Unraveling the Year Ahead – 2019

I want to start by saying that this, too, is going to be a VERY long post. These reflective posts are how I make sure to live my life intentionally. They matter to me and I love being able to look back on them in future years. I know that this might not be interesting to many (if not any) of you, so please feel free to skip it. If some of you find it interesting, all the better.

This particular exercise is following Susannah Conway’s Unraveling 2019 sheet. You can download it right here. I split the reflective questions looking back on 2018 in and the questions to help clarify goals/dreams for 2019 into two posts. This is part II, the 2018 reflections are here. All questions are Susannah’s and are copyrighted to her.

  • First, choose a word to guide you through the next 12 months. Pick a word that makes you feel expanded. Encouraged. Inspired. There’s no right or wrong answer so go with your gut. What’s your Word for 2019? Magic.
  • If you lived and breathed your Word every day in 2019, what would be different for you? I would be able to see the magic in my daily life and embrace who i am and what my life is wholeheartedly and feel its enoughness. I would create more magical moments for myself and my family. I would be grounded in the difference of what magic looks like to me specifically and I would embrace that wholeheartedly. There are three parts to this word for me: seeing who i already am and really owning my own magic, seeing the magic in my own life, my people, my surroundings, and really appreciating it and finally adding more magic to our lives, small adventures, moments of wonder, etc.
  • List some ways you are already experiencing or embodying this Word:
      1. I am taking the moments to be intentional about my life
      2. I am taking time to reflect and be grateful at the end of each week
      3. I have changed my instagram to be more full of things that are meaningful to me and encourage me to embrace my magical self
      4. I have taken the time to make magical moments for my family, for my kids, for jake.
  • What could you do this year to bring more of your Word into your world?
    1. Definitely more journaling
    2. More baths, and times to really connect with myself
    3. Reading and learning more about positivity messages
    4. Looking for the good specifically, listening for the good, taking note of the good, spending time focusing on the good, celebrating the good.
    5. I could bring back the weekly celebrations
    6. I could designate one day a month to be making magic day where i go out of my way to do something magical for myself or someone else.
    7. I could write weekly magic notes to myself and to one other person
    8. I could keep a year long gratitude practice
    9. I could make a magic jar to keep all the magical moments from this year in it so I can look through at the end of the year
    10. I could make a “make magic” list and do them this year
    11. I could watch the sun rise/set, and go to water more often
    12. I could capture magic more often and then document it
    13. I could do a day in the life/week in the life through the eye of everyday magic
    14. I could look through my old blog entries and see how I define magic
    15. I could buy clothes/makeup/skincare that makes me feel magical
    16. I could buy a few small pieces for my home that make me happy and remind me of the magic
    17. I can call my mom daily again.Maybe do a project with a friend where we email each other once a week about our magical moments from this week?
  • Choose four extra words to support your Word this year. They could be anything from inspiring words to names of people to things you want to invest in… Currently leaning towards: open, ease, embrace, color, but not sure yet. [open more, feel lighter, add color, embrace you] I ended up with: embrace, lighter, kind and alive.
  • What are you looking forward to in 2019? Making peace with myself, focusing on the good, and really appreciating the textures of my life.
  • What are you feeling apprehensive about? All the transitions: to high school, middle school, figuring out what’s next at work, etc.
  • What life lessons are you taking with you into 2019? That life changes every year, in unpredictable ways (in addition to the predictable ones, of course.) and that life is so much easier if i lean into it. Lean into who i am, who jake is, who my kids are and who my family is. Leaning into what is makes it so much easier to appreciate life and even to make change.
  • What area of your life do you most want to develop in 2019? Self-acceptance -> self love -> kindness.
  • What part of yourself do you yearn to nurture in 2019? Let’s go with all parts 🙂
  • Fast-forward to December 2019. You’re sitting in a cafe?, musing over the last 12 months. Where do you want to be…
  • in your head? (work, dreams, goals)
    • Confident. Figured out what I want to be doing next, made a dent in that direction and have some destination/goal in mind. Feeling good about the decisions i made.
  • in your heart? (relationships, family, friends)
    • Feeling lucky. Fostered the relationships that matter to me, shed the ones I don’t care about, I am kind to everyone and spend a lot of wonderful time being with the people i love.
  • in your soul? (beliefs, practices, self-love)
    • At peace. Shed the beliefs that don’t serve me, embraced who I am deeply, and see+honor the magic in myself and others, created practices that help me stay grounded, content and at peace.
  • in your physical world? (home, health, hobbies)
    • Hmm i’d love to do one more round of cleaning stuff up in my home and feeling it with things that make me feel magical and getting rid of things that don’t.  For my health, I’d like to seriously move into intuitive eating and more intuition in connecting with my body in general. I’d love to keep the consistent practice of yoga/strength/pilates training. And skin care, etc so I am honoring my body. As for the hobbies, it’s all about seeing the magic (scrapbooking, journaling) and making magic (art) for me. Maybe also climbing more to share in my family’s magic.
  • Okay, let’s take it up a notch. Use this page to describe what 2019 looks like in your ideal world. Be specific! What are your dreams for love this year? Work? Play? Where are you hungry for change? How do you want 2019 to FEEL? Use your answers from the previous pages to craft your ideal vision for the next 12 months. What would saying YES to your life look and feel like? Write out everything your heart desires for this new year. Be bold.

