January 2, 2012

New Year’s Reflection & Inspiration: Consciously Approaching 2012

photo credit: wrestlingentropy

This year for me, the holidays were quieter, simpler and less hectic than usual. Maybe it was the lack of travel (a rarity), absence of family visitors, or simply the days of the week on which actual holidays fell, but whatever the reasons I savored the calm spaciousness. As a result I’m relishing this time to thoughtfully reflect on the past year and sincerely contemplate my intentions, visions, and goals for 2012.

This is, to me, a big part of living consciously. Being in the moment and responding to what is, yes – that’s always called for – but conscious living also means having a clear intention and vision for the path ahead.

That’s even more necessary and powerful than it’s ever been before. Considering the shifting times we’re living through, the fact that we can consciously evolve – that we can choose how we want to progress both individually and collectively and remain conscious of it as it’s occurring – is a powerful opportunity not to be squandered or ignored.

For those living a life of utter (religious, service or familial) devotion, complete surrender is the path.  They are content to journey where they are needed most.  For the rest of us with more hybrid lives and their attendant wants, needs, dreams and passions, our journey boils down to two choices: a) consciously create a path or b) surrender to the random order of the universe as it creates a path for us.

Either choice is valid, but if you have specific desires, passions and intentions for 2012, the random path probably won’t deliver them. Remember, the universe responds to the actions and vibrations you put forth, so if you’re putting out a blank signal anything can show up and usually will. If that’s okay with you, be sure you’re open, flexible and prepared.

Me on the other hand – I’m pretty sure about what I want (and don’t want), but not always clear how to get it. That’s okay with me – I believe with clear intentions and consistent willing action, the “how” will be revealed along the way.

A Round-Up of Inspired Approaches

My own year-end review and goal-setting process for 2012 has been inspired by several writers I’ve followed over the last couple of years. To help you in your process, here’s a round-up of how some of them are using this time to reflect on the year coming to a close, and preparing for a conscious 2012:

Chris Guillebeau – The Art of Non-Conformity

Chris Guillebeau’s year-end review and annual theme selection inspired me to create my own process two years ago. Like Chris I use this time to review what has worked and not-worked in the previous year, and what I’d like to do differently in the coming year.  I do this in three areas of my life – business (work), personal, and purpose (vocation/passion).

Like Chris I also pick a theme for the year – I boil it down to a single word or idea of not only what I’d like the year to be about, but moreover how I’d like to be during the year. 2010’s Theme was “Bloom” (and in many ways, including the birth of this blog, I did). 2011’s was “Radiance”. I’m still noodling 2012’s, but after two years of blossoming and shining it’s not only going to be different, it will be much more specific.

I’ll keep you posted after I finish my year-end review and goal-setting process, but in the meantime I hope Chris’ 2011 wrap-up will inspire you to begin your own process too:

Annual Review: Looking Back

2011 Business Lessons Learned

Annual Review: Looking Forward

Susan Piver

Susan, on the other hand, uses a much more intuitive approach to taking stock and envisioning the future. Her suggestions for approaching the new year, and new year’s resolutions in particular, are among the freshest I’ve heard in a long time.  I hope you’ll take a moment to reflect on her wisdom here:

New Year’s Resolutions: Part 1

and here:

New Year’s Resolutions: Part 2

What Do You Do?

How do you take stock at year’s end? How do you anticipate and intend for the year to come?

I hope you’ll share your ideas, thoughts and processes in comments below.

Whatever your approach, I wish you the all the bliss that is the special gift of this still, silent pause in the year and the hopeful expectancy of a rewarding life ahead.

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