daily routine, your inner narrative, your choices. Maybe it’s about bubble baths, too, but really. You can use this whole post as a map to self-care

Here’s how:

  • Set intention.
  • Ask questions and get quiet to welcome the answers.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Repeat.

Self-care doesn’t need to be complicated. We just need to show up for ourselves. And that year we’ve been dreaming of? That’s within our grasp, too.

P.S.: Saying No is a high form of self-care

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