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

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!

2014-11-16 05.58.20

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

Journal Challenge Week 1 – Full Moon

“If you’re going to doubt something, doubt your limits.” ~ Don Ward

 

Welcome to Week One of our four week journaling challenge. There are some very favourable energies about right now to help us in connecting to our authentic selves, and from that place of truth we can then dream a new life, a new self, a new future into being.

This week we’ll be influenced by the Full Moon in Taurus. This beautiful moon is also known as the Earth Mother’s Moon. The Earth Mother Moon helps us to understand our life as an ecosystem, so that we can identify and give ourselves what we need to thrive in a balanced and sustainable way. It is a practical energy, a patient energy, and a kind energy. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Because we’ll still be under the influence of the recent partial Solar Eclipse and the previous New Moon in Scorpio all this month, we need to work with these bigger energies too. The gift here is in seeking the truth, completing patterns from the past, and experiencing breakthroughs as we step into this new phase of our lives.

To do this we must be committed to becoming honest, vulnerable and exposed with ourselves. We must be brave enough to own our truth – not the one others ascribe to us, or the one we would like to choose for somewhere outside of ourselves – our truth just is, and we find it within our tender, wounded, doubting hearts.

This is a time for exploring and owning what has been repressed, forgotten or shoved to one side in our lives.

It’s a great time to facilitate a gathering awareness of our truth and a strengthening sense of wholeness for ourselves.

And wholeness gives us hope, strength, valor and inspiration.

Image from SmiteBoards.net

Image from SmiteBoards.net

Let’s Begin!

Choosing a Crystal

You may wish to choose a crystal to work with this 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:

  • Clear Quartz or Quartz with Inclusions or Phantoms
  • Aragonite
  • Carnelian
  • Bloodstone
  • Unakite
  • Tiger Eye
  • Petrified Wood
  • Smoky Quartz
  • Red Jasper

Here’s what I’ll be using – it’s a Tibetan Chlorite Phantom Quartz with window. Feel free to let us know what kind of crystal you choose by leaving a comment below or over at our facebook page.

quartz

Journal Dedication:

Begin the challenge by writing this dedication in the front of your journal, and then signing your name and date.

Dear Universe,

I yearn to create a life for myself that is richly fulfilling. I am open now to truly understanding what it is that I need in order to thrive, to grow, to shine.

I understand that I deserve to be happy, and I am prepared to sit in vulnerability and truth in order to clear the obstacles to my happiness.

I am ready to own the parts of myself that I have cast aside. I am ready to embrace my fullness, my wholeness, my true and complete soul truth.

I understand that I am destined for more – being more, loving more, sharing more, having more.

Although I am uncertain, although I still cannot name all the changes I desire, my heart is open to them if they be for my Highest Good.

Today I honour my desire and intention for positive change, and I offer it up to you, trusting that I will be guided to discover the next steps, that I will be drawn to inspiration and opportunity, and that I can create a life for myself which is more expansive, more aligned to my purpose, more in flow.

My commitment to you is that for the next 4 weeks (and beyond) I am willing to explore and open to the possibilities of change, and to celebrate the many Blessings I already enjoy.

With love and gratitude,

_____________________________________

(insert your own name here)

 

Week One Meditation:

We can’t think, or be in flow, if we are stressed and uptight. This week, before you begin to reflect on and journal your exploratory questions, take a minute or two to perform this simple meditation.

Belly Breathing Technique

Before you begin writing, sit or lie quietly. Place your crystal in one hand and then put that hand over your heart. Place your other hand on your belly.

Visualise a colour in your crystal, or if you are just using your hands, visualise a colour in the palm of your hand above your heart. Breathe in to activate your hands and let that colour expand, so that it links both of your hands. You’ll now have a glow of coloured energy sitting from your throat to your groin. That light is healing and energising. Don’t think about it too much. Just let it be there in the background. Close your eyes if it feels comfortable to do so.

Now take 6 deep breaths.

For each breath, when you inhale focus on your belly rising out further than your chest.

Take 6 long, slow and unforced breaths, gently allowing your hands to rise and fall with your chest and belly.

You’ll feel your body relax and unwind. You can stop after six breaths or do another cycle of six.

Now you’re ready to write!

