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Looking Back to Move Forward…

It’s an important time for us individually and collectively, as we complete an era and enter into a whole new way of being in 2013.  Are you feeling this too?  Here is a personal ritual that I do every year, and that I feel is especially important for this year…

Look Back To Move Forward…

While it’s essential to set goals for the future (2013), it’s just as important to commemorate and celebrate all we did in the past (2012).  I first heard of this idea seven years ago from Cheryl Richardson, author of Stand Up for Your Life, and have been doing it ever since. Look back first, to remember and celebrate all you that DID…and then set your sights on 2013.

Why is this important to do?

  1. It helps us remember the years as they fly by… and they’re going faster and faster, don’t you think?  Last year, when I recorded my 2012 highlights and then looked at back my 06 -11 highlights, I was amazed how many times I said, “Wow, I totally forgot about that!”  Pictures, of course, are a great way to remember special moments throughout the year.  But I’m usually too caught up in the moment to even think about grabbing my iPhone for a pic, so this exercise is what enables me to recall and appreciate all those precious life experiences.
  2. It pats YOU on the back and helps you realize how much you DID do, even if there are still many things you want to accomplish in 2013.  It puts you in a grateful state of mind, rather than a guilt-full state of mind for anything that you didn’t achieve. When you acknowledge all that you did and experienced, and set your goals from that positive mental state, you’ll feel empowered and excited about the future.
  3. It helps you “complete” 2012 and embark on the next year’s journey with renewed energy.  Energetically, this is extremely powerful and is actually one of the most important reasons to do this exercise.  Completing an existing chapter before entering a new one, helps clear the space for what you want to attract into your life.  Clear, open space is very inviting for manifestation…

So what is the best way to do this?

  1. Use the simple categories below to jot down the highlights of last year. Feel free to add or eliminate categories as they apply to the life you want to create – these are just the ones I use.  Write them down on a notepad, or type them into a document on your laptop or iPad.  Do this right NOW, very briefly, just to get you going.  The important thing is to not over think it.  Simply write down 1-2 things in each category that come to mind – then you can go back and fill in more later.  This makes it FUN…and not just another thing “to do” (you don’t need that!).  Which brings me to my next point…
  2. Have fun with it!  Do it yourself or with your girlfriend, boyfriend, partner, or even your whole family!  It makes great dinner or conversation: “What were some of your highlights in 2012?  What were your favorite movies/books?  What Aha’s did you have this year?  Your favorite weekend and why?”
  3. Celebrate ALL that you did and then set your goals using the same categories.  SAVE both documents for future reference – they are incredibly fun and insightful to look at every year.
  4. Enjoy! I love doing this every year…it’s one of my favorite things to do every year!

2012 Highlights (then I do the same for my 2013 Goals)

  • Health + Nutrition
  • Fitness
  • Business / Prosperity
  • Career / Brand
  • Dance
  • Personal Development / Learning
  • Passions
  • Spirituality
  • Savings / Investments
  • Self Care
  • Home + Living Environment
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Love
  • Life Goals
  • Charity/Giving Back
  • Travel + Adventure
  • Fun stuff
  • Cultural
  • Material
  • New Restaurants
  • New Books
  • Weekend Trips
  • Accomplishments & Achievements
  • Things I’ve learned
  • Themes this year

Why I’m such an advocate for designing  life in this way:

One the most significant events in my childhood was hearing a 50-year-old man tell a story about writing down the 100 things he wanted to do in his lifetime, when he was still a teenager. By the time he was 50 years old, he had achieved 80% of the goals he had written down as a young man.  And these weren’t small goals either.  They included sailing down the Amazon River, visiting every country in Europe, living for a year in Italy, etc.

I was absolutely mesmerized by his talk and what he had done in his life.  He had lived, loved and made a difference.  I saw, heard and felt the heart energy + vibration of a man who I wanted to be like, so I DID what he suggested.  IMPORTANT LIFE TIP:  Find people whose life, energy and vibration you aspire to emulate.  Seek them out, listen deeply to their advice…and then (and this is the kicker)…DO it! :-)

Ever since I heard that life-changing talk, I have written down my goals every year.  This simple concept helped me design my life as I wanted.  Goal setting with heart + feeling are so important and should be taught in our schools.  Unfortunately, they’re not, but we can teach our children (in my case, my gorgeous niece Ashlie) and do ourselves.

Take Action Challenge:
Now that you have a breather after Christmas and New Year’s, want to join me in this valuable exercise?   Go through your 2012 highlights and then set goals for each category for 2013.  Use this ritual as an opportunity to really celebrate YOU, say goodbye to the past and hello to a vibrant new year!

PS:  As always, I love to hear your comments, questions and thoughts in the comments below – I’ll be sure to respond!

Be Happy…Be Vibrant…

Love,

Carmen xo

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A true entrepreneur, lifestyle master and international wellness coach who walks her talk, Carmen is the founder of Create Your Amazing Life™ , the SexyFit™ Nutrition Challenge, a 30- day online Nutrition Program and Live Well International, a business and lifestyle training company.  Carmen also works in partnership with the Handel Group Life Coaching supporting the self-employed design limitless lives, she writes for Glam Fit Magazine as their Business and Lifestyle Expert, and of course The Daily Love!

Website | www.carmenmarshall.com

Facebook | www.facebook.com/carmenmarshallentrepreneur

Twitter | www.twitter.com/carmenmarshall

  • Cozyshorts

    I really, really love your ritual! I’m going to take some time this afternoon; I can’t wait to get started on this…love the part about the 50 year old man that made his list if 100, too-what a great idea! :D

    • http://www.carmenmarshall.com Carmen Marshall

       Trust you had a FUN afternoon!  Yes – 50 year old man – so inspirational eh? Carmen :)

  • Tina

    Thank you for this inspiring post! I really love this whole idea, looking forward to starting it :) Best wishes for 2013!

    • http://www.carmenmarshall.com Carmen Marshall

       I’m so glad that you liked it Tina!  It’s so great to do every year – have fun on your first year! Carmen :)

  • http://beyouliveyourdream.blogspot.com/ Sarah Noel

    Love this idea! Of course I wish I’ve been doing it the past 35 years (or past 28 years that I could actually write)… but I’m starting now!  :) 

    Thanks for sharing!

    Sarah
    http://beyouliveyourdream.blogspot.com/2013/01/what-do-you-want.html

    • http://www.carmenmarshall.com Carmen Marshall

       You’re so welcome Sarah!  I know…me too! :-) How fun would that have been to see our “scribbles” at 5 years old onwards :)