Well it would feel magical 🙂 I am deeply content. I am honoring who I am and stepping into it. Celebrating my strengths and working on my weaknesses but not because I am not good enough, because I would like to grow. I stay in more regular contact with the handful of people who really make a difference in my life. I foster a few new connections to see what might be there. I make more time to go to book club. I journal regularly, i make time daily to be grateful, i make time daily to hug my people and tell them the magic i see in them, i honor the good in myself and in others but I don’t just see it, i also acknowledge it and say it out loud. I care for my body out of love and appreciation. I connect with my own feelings and body and soul. I choose wonder, take a few chances. I go on dates with my husband and dates with my kids, too.

  • List 3 unhelpful beliefs about yourself you’re ready to release
    1. A lot of beliefs around my body, worth, looks, etc.
    2. It’s too late for me to be successful at work.
    3. That I have to change to be worthy.
  • List 3 duties or commitments you feel ready to let go of in 2019: I did a good job of removing much of this from my life. I genuinely don’t feel like there’s something I can think of at this moment.
  • List 3 skills you’d like to learn or improve in 2019
    1. I definitely would like to get back into sketching and art.
    2. I’d love to do much more climbing so I can join my family more often
    3. Meditation, i know it leads to so much of what I seek.
  • List 3 books you intend to read this year: as always, i know i will read many.
  • How could you bring more calm into your life (and head) this year? I think the combination of journaling, meditation and connecting with those i love will help. Self affirmations, wearing/eating what i love, hugging people i love will help too.
  • List 3 things about yourself you positively love
    1. My energy (when i am not triggered, i am always so excited)
    2. My relentless pursuit in learning, growing, trying
    3. My deep love for the people i love
    4. That i am organized, reliable & dependable
  • List 3 ways you could be kinder to your body this year
    1. I did a better job taking care of my skin this year but not my teeth so i could be kinder there and of course still even kinder with my skin.
    2. I could just embrace the body I have, love it and be grateful for it. 
    3. I hope to move to intuitive eating and just be kinder in my nourishment of my body
    4. Also I want to do more stretching, massage, and yoga
  • List 3 ways you could connect with loved ones in 2019
    1. Weekly email with a friend is a lovely start for me. Also monthly in person meetings.
    2. Go to both book clubs more regularly.
    3. Call mom daily, nephews/sister weekly.
  • List 3 people you could extend compassion to
    1. My sweet friend who is going through a really tough time
    2. Myself.
    3. And honestly, every single person in my life all the time. I just want to be kinder.
  • How could you bring more love into your life this year? Hmm I need to start with loving myself fully. Then date nights, gratitude, thanking others, appreciating what I have, paying attention. Celebrating wins.