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Journal Questions:

You can choose any or all of the questions below. I suggest going with what resonates and repels for a good balance. Write as much or as little as you need. It could be three words or three pages. Spread it out over a week, or spend a solid hour or two over one day – it’s up to you! If you’re in flow, keep going and see where it takes you. Be ruthlessly honest. Be practical. No airy-fairy here please. We need tools we can work with.

If you’re using a crystal, hold it in your non-writing hand, or place it in your lap or pocket. Feel free to get yourself a beverage, or to sit in a coffee shop while you do this. Enjoy the process!

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Know that this journal work will provide a platform for future planning, growth and self-awareness. You’ll be coming back to these answers again in the future, so take your time and enjoy the process.

You can also write more in the future, taking yourself deeper and clearer each time you come back to that question. Trust that more will be revealed as your own wholeness is revealed.

If you don’t know how to answer something, ask yourself what am I resisting here? What can this teach me about myself? And then be brave and go deeper. Come back to that question again and again until you have clarity or at least a starting place for understanding or further action. If the question is impossible, seek help. A counselor, a healer, a trusted friend or adviser, or whomever else feels right to give you some guidance around this question.

  1. What does my physical body most need right now?
  2. How can I best ensure that my body can have these things it needs to thrive?
  3. Do I need to get help with my health, and what would that look like?
  4. What environments make me feel good?
  5. What helps me to have a restful night’s sleep? – How can I create more of that in my life?
  6. What movement and exercise does my body most need? How could I easily and realistically bring that into my life?
  7. What style of clothing helps me feel like my best and most authentic self?
  8. What self-care routines most nourish and heal me?
  9. What small things in my life that are a source of irritation can I deal with effectively now with just a small amount of effort or organisation?
  10. What big things in my life irritate or worry me, that I need to face up to and sort out or give to an expert to sort out on my behalf?
  11. What have I always believed about myself that is keeping me small?
  12. What have others told me about myself, or have made me conform to, which is limiting me and my happiness?
  13. Who is bad for me?
  14. Who would I benefit from seeing more of?
  15. Do I need more hugs and connection, or more personal space right now? How do I make this happen?
  16. What things have I stopped doing that used to make me happy?
  17. What things am I doing that make me unhappy or unbalanced right now?
  18. What am I stopping myself from doing?
I, Mother Earth by moonxels at deviantart

I, Mother Earth by moonxels at deviantart

And now for some dreaming and co-creating energy. Be informed by the writing you have done with your exploratory questions. Let yourself step into the energy of possibility and growth. Let yourself dream about how good life could be. Don’t limit yourself. This is about painting your canvas with the colours and energy that will shape a powerful positive future life. Write at least a paragraph. Be detailed and specific where you can.Truly imagine what your best life could be like. What do you look like? Where are you living? What does your day look like?

If you’re still not sure, then write it as a story, a fairy-tale that might one day come true. Don’t limit yourself. Be joyful in your creating! There are always the seeds of truth and possibility in dreams and imagination…

1. My desire and intention for my body and health that I am now creating is that…

2. My desire and intention for my love relationship that I am now creating (this could be with a life partner, yourself or even with God) is that…

3. My desire and intention for my lifestyle and work that I am now creating is that…
quotes-inspiration8

 

And remember to pop over to our facebook page this week. There will be extra rune guidance there for you. I’ll be giving away some lovely surprises and there will also be a party later this week where I’ll be on line to answer your questions and have some fun! Let’s make magic together. The world needs you and your gifts.

Lots of love, Nicole xx

Grab Your Journal – I have a New Challenge For You!

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”
~ T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

 

Astrologically speaking, it’s interesting times right now. This next month, New Moon to New Moon, gives us a wonderful energy to draw on when it comes to dreaming a new life, a new self, a new future into being. It will also help us to explore what has been repressed, forgotten or shoved to one side.

It’s a great time to facilitate a strengthening sense of wholeness within ourselves.

The energies of the New Moon and the recent Solar Eclipse provide a powerful opportunity for reconnecting with our true selves, and then dreaming, planning, birthing and manifesting our heart’s desires into the world.

To help you make the most of this energy, and to get really clear about what matters, and where to focus your intention, I’ve designed a series of four journal and self-exploration activities.

Starting tomorrow (Sunday) we will work with the energy of each phase of the moon, week by week for four weeks, using a set of journal guided questions and meditations, and some runes.

You can complete the activities on one day each week, or spread them out over the week. It’s entirely up to you.

