Unraveling the Year Ahead

Happy Holiday week to all! I’ve enjoyed a quiet week with my family – filled with delicious home-cooked meals, wine, hot tea, movies and gifts. And a bit of a chest cold. But all is well and I’m feeling refreshed. And today, I’m off to Chicago to spend the New Year’s weekend with my two best friends – lots of fun times in store!

Over the quiet holiday week, I set aside a few hours to work through a reflective exercise to help set some direction for me in 2013. Via one of my favorite bloggers Larissa at Piloting Paper Airplanes, I stumbled across Susannah Conway’s work (and now another blog favorite!). Susannah has created a workbook entitled Unravelling the Year Ahead 2013.

This free PDF workbook asks you to reflect on your 2012 experiences and dive into some pretty introspective questions to help you plan for a meaningful 2013. I wanted to share this with you on our last weekend of 2012 in case you’d like to do some discovery before the New Year – there’s something about this time of year that calls for some closure and budding excitement for what is to come!

Photo credit: Susannah Conway, susannahconway.com

The first section asks you to think back on the last 12 months – what did you embrace, let go of, discover in 2012. It asks you questions to really dig deep into your emotions and call out actual experiences and feelings. Who or what do you need to forgive? What did you achieve and what challenged you? Which was your most favorite day of the year?

I don’t know if you guys do this on a regular basis, but I sure don’t, and going into this kind of detail was especially cathartic after a hard year. Some of the thoughts that surfaced were surprising to me. How proud I was of my family. How hard my mom’s breast cancer really did hit me. How I’ve been holding it all together by piling on more, trying to do everything, being busy. How I felt the need to forgive myself over most anyone else.

Before getting on to the 2013 hopes and intentions, the workbook asks you to sum up 2012 in 3 words and say goodbye to things in 2012 that need a farewell.

emotional / hard / reflective

Goodbye to a friend, a love.

Goodbye to cancer – please don’t come back.

It wasn’t until after I’d completed the first 7 pages of Unravelling the Year Behind that I was really ready to look to the year ahead. Typically I’ve steamrolled headfirst into plans for the new year – what I’ll accomplish, who I’ll be, where I’ll go. But, you have to understand where you are to shape where you’ll go.

The very first thing to do for the New Year is to choose a word to guide you through the next 12 months. Susannah encourages you to “pick a word that makes you feel expanded. Excited. Encouraged. Inspired. Relieved.”.

My word for 2013 is Discovery.

Lots more to come in 2013… I know I’m ready for the New Year and am looking forward to one filled with excitement, challenge, growth, love and joy.

Enjoy the New Year’s festivities and see you in 2013!

What’s your word for 2013?


7 thoughts on “Unraveling the Year Ahead

  1. I have been struggling to come up with resolutions for the New Year. Perhaps this is what I need to get me motivated for a fresh start! Thanks for sharing!

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