Top 10 Tips for Planning a Successful 2015

Image from 2regularguys.com

Image from 2regularguys.com

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

 

Well here we are, in the opening pages of a fresh new year. As some of you will already know, I’ve allocated this week for my own personal planning summit. I’ve always found that a little bit of planning goes a long way towards helping me achieve my dreams and round out my year in a fulfilling way.

So, what do you need to do to make this next year really count?
Most people start the year strong, and then slacken off, so here are my top ten tips for planning a year brimful of wins!
1. Start 2015 by ditching New Year’s Resolutions, and choose a Power Word instead. A power word is a word to focus your intentions and energies, so that it informs and advises everything you do. This year my word is BUILD. Don’t have a power word of your own yet? Go here to get that power word sorted. Want to make it even more powerful? Do my power word meditation.
2. Goals for the year? Only pick one or two important things, and develop habits around these things so that it changes your life. Break your goal down into small actionable steps – daily tasks and weekly tasks, all incorporated as part of your new routine.
3. Three MITs for each day. An MIT is a Most Important Task. Each day, right from the word go, know what your three most important activities will be. Then get them done! Prioritize them to get done first in your day – then, no matter what else happens, you’ll know that you’ve got your MITs out of the way.
4. Schedule time for maintenance or delegate it out. We often forget to allocate time to the things that keep the show on the road. It could be household maintenance; cooking, cleaning, yard care, decluttering. It could be personal maintenance; trips to the dentist, getting your hair done, buying clothes, having that massage or back adjustment. It might be relationship maintenance; time with your partner, time to hang out with friends, time for family or pets. When we don’t make time for maintenance or plan for someone else to do it, we pile pressure upon ourselves because we have the expectation that we’ll get EVERYTHING done in our ‘free time’, and seriously, who ever gets much of that? (Also, if you jam free time full of jobs, it defeats the purpose of ‘free’ time.)
5. Surround yourself with great people. Get yourself a team. Your team might be coaches, advisers, staff, contractors, books, courses, online groups or friends who uplift you. It might be the babysitter, the accountant, the writing group, the yoga instructor, the super-knowledgeable guy at the health-food store. Success is so much easier when we have support. Ditch the negative people and people who bring you down. They were never going to be helpful anyway.
6. Focus. Let go of whatever is unimportant. If there’s something you really want to get done this year, put that thing ahead of everything else. Build your self-confidence by keeping that promise to yourself. Develop a track record in consistency. Every overnight success I ever met was a long time in the making, and got there through focus and consistency!
7. Remind yourself of your power word and review your goals daily. It only takes a minute, but keeping your goals uppermost in your mind will help revolutionise your choices and priorities. When you need to take action or make a decision, check in with your power word and goals. Then ask yourself if that decision or action moves you closer to or further away from your goals and power word.  Have a mini-planning review each month to keep yourself focused and organised.
8. Schedule regular R and R. Rest and Recreation. Total and complete days off. You. Your family. Unplugged. Birthdays and celebrations. Holidays. They all need to go into your calendar FIRST before your year fills up. It’s about quality of life. Right?
9. Know your starting point. Do a Year In Review for 2014. Look at what worked and what didn’t. Know what you own, and what you owe. Know your expected expenses. Know where your money came from. Look at what paid off, and what didn’t. Learn from your existing track record of successes and failures. Write it all down. That way, at the end of 2015, you’ll be able to see just how far you’ve come.
10. Slow down. Breathe deeply. Practice kindness and gratitude. Repeat. :)
2015 can be a real game changer for you, so dream big and give it your all.
Bless xx
Image from lifehack.org

Image from lifehack.org

Power Word Meditation for 2015

Image from artofhealthfulliving.com

Image from artofhealthfulliving.com

“The more of me I be,
The clearer I can see.”
~ Rachel Archelaus

Today I’ve prepared a short guided meditation to help you to truly connect to your power word for 2015.

If you haven’t yet chosen your power word go back and choose it here.

If you have a crystal that you’d like to nominate to hold the energy of your power word, go ahead and select one. It’s also fine to do this meditation without a crystal. Just do what feels right for you.

