New Year’s has long been my favorite holiday, but not for the standard drinking- party celebrations. Over the past 10 years, with friends and family, I’ve created processes filled with reflections, vision, goal setting, and creative projects, providing a polestar for the year. Exercises like choosing a word for the year, creating a collage, gratitude lists, year or decades in review, unlived life exercises, a letter from your 100 year old self. The list goes on.
The basic idea is that live really can keep getting better, and any year could be our best ever. It depends on our intentions.
The results have transformed my life, many of my friends and family, and even the lives of women on the other side of the globe! I’ve used it to:
- Launch several social movements
- Raise 16+ Million Dollars for Congo
- Earn a Harvard Degree
- Find love
- Publish 2 books
Friends have used the process to:
- Lose weight
- Scale their business
- Land their dream jobs
Since I can’t always be with loved ones for New Years, and much of the process is inner, for years, I’ve dreamed of creating a guide or workbook to this process as holiday gift for friends and family members to can use to chart the year ahead. Well, this year I did it! It took many, many days, but I finished just in time for the day after Christmas, a kind of Winter Retreat Workbook.
The book is my holiday gift to all of those I love so dearly, who have stuck with me through the brightest and darkest moments, always encouraging each other to be our very best selves.
It’s also a huge year for me. I turned 40, and committed to make this decade my best so far. But the year has kind knocked me sideways: an end to a 4.5 year relationship, a move back into my house with 6 roommates, major salary cuts, piles of debt, and a mountain still to climb out of activist burnout and recover health, while start a nonprofit to end violence against women worldwide. More on all that later.
How I get from here to my Year of All Years…I know not. But I believe deeply we all have that potential, at any moment, to turn our own fate. In the words of Thoreau, “I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.”
I’m going, with you, back to a process that has helped me build all the best moments and episodes of my life thus far, and giving the rest up to the universe or some higher, wiser version of myself or, dare I say, God.
Then I thought, hey wait. Maybe I should share this more broadly in a blog, so we can all set out together. Welcome, and may this be our Year of All Years.
2 responses to Year of All Years
Thank you for sharing this. I had a sideways year, too, and it helps to know that even those whom I admire sometimes falter. Looking forward to reading and learning together.
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Katherine Fleming Yarges Beautiful blog Lisa. I’m still looking for My Word. Have been since “Eat, Love, Pray.” Embrace your forties. They were the greatest time of my life.
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