The Most Useful Tool for Moving Forward in the New Year

I love flipping the calendar to a new year.

It's a convenient checkpoint, an obvious time to pause and look back on the year that just passed and ponder the possibility of the year to come. As with any transition though, it's also a great time to slow down, set aside our productivity hats and simply be.

There are many good and useful tools out there to help us choose words, set goals and formally review what's gone by. I fully intend to use a few in the next several weeks.

But one of the most useful tools for navigating this yearly transition isn't available in the form of a printable PDF or a stylish day-planner (says the girl who just bought three calendars).

One of the most useful tools we have to help us move forward in the new year is our intuition.

The problem is, often we're too busy rushing into the new year to hear what it has to say.

If words, goals and plans aren't calling you yet, maybe it's because you need space for this year to wind down before turning the page. Instead of jumping into tools and planning too quickly, why not experiment with stillness and letting things unfold?

There will be plenty of time to choose words for 2014 and figure out where you want to go and what you want to do, the tools will still be there when you're ready to use them.

Allowing this silent, receptive space between, where insights from the past year intermingle with the possibilities of the year to come, is fertile ground.

It may be just what you need to foster healthy roots for all the good things waiting to come to fruition.

On stillness, work, and insights...

Bit by bit I'm getting increasingly clear insights on the projects and products I'd like to create this year to continue the work transition I started in 2011*. I'm not sure they'll all come to fruition, but I certainly can't deny their presence.

* For all posts related to my work transition journey, click here.

Words, titles, and images are asking to be acknowledged.

Tea and Candlelight: Tools for Creative Business Planning

tea and candlelight: tools for creative biz planning

One morning journalling session produced an outline for an entire online course or program; another revealed an idea for a new booklet. An evening dedicated to business planning saw me complete the sentence "2013 will be the year that..." with "... I create and submit a book proposal."


I also keep coming back to a series of mantras, or tenets, to guide my creative biz work this year. These are short phrases I can't seem to shake, so for now I'm choosing to go with them. (Stay tuned for another post, specifically on these tenets.)

The moral of this story, you ask? Two things jump out at me:

Insights, guidance and even more prodding questions come when we take time to be still, ask the questions, listen for the answers, and acknowledge them.

Some insights call for swift movement and adrenalin-filled action; others may ask for a more gentle approach, with more value gained by letting them percolate, or taking small, next right actions to see what unfolds.

Either way, we move forward.


What practices do you have in place to receive insight and guidance?

Are any of your ideas or projects calling for quick completion? On the flip side, are any of them calling for a more gentle approach?