Here’s the rock that I’m going to use in conjunction with my power word in 2015:

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It’s a banded milky quartz and fire quartz from the Gibb River in the Kimberley. The stone is river smoothed, but pock-marked and imperfect, and it still holds tiny traces of dirt from the muddy river bank where I found it.

My power word for 2015 is BUILD and when I hold this stone I feel that energy of building. My stone has dirt still embedded in its cracks, it is solid and well used, and it feels honest somehow. The bands of colour in the stone remind me of the need for me to take small but consistent steps. The darker thicker layer at the bottom of the stone prompts me to build solid foundations.

Use your intuition and I know you’ll be guided to the right crystal choice. Feel free to post a pic and your power word over on our facebook page so we can share a little good energy for the build-up to 2015.

I also encourage you to keep a journal handy so that you can record any insights after your power word meditation is finished.

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Guided Meditation.

Read through the simple instructions first, before completing this activity in your own time.

Hold your crystal in your cupped hands and close your eyes. Spend a minute relaxing your body and then bring your attention to your power word.

Imagine your word as a colour. Imagine your word as an energy.

Notice where in your body you feel this word.

Now ask yourself ‘How can this word help me in 2015?’

Sit or lie quietly, holding your crystal, and open yourself to any answers, insights or images that come. Keep asking yourself that question. Wait for more answers, each time allowing yourself to go deeper.

When you are done, bring your attention to the crystal. Visualise the colour and energy of your word enter the stone. See the word shining brightly inside your stone. Then see your word shining brightly in you – in your heart and in your mind.

When you’re ready, bring your attention back into the room and record any insights or understandings in your journal.

During 2015, try to do this simple meditation weekly to help keep you focused and on track.
Van-Gogh_great-things

Choosing your Power Word for 2015

Image courtesy of iStockphoto.com

Image courtesy of iStockphoto.com

“The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.”
~ Socrates

 

2015 is almost upon us, and already I can feel the opportunity and potential transformation that this new year brings.

Choosing a power word will help me to focus, and make the most of 2015’s energy.

Why a power word?

I long ago gave away the practice of multiple New Years Resolutions. Just the thought of it is overwhelming. You know; all the things you are going to do, all the things you are no longer going to do – and then dividing those up into areas for finances, family, health, spirituality, matters of the heart, interests and hobbies, professional and personal development, global domination and so on.

For the past few years I’ve gone with a far simpler system. I’ve narrowed my resolutions down to one word. My power word for the year.

Every time I think of that word I will be reminded of my intentions for 2015. I can hold that word up and use it to evaluate my thoughts and my actions, so that I can determine if I am moving towards or away from the energy of this word, this quality I want more of in my life.

For 2015 my power word is BUILD.

Build is a highly emotive word for me. To me, it is rich with action and result. It speaks to me of new beginnings, of strengthening what is already good, and of creation. It feels empowering. It energises and inspires me.

I can build on my good health. I can build my strength. I can build my energy.

I can build my business. I can build my tribe. I can build new books, new programs, new courses. I can build my team. I can build my relationships. I can build my life.

With every action, choice or decision I make in 2015 I can now ask myself if that is building my wellness, my business, my dreams, my abundance.

I’m thrilled with my power word. I know it’s going to help keep me focused and on track this year.

Now let’s work out what your word is.

Image from afineparent.com

Image from afineparent.com

JOURNAL ACTIVITY:

Finding your Power Word for 2015 is simply a matter of exploring what’s important to you. Is there a recurrent theme in your life you’d like to put more attention to, an area you’d like to shine in, or a dream that never gets air time?

Or is it an energy, a philosophy, a verb that calls you to action?

Image from pmsouth.com

Image from pmsouth.com

Use the following Questions to help you arrive at your own Power Word or Power Phrase ( a Power Phrase has more than one word!)