  • List 3 interests/hobbies you would like to explore more in 2019
    1. sketching
    2. Art again, i feel like i fell out of the habit.
    3. Rock climbing with my family.
  • List 3 ways you could feed your imagination this year
    1. Books!
    2. Travel to adventures i haven’t had.
    3. Say yes to a few things I wouldn’t.
  • List 3 ways you could bring more passion into your world this year
    1. Educate myself. Show up, speak up.
    2. Hug more, say kind words out loud, appreciate others.
    3. Take 1-1 time with the people I love.
  • List 3 dreams you would like to manifest this year (personal or professional)
    1. Finding my next path at work.
    2. Feeling deep, true contentment and connection with myself.
    3. Letting Go, letting be.
  • How could you bring more creative energy into your life this year? This is a good question for me because I’ve been experiencing a dip in creative energy. But here’s what works:
    1. go out and live life with adventures
    2. tell those stories
    3. start. it will be hard in the beginning. it always is.
    4. keep going. that’s the trick.
  • List 3 ways you could bring more mindfulness to your mornings
    1. Exercise + meditation + calling mom in the mornings.
    2. Journaling for 15 minutes (to set intentions)
    3. Sketching/Art for 15-20 minutes.
  • List 3 ways you could bring more mindfulness to your evenings (I added this because I want to do both mornings and evenings.)
    1. Stretching, removing make up and flossing in the evenings.
    2. Journaling for 15 minutes (releasing and gratitude)
    3. Reading + disconnecting.
  • List 3 ways you could cherish your home this year
    1. Buy flowers
    2. Throw away/pack away things I am done with.
    3. Twinkly lights, I wanted this last year but will make it happen this year.
  • List 3 ways you could connect more deeply with nature in 2019
    1. Water is still the first thing i am pulled towards, go to water more. Maybe monthly beach trips.
    2. Hiking is another thing I wish we did more.
    3. And finally camping. We haven’t in a while. I’d love to do 1-2 trips.
  • List 3 places in your city, town or neighbourhood you want to explore: I have the same list as last year:
    1. The city. We definitely don’t go there enough.
    2. Marin. Especially the headlands.
    3. Go to the woods more. Learn new hikes.
  • How could you bring a sense of groundedness into your life this year?  I think the journaling and meditation will really help. I also would love to learn how to do a better job breathing. I think that, too, would really help me ground myself.
  • Using your favourite tarot or oracle deck, draw one card for the overall theme of the upcoming year and then a card for each month of 2019. Tip: I like to shufle 3 or 4 packs together to give the reading even greater scope. If you don’t have any decks go to www.susannahconway.com/ cards to see my favourite decks and app recommendations.

I am not into Tarot Decks and I did this two years ago and found it not to be that inspiring or interesting. However, back in 2013, our January OLW assignment involved setting intentions and I really enjoyed that, so I thought maybe I can do that instead.