All you’ll need is a journal and pen. But if you’d like to bring along a crystal to hold, or a set of your favourite oracle or tarot cards or runes, that’s fine too.

Go gather what you need, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Lots of love, Nicole xx

PS – If you’re joining the challenge, write me a note in the comments, or pop by and visit our facebook page like us and say hi. I’ll also be having one lovely giveaway each week on the facebook page as part of the challenge, as well as a little party on facebook each week, so I’d love to see your smiling face there 🙂

What’s your Power Word for 2014?

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

 

I long ago gave away the practice of multiple New Years Resolutions. Just the thought of it overwhelms me. 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.

Living with Lyme I have so little energy to waste on superfluous things. And lists like that exhaust me.

Last year I ditched the concept of resolutions altogether and went with a far simpler system. I narrowed my resolutions down to one word. A Power Word.

In 2013, my power word was HEALTH.

For 2014 my power word is PROSPER.

Every time I think of my word I am reminded of my intentions for 2014. I can hold up the word PROSPER and use it to evaluate my actions and decisions so that I may determine if I am moving towards or away from the energy of this word, this quality I want more of in my life.

Prosper to me is not actually anything to do with money, although money is a part of prosperity. To prosper is to add to, to succeed, to do well, to thrive.

With every action, choice or decision I make in 2014 I can now ask myself if it will prosper or diminish me.

Image from Richard Kong

Image from Richard Kong – And yes, I know it’s very Star Trek, which is one of the reasons it delights me! 🙂

It’s so easy to be guided by my power word. I simply think of my word and then apply it to any situation:

Will this meal prosper me (support my health and my healing efforts) or diminish (sabotage, weaken or lessen) me?

Will a nap prosper me or reduce me?

Will exercise today prosper me or weaken me?

Which of these work activities shall prosper me most, today and in times to come?

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.

JOURNAL ACTIVITY:

Image from Erin Feldman

Image from Erin Feldman

Finding your Power Word for 2014 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?

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. If you had this change in your life, what would your life look like?
  3. Write a list of positive words and phrases that embody for you the quality, activities, knowledge and actions of this key area.
  4. 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 year.  Let this one word help you define and transform your life!

A week-long course in journalling – Day 4

So many things rattle around in our brain, and in that crowded space they are never given air or light or room to grow.  Today we are going to capture some of those wild thoughts and imaginings, those some-time longings and almost forgotten wishes, and give them roots in the rich soil of our journal.

Journalling is much more than just writing, much more than mere clearing of the pipes.  Journalling is also a ticket to adventure, that magnificent journey of self-discovery.  When we begin to identify our hopes, dreams and cherished desires we can begin to consciously manifest these things in our lives.  Thoughts can become things, imaginings, reality…   (Image by wiangya)

Journalling gives us a powerful tool for mapping out our cherished hopes and longings, making dreams reality.

Day 4 – Connecting to our conscious desires 

Most of us have an idea of what we think might make us happy, but often all we ever do is let those thoughts float around in our head like so much dandelion fluff. (image by Tina Phillips)

A journal is a great place for exploring these thoughts and anchoring them on the page where they can begin their journey from thought-form into something tangible in our lives. There is a great power in identifying dreams and goals.  And there is a magic that happens when these thoughts are transferred from our minds to paper.  Like dandelion fluff in the breeze, we capture the tiny seeds and begin to nurture them into existence.

 

Task for the day:

If you haven’t already checked out my post on How to Live Authentically on 2012, I suggest you go visit it now.  You’ll find a series of questions to help you become clearer about what’s important to you in life.  Use this as a starting point for today’s journal entry, where you can begin writing down your conscious hopes, dreams and desires.

Don’t censor what you write.  Hope is an important nutrient for these fledgling dreamseeds.  It doesn’t matter that you don’t know how you’re going to achieve or obtain the thing you’re dreaming about.  All that counts is that you identify that thought and write it down.  Dare to dream big dreams as well as small ones.

I’ve created a short Guided Meditation to help you get into the flow of this exercise.  Just click on the link below to begin.  (Forgive the bumping noise midway through, as Bert my trusty office-assistance-dog came to sit on my lap!)

Day 4 of Journalling – Dare to Dream

Meet my office assistant - Bert ♥

You might also like to work with the meditation I created to welcome in the energies of 2012.  Meditation and visualisation is a wonderful way to ease into the flow of journalling.  Let me know how you go!