  1. What’s the one key area of your life, that if you put purpose, passion and action to, would move you to a better place by the year’s end? Only choose one area. If you actually make all the change and improvement you need before the year is finished you can give yourself a well-deserved break, or choose another word!
  2. What’s an energy or philosophy that inspires and motivates you?
  3. If you had this change or this energy in your life, what would your life look like?
  4. Write a list of positive words and phrases that embody for you the quality, activities, knowledge and actions of this key area.
  5. Choose one simple word or phrase that sums up this energy for you.

list-of-positive-words

Once you have your Power Word, commit it to memory. Write it in your diary. Place it on post-it-notes around your house, make it your screen saver – in short immerse yourself in this word, and the meaning of this word for you.

Let this one word remind you about what’s important to you this coming year.  Let this one word help you define and transform your life!

Image from  gopixpic.com

Image from gopixpic.com

PS: *Stay tuned, because tomorrow I’ll be posting a short guided meditation to help you truly connect in to the power and personal meaning of your power word or phrase.

Direction or Destination?

image from

Image from picture.4ever.eu

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” ~ William G.T. Shedd

 

Right now is a terrific time for planning.

2015 is almost upon us, and as the Captain of our own ship we get to choose where we will sail next year.

Some of you might already have a specific destination in mind.

Terrific. Beautiful. Wonderful. When you have a destination decided you can pull out your maps and chart the best course to take you there.

But what if you can’t decide on a destination?

Often, if we choose a direction, the destination will reveal itself. And that destination may be one we would have never thought of for ourselves. Yet fate will lend us a wind that drives our boat towards a new harbour, or we’ll meet a sailor in another port who urges us on to a place he’s recently visited that he’s sure will suit us, or an event will catch our eye, or a smile will capture our heart.

Direction can be enough. A broad idea of where we’re going.

We’ll head north.

We’ll go back to school.

We’ll work to get our debt down.

We’ll concentrate on improving our health.

Once we have a general direction we can choose a few specific small goals based upon that direction.

We’ll develop momentum. Our sails will fill and we’ll be on our way. Direction decided, ultimate destination as yet unknown. A grand adventure!

Sailing Adventure by Beth Marcil

Sailing Adventure by Beth Marcil

But what if your boat isn’t seaworthy?

Two choices here. You can stay in harbour and work to get that boat back in shape for your next voyage. Which might be later in the year, or even the year after that. You might also choose to sail on a river or a lake closer to home, and just cruise for the scenery, or the memories. If something goes wrong you’ll be close to shore and to help.

The other thing you can do is go sailing in your imagination, your meditations, your dreams. Just because the boat is broken, or trapped somehow, doesn’t mean you can’t captain your mind and use that for your next adventure.

I dare you to dream a little for 2015. Think about destinations and directions. Choose a course, get your ship ready, and then set sail…

What’s up with this crazy End-of-2014 energy?

Image from Chris Morton

Image from Chris Morton

“If you lack the humility to go back and tie up the loose ends in your past, then be prepared to forever be haunted by her ghosts, all of whom will come into your present and your future – staining everything and everyone with their leftover emotional and mental garbage.”
~ C. JoyBell C.

 

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” ~ Martha Graham

 

Have you been feeling it?

There’s been some crazy, messy and wild energy around these last few months. And of course, it has been exacerbated by the planetary energies and eclipses we’ve experienced lately.

If you are a sensitive soul, you’ll know exactly what I mean!

2015 is fast approaching, and right now we have a perfect opportunity to bring patterns and issues in our life to a place of completion. From now until early February 2015 is a terrific time for endings, closing doors, finishing things up and stepping away from relationships, habits, beliefs and environments that no longer support us.

Tidy up those loose ends. Make the small and the big decisions. Know that sometimes completion is about cleaning up the mess, simplifying, downsizing or choosing to walk away before the job is done, knowing you don’t need what you leave behind.

It’s also a powerful time for karmic clearing of ancestral patterns. We can choose to break family patterns of thinking and behaving, and choose new ways of being in the world.

Don’t be surprised if things you thought you’d dealt with suddenly come back one more time. If you’re given seductive choices that would lead you back down roads you said you’d never walk again.

Be strong now. Get clear. There is so much power available to you in this moment – so much energy that supports positive change.

There’s also a quickening right now. It’s a fore-taste of what’s to come next year.

Expect that some days may feel insanely busy and pressured. That you might feel called to make choices or decisions when you don’t feel there’s enough time to really think about things and to reflect.