    • January: Seeing the Magic: Pay attention to your life. Make note of all the magic around you. See the people who love, cherish, and honor you. Thank people, show them that you see them.
    • February: Works like Magic:  This is your month to get things done. Step it up a notch at work. Step it up at home. Take the steps you’ve been meaning to take. Book those vacations, classes, etc, make plans.
    • March:  Personal Magic:  Time to slow down again and be intentional. This month think about yourself, what you have to offer to the world, what makes you, you. What’s unique and personal. Show up as your best self. This month is not about improving but owning.
    • April: Making Magic: Go on adventures. Take trips with your family, make small and big bits of magic in your life.
    • May: Quiet Magic: Time to rest a little bit before things get crazy again. By the end of this month, you have graduations, parties, transitions, culminations etc. Use the time to add some quiet to the days and really connect with the magic in your life again.
    • June: Big Magic: And here’s summer. Time to go big again. Add some magic to your days with your kids and husband. Take trips, add wonder and awe. If you’re going to go big once this year, this is the time.
    • July: Be the Magic: Settle into the summer, see the magic around you and connect with it. Step into it. Honor it. Bask in it.
    • August: Work Your Magic: Time to get organized again, transitions are coming, big ones this time. Get organized, plan, prepare and do what you need to do.
    • September: Magical Thinking: Time to let go. This is a hard month for you. Transitions are rough. But you also turn 45. It’s magical to get to have another year. It’s magical to have a high schooler and a middle schooler. Life is magical. Let the small things go and have faith that it will all work out. It always does.
    • October: Everyday Magic:  October is a long month and not a lot of time off so you need to add a bit of magic to it. Add small bits of life and magic into your every day. Give this month the kick it needs to make it a notch more magical.
    • November:  Magic Touch: you’re making it happen. Don’t stop now. The year is almost over. What’s one area that can still benefit from your magical touch? Give love and attention there this month. You can do this.
    • December:  Celebrate the Magic:  And finally time to rest and relax and bask in the magic of life again. You’ve come a long way. It’s time to celebrate. Honor. Be grateful. Thank 2019 for all that it gave you. Fully bask in it’s magic so you can bid it farewell.
  • 2019 will be the year I finally connect with myself with ease.
  • I will nourish myself with self-acceptance.
  • I will make more time for journaling.
  • I will recharge my batteries by reading, resting, connecting.
  • This year I will open my heart to peace and contentment
  • I will pay more attention to who i am and what truly makes me come alive.
  • I will learn more about:
    1. Letting go, noticing, making peace.
    2. Intuitive Eating
    3. High School 🙂
  • I will release my attachment to who i should be.
  • I wish for 2019 to feel comfortable in my skin, my soul, my life.
  • This year I will say NO to internalizing judgement.
  • This year I will say YES to honoring, celebrating, cherishing who i am and the people i love.

I wholeheartedly believe that everything is possible in 2019!

As always, I mention many of these same thoughts from last year and here, here, and here. I am pretty sure these themes have been in my life in some way or another for many years. I know that they will likely still be around in 2020 and 2021 and onward. What I’d like to do this year is to make a dent. To move things forward a little bit. Every forward step I take moves me in the right direction and that’s all I can ask for.

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine stepping into the shoes of you from December 2019, one year from now. You are one year older and one year wiser and you’ve lived every day of 2019 fully and completely. You have a message of encouragement about 2019. There’s stuff you want to share… stuff you’re eager to tell yourself. When you’re ready, open your eyes, pick up your pen, and write a letter from your future self, starting with Dear Karen: I am so proud of you. I know that you showed up and tried. I know that even when you had moments of wanting to give up, you got up and tried again. I am so proud of how hard you try, how far you’ve come and how you show up again and again. Keep going, you got this!

5 comments to Unraveling the Year Ahead – 2019

  • Gypsy

    Yes! Thanks for the reminder re-monthly intentions… I love that idea. Looking forward to applying this to ‘clear’ as I finish up my start of year routines and focusing over the next few days (I’m running late).
    And thanks for the add on Goodreads- it was very kind of you.

    • karenika

      I like the word “clear” it feels fresh and clean and inspiring at the beginning of the year 🙂 Thanks for encouraging me to add it GR, it’s been really fun so far 🙂 Did you get Ali’s OLW journal? I am trying to decide if it’s worth it or not for me.

      • Gypsy

        I didn’t get the journal- I’d kind of like to but the postage makes getting product to Australia tricky and between Christmas and a new school year- I don’t have the budget for OLW product- the class is a gift to myself for Christmas.
        I love Clear too it’s bringing together Light (2017) and Water (2018) for me… I am hoping that Shine will feel right for 2020. I like that I can be clear on what I want even if I can’t see a clear path yet. I just completed this… it’s perfect for keeping me on track… thank you for inspiring me. (Note: My marriage is ending this year the lease on our home is up at the end of June.I am more than comfortable with this I initiated it and it’s been a long time coming).

