Wow here we are in the land of 2017 filled with possibilities for what lies ahead!

“Your past does not determine who you are. Your past prepares you for who you are to become.” – Joel Osteen

2017 is a significant year, being the beginning of another nine year cycle. So it’s time to decide if you want to consciously or unconsciously create what lies ahead.

Unconscious creation I liken to choosing to be a ship in a harbour with no pre-set destination and you keep aimlessly bumping into the shore. Is it time to pre-set a course to your destination, so you consciously know where you’re going?

Spend less time in overwhelm and worry and more time making progress towards your desired life. So, even when the unexpected comes and it will, you’ll have a higher success rate of reaching your destination.

Your best friend in this process is clarity. For me, this represents thinking time. A time to pause, take a deep breath and step back to see the big picture, acknowledge where you are and where you want to go and witnessing the gap that lies between. I call it recalibrating your internal GPS.

Clarity produces calmness, focus and ease. It takes the jerkiness out of the ride. You know the stopping, the hard rights and lefts, reversing because you got overwhelmed, uncertain and plain confused.

Here are 7 steps to consciously setting up the year ahead and beyond.

1. Review 2016

Sit down in nature where you won’t be disturbed with pen and notebook and allow yourself time to process the year that was.

Writing your thoughts is helpful, cathartic and insightful and provides a record for the future.

Personally what were your major events, highlights and lowlights of 2016?

Professionally what were your major events, highlights and lowlights for 2016?

What lessons did you learn from 2016?

What worked and you’ll continue to do?

What didn’t work and you’ll remove or delete?


2. Time out

Take a minimum of 7 days to chill and fill yourself up to refresh for the new year.

Get amongst nature, laugh, sleep, have fun, eat great food, ditch social media, read a great book.

You need the quiet spaces to let the creativity and dreams for this year brew and bubble to the surface.

If 7 days is impossible at least do a day, but schedule in a week soon. You know you need it.


3. Dream your ideal year.

Feel it, see it, hear it, smell it.

Your dreams are the basis of your goals.

They are the juice between where you are and where you want to be.

It’s essential you make space for this to happen. Here is one way of doing this –

  • Relax – go into a room or into nature where you’ll not be disturbed and sit comfortably. Inhale a deep breath, imagine a circle of white light around you. You inhale the white light and breathe out the darkness and let it go. Do this for 20 breaths.
  • Create and Hold – a picture in your mind of your heart’s desire. If possible see the image in colour with as many details as possible. Dwell on that mental picture without putting strenuous effort on your thoughts. If you mind starts to wander, bring it back.
  • Feel – see yourself in the image as if it’s happening right now. See and feel how happy, healthy and wealthy you look for at least 5 minutes (or as long as you can).

When you’ve finished your visualisation, write everything down, just as you’ve experienced it, with a feeling of gratitude.


4. Turn your dreams into goals.

Use your notes from above.

Pick 3-4 desires for personal and then professional and add dates to make them goals. I liken this to choosing your big rocks for this year.

Now split these big rocks into smaller rocks by setting quarterly goals for each of your big goals.

Finally, split your small rocks into sand, by setting daily activities for your first set of quarterly goals. This needs to be done every quarter.


A. Big Rocks or Goals For Year

Personal (i)                    (ii)                 (iii)                        (iv)

Professional (i)              (ii)                (iii)                      (iv)

B. Quarterly Goals – Small rock – for each of the goals above.


5. Set daily rituals aligned with your goals.

This is the sand that makes up the rocks. You’ll be able to set this for each of your first quarterly goals. Start somewhere and improve over time.

An example, for personal fitness goal is exercising every morning for a minimum of 20 minutes is a start or for professional goal of writing more content for your business, committing to writing for 30 minutes every day.


6. Action

Action produces clarity. It’s not until you start that you see the “how” clearer. Have trust and faith that all will unfold in the journey of life once you start the momentum forward.


7. Review and readjust

As with most things in life, start somewhere. Then test and measure to see if you are on track and review and adjust as needed.

For instance with rituals of exercise and writing above,  review your results and progress after a month. Is it working? Does it need refining? Could I do it a better way? What time of day is best for me?


 “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars” – Norman Vincent Peale

Most of all have fun consciously creating a life you love. We are all a work in progress. Make 2017 a year to remember!

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