It’s likely that you’ll feel like things are moving too fast, that there’s not enough time, that you’re walking through a strange land with none of the usual guideposts….

Image from Adventurer Pics

Image from Adventurer Pics

That’s okay. If you’ve done the work, if you’re ready (and most likely you’ll still be in a place of doubt about that, my dears) that river you’ve jumped into is going to rocket you along. The Universe knows. Your heart knows. Your soul knows. It might just take your brain a little time to catch up.

We need you in this changing world. We need your passion, your commitment, your individuality, your unique perspective.

We need you to be YOU. To walk your path, to share your gifts – whatever those may be. Not sure what you have to offer? Don’t worry. Just pay attention. In this place of quickening, ideas and inspiration will come. It might not be what you’d expected.

Good. Say yes anyway.

Right now a sense of humour, a spirit of adventure, kindness towards self and others, an open heart and an open mind will serve you well. 2015 sees an expansion – an opening out of energies, the birth of so many possibilities. It’s almost here. Can’t you feel it?

Onwards, my lovelies!

 

Journal Challenge Week 4 – Nuggets of Gold

Image by Peter Braig

Image by Peter Braig

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

 

Hello Lovelies, and welcome to the fourth and final week of our Journal Challenge!

If you’ve only just found us now, it’s not too late to go back and start at the beginning. That’s the beauty of journalling. It waits for us, and works with our own time-frames.

This week we’re putting on our investigative hats, and we’re digging deep into what we’ve already written. There will be gold in those words, for sure!

You’ll need a couple of extra tools this week:

1. Some coloured pens

2. A few highlighters

Before we start our final week, let’s have a quick recap of the last three weeks of journalling:

1. In Week One we called on our own insights to discover where we have held ourselves back, what worries us, and what we might do to bring more balance, healing, sustainability and joy into our lives.

and

2. In Week Two we bravely called upon the love, wisdom and strength of our Ancestors as we tackled our patterns of resentment, the excuses we use that prevent us growing and moving forward, the areas and relationships where we hold resentment, and the things in our life over which we feel shame. We then looked at how to turn all of this hurt into wisdom, helping us to reclaim the aspects of ourselves that we had shunned.

and

3. In Week Three we looked at endings and beginnings. Places where we could complete, finalise or sever. Places where we could launch, start and create new energy and momentum. We began to embrace possibility.

This week it’s all about refining our ideas, reviewing our material and coming up with a map to our riches.

Image from wisestars.net

Image from wisestars.net

Choosing a Crystal

You may wish to choose a crystal to work with for our final week. It is entirely optional, and you’d be fine without one too – but for my fellow rock lovers, read on…

You can hold this crystal as you write or meditate, place it under your pillow or beside your bed while you sleep, or carry it in your pocket to help you stay focused.

You could choose your stone based on what most appeals to you. That’s a very valid approach. But if you need a little direction, good crystals to work with this week include:

  • Amethyst
  • Fluorite
  • Any of the Calcites
  • Rose Quartz
  • Pyrite
  • Tourmaline
  • Mookaite
  • Malachite
  • Clear Quartz, with or without inclusions
  • Smoky Quartz

This week I’ve chosen a natural Amethyst point – I love the gentle energy of this one, and when I gaze into it I am reminded of clouds of jellyfish upon a purple ocean!

If you’re working with a crystal too why not tell us about it by leaving a comment below or over at our facebook page.

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Week Four Meditation:

This week’s simple meditation is about reassuring ourselves. We don’t do that enough, and it’s an important part of nurturing and caring for ourselves.

The Healing Breath Meditation

You can do this meditation anywhere, anytime. That is the beauty of it.

Sit or lie quietly somewhere. You can close your eyes or leave them open – whatever feels right for you in the moment.

Breathe in. As you breathe in affirm to yourself, “I am Love.”

Breathe out. As you breathe out affirm to yourself, “I am Enough.”

It may bring up strong emotions for you, when you first do this meditation. That’s okay. Gently stick with it.

You only need a minute or two, but if it feels right you can happily sit in this meditation for longer.

When you feel calm and stronger in yourself, smile, and remind yourself that you are okay.