        Monthly OLW Intentions
        January: Clear on me: This is the month to be clear on your goals and intentions. Know the habits and routines you want to develop. Have the first small steps in place.

        February: Clear the decks: and get down to it. It’s time to ensure your plans are in motion that you’re taking the little steps, and doing. Writing and routine, photos and creativity are the clear way to your goals.

        March: Clear off: Take time to be clear about what this trip means- and the opportunities that will be afforded to you at this time. Be clear about the stories your anxiety will likely try and bring up at this time.

        April: Clear the way: This is the real money and resources month… now is the time to really get earning and saving so you’ll be ready to go… at this stage you need to take every opportunity. Be clear that you are entitled to an abundance of wealth and prosperity- welcome the cash and resources into your life that will allow you to make the move and move you closer to your goals.

        May: Clear out: Time to get rid of the things you don’t want to carry forward- focus as much on your head as much as your house.

        June: Free and Clear: This is the month to leave. You are 100% clear that this is the best possible decision for you now and in the long term for everyone involved. There will be challenges but be clear on the fact that you are perfectly capable of meeting them.

        July: Clear routines: Time to be organized and clear about how things will work in this new space and family make up.

        August: Rejoice in being Clear: Take time to breathe and enjoy being clear of what was no longer serving you. Give yourself credit for making this move.

        September: Clearly grateful: As you end another spin around the sun take some extra time this month to be grateful for the journey, for the things and the skills, and the people you have alongside you. Take time to do the things that bring you joy.

        October: Clear for publication: Okay, this can and will happen earlier but just in case: October 31st is the deadline so if you’re not ready to start submitting Charlie Hicks for publication your birthday gift to yourself is to knuckle down and get it done.
        Alternatively: Clear Blue Water: Go back to Bali, swim in the pool, swim in the ocean, swim in the love, swim in the gratitude and the grace. Breathe the clear air and feel the vitality in every stalk of rice, every green and luscious plant. And if you can’t do Bali then just swim.

        November: Clear conscience: This is a review month, what didn’t work? It’s okay! What do you need to let go from you’re trying to do/want to do list? It’s okay! What do you want to stay on the list that isn’t working still? Don’t come down on yourself just set your mind to this thing (or these things- not too many) for the next two months with a clear conscience see if you can make it work, think about the whys? Why am I? Why isn’t it? Why not? You’ve got this.

        December: Crystal Clear: Be clear that this is a month for celebration not rush, and hurry, don’t buy the hype and don’t buy too much crap. Also spend the month on getting Crystal clear about your OLW, CDF’s, goals and intentions for 2020- remember this is the year you’re planning to shine be ready… small steps reach big goals. Have you got that house yet?

  • Gypsy

    Hey Karen,
    Thank you for asking, that’s super kind.
    It’s been a mixed bag really- the thing I’m leaving is a 22 year long marriage and that’s a huge and hard thing- but we just don’t seem to be able to work well together- and get mentally healthy and confident within the relationship.
    I have been out of the workforce for 11 years now (and moved countries in between times) so looking for work is also not going well- but I have started volunteering at my children’s school (I am qualified as a teacher) so hopefully that might lead to some work down the track.
    I do feel like I am getting somewhere slowly and definitely moving more into my CDF’s.
    As with many OLW’s you don’t always get what you intend at the start of the year and I think I have definitely got some clarity that I didn’t expect.
    The one thing I am super pleased with is that- after my brother adds a little German translation for me- I have one more edit to do and then the book I wrote will be almost ready for submitting to publishers. It’s a novel about relationships really and maybe a little coming of age… I intended it to be YA when I started but I don’t think that’s where it’s done. I love reading your book reviews when you talk about how the characters have and haven’t been developed- I have used your thoughts a little to inform how I write.
