As the nights start to get long I find myself more often than not hunkering down under my blanket with a cup of tea and my journal. There’s something about the end of a year and long dark evenings that get me into a very reflective frame of mind.
I’ve never been a fan of New Years Resolutions, although I’ve known for many years the power of intentions and my list of new experiences sparks delight as the calendar clicks over to the 1st of January. So there’s something about a structured end of year review that I’m drawn to. There are many to choose from but the one by Susannah Conway has been my go-to for the past three years. It takes me a few days to work through it all, but there is something so wonderful about taking the time to really say goodbye to one year and getting ready to welcome in the next.
With so many questions to answer, it can be easy to listen to your head and just power on through with what you *should* (that dreaded word!) be wanting from the coming year. But I am very aware that my heart is a wise tool that is often neglected and Susannah’s workbook really brings out my heart in the decision making and planning process.
If a detailed planning process doesn’t fill you with the joy it does me, can I suggest taking a small amount of time to think about what you want from the coming year instead? And to really connect to what is important to you, take the time to listen to your HEART rather than being guided by your head. Whenever I have a problem I want to sort through or my brain feels full with a jumble of ideas and I’m not sure what I want to focus on next, I have a go to remedy – Heartstorming™!
It’s like Brainstorming, only better!
Your inner guidance, intuition, inner wisdom, your soul, your heart – whatever you want to call it – it can help you get clarity. And it’s a fabulous tool to use in your end of year review as well.
What you’ll need:
- Coloured post it notes or paper (the more colours and more sizes the better)
- Coloured pens (I’m a big fan of coloured Sharpies)
- Time – uninterrupted time
- An inspiring space – go somewhere you find inspirational. A light and bright room. Outside in nature. A museum. A local cafe.
1. Turn off all technology. You need to be uninterrupted and focused on this task for at least 20 minutes.
2. Get comfortable. Settle into the space. Breathe. Be present. Let go of all must dos, should have dones and don’t forgets….
3. When you are present, think about the question or concept you want to think about and write it down on a page.
i.e. What is really important for me to bring to life next year? What would my ideal job look like? Where should I move to next? What do I want to say goodbye to in my life?
4. Look at that question and breathe into it.
5. Put your hand over your heart and really listen to what comes to you (it is likely to come as if from nowhere)
6. Write down every idea that comes. It doesn’t matter how silly it may seem, write it down.
7. Keep connecting to your inner knowing. Try to turn off the brain and all its self talk and really connect to what your body and being is telling you.
8. After about 10 minutes of writing down everything that comes to you, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Look at the topic again and then look at all your ideas.
9. Put your hand over your heart again and listen – what are the best things you wrote down? Which ones are you going to action?
10. Sit back, relax and compliment yourself on a job well done.
Heartstorming™ is something that can be done at any time of the year, but it feels like now is the right time to share it with you. There are some key points about the process that I feel are important:
- Have fun! The process isn’t meant to be taken too seriously.
- The more you do it, the easier the process will be.
- There isn’t really any difference to this than brainstorming, except I think brains are over-rated at times! Don’t let your brain talk you out of any idea. Listen to what you really want and not what the voice of someone else is telling you is important.
- If your mind is whirring at a million miles an hour, make sure you really take the time before starting the Heartstorming™ process, otherwise you are at risk of never really connecting with your heart.
- Just give it a go and don’t think too much. Remember, brains are over-rated! 🙂