Now you’re ready to write!

 

Journal Activity:

Take your journal and some highlighters and sit down with a tasty beverage. Somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed. If you’re using a crystal, hold it in your non-writing hand, or place it in your lap or pocket.

Start reading. Read in a way where you are allowing yourself to skim lightly over the words. When something gets your attention, mark it with a highlighter.

photo

What should you highlight? Anything that brings up strong emotion (including negative emotion), recurrent themes, or ideas or actions that begin to make you feel purposeful or alive.

It’s a little like panning for gold, searching for those valuable nuggets amid the stones and gravel.

Image by Jeff Banke

Image by Jeff Banke

Gathering the Threads Together

Over the next few days, or the next few weeks, return to those highlighted sections. Read over them, one by one, and then for each one allow yourself to ask the question:

What can I do about this?

Write the answer in your journal.

It can also be useful to do some word association. Find the one word, idea or image from the highlighted text that stands out for you. Place that word in a circle and then draw a few lines out from the circle. My word was ‘time’.

Now without giving this ANY thought (Don’t you DARE think!), use ‘stream of consciousness’ and immediately write connected words that you associate with time, or whatever your particular thing is, coming off each of the lines. NO THINKING – JUST WRITE!

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My words in relation to time were Slow Down, Make a list, Go off the clock, Prioritise, Sleep, Fun, Delegate, Stop Worrying, Holiday. I actually found that pretty useful, and it immediately pulled me out of stress and back into flow and possibility.

Because of this, I’m seriously considering taking a chunk of time in the new year just to write, create, rest and heal.

We have so much wisdom within us, if only we ever think to ask :)

Let your journalling evolve into a space of mapping possible solutions, answers, outcomes or adventures.

Trust the process. Be an explorer in your own life, your own mind, your own subconscious.

Use this new clarity to begin to put a plan together for the year ahead. This way you’ll begin 2015 with a clearer idea of what you want to move away from, and what you want to move towards.

It’s your life, and you’re the Captain of your own ship. It’s time to plot a course through life that works for you. Bless xx

Image from quoteswave.com

Image from quoteswave.com

Rune Giveaway and Facebook Party

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“It is easy to decide on what is wrong to wear to a party, such as deep-sea diving equipment or a pair of large pillows, but deciding what is right is much trickier.”
~ Lemony Snicket, The Slippery Slope

 

Hello Lovelies,

I promised that during our Journal Challenge I would be having a weekly giveaway and a few little facebook parties.

So…

We’re going to start with some beautiful handmade runes, carved into carnelian. I love using runes for guidance. They give you new perspectives on existing issues, and insights into possible courses of action or patterns of thinking. I especially love these carnelian runes for two reasons: 1 – they are made from carnelian, a stone that was first given to me by my aboriginal aunties, and which is a powerful crystal for physical healing, clear thought and insights, energy and action, and 2 – I come from a strong Viking heritage, which is where runestones first originated. So to my mind this wonderful set combines the best of those energies.

For a chance to win these gorgeous magical stones add your name to the comments at the bottom of the page for a place in the draw. For additional entries in the draw go over to the Cauldrons and Cupcakes facebook page. Add your name to the post about the rune draw and get an additional place. If you share this post or the facebook post on social media you get five extra places in the draw for every share.

I’ll put all of your names into a hat and make the final draw at 6pm Brisbane time on Wednesday November 5. The winner will be announced on facebook straight after the draw, and then on the blog the following day.

party1

And the facebook party?

I’ll be over at the Cauldrons and Cupcakes facebook page at 11am today (Saturday 1st November, Brisbane time) and again tomorrow afternoon at 4pm (Sunday 2nd November, Brisbane time). I’ll be hanging out, answering your questions, chatting, drinking tea, and saying hi. Also, expect a few little extra magical giveaways. Why? Because I LOVE YOU!!!

Can’t make the party? Just like our facebook page, and then leave us a message. I’ll be sure to answer it during the party for you.

Okay, I’m off to start my NaNoWriMo challenge and get a decent wordcount happening before breakfast. Wish me luck!

Lots of love, Nicole xoxo

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