Do you know what you really want for this new year?

New Years’ is a beautiful time to commune with loved ones, celebrate the successes of the previous year, and toast the promises of the year to come with a nice glass of champagne. It’s also an opportunity for a fresh start—an opportunity to redefine for yourself what you will prioritize in the coming year. 

We’ve talked about your word of the year.  We’ve talked about starting new habits.  But we haven’t talked about how to help you uncover what you truly want.

Carve out this special time for yourself to rediscover and reconnect with your deepest dreams and intentions.

The value of knowing what you want to achieve this year is giant. Setting goals for yourself makes you much more likely to take action, focus effectively, and sustain momentum after these new behaviors lose their luster. Essentially, setting goals for yourself helps you get to where you really want to go.


Setting Goals

Right now, we’re not going to do your typical goal-setting. We aren’t going to make to-do lists or actions items (though you’re welcome to do that after reading!) The purpose of this activity is to define your goals in a broader sense. What parts of your life might want some more attention? What dreams have you been sweeping under the rug? What’s truest to your heart?

For many of us, we don’t take the time to dream about what we REALLY want. We let the logistical, problem-solving parts of our brain steer the ship, and we don’t leave very much space for whimsical or innovative thinking. As soon as our heart speeds up at the mere whiff of a dream, our brains jump in to mitigate risk, telling us “that won’t help pay the bills” or “that would take too long to master” or “can’t you just be happy with what you’ve got?”

Your brain may have some valid points, but your dreams do, too. At this point, it’s important to ask your risk-mitigating brain if you can shut it off for just a few minutes. Can you suspend disbelief for just a moment, so that you can have wide-open access to what you REALLY want?

In this exercise, you’ll use visualization and journaling to paint a picture of your dreams for this coming year. Find a pen and a piece of paper, and read on.


Dream Scenario

In a moment, you will visualize some part of your ideal year. First, read the prompts below and choose one or two you’d like to focus on.

  1. Allowing yourself to be as unrealistic as you can, imagine a dream day in the next year. What are the feelings you feel? What are you wearing? Notice the colours and sounds around you. Make it vivid and real.
  2. Imagine New Years’ Day of next year. You are reflecting back on your year with pride and wonder. What have you achieved? How is life different? Who surrounds you? How do you feel?
  3. Imagine you are talking to a person you respect and admire very much. Ask them what they see for you in the coming year. How are you using your gifts? What dreams are manifesting? What details can they provide?

Now, close your eyes and let this dream-filled vision come alive. Take all the time you need to drink it in.


Record Your “Dream”

After you’ve taken a luxurious amount of time filling in the details of your chosen scenario(s), it’s time to record and reflect on your dream. Find your pen and paper, and write down (or draw!) whatever details, phrases, images, or key points feel most important to you from your visualization.

Next, reflect on what you’ve recorded. How do you feel looking at what you’ve created? What thoughts come to mind as you consider your dreams? How might you consider putting these dreams into practice—are there shifts that need to happen in the new year to make these dreams a reality?

There are always a million reasons to not make what you really want a reality.

But the one reason that matters, that it’s what you really want, will not go away.

The seed of your dream has now been planted.

In the coming year, how will you choose to water it?  What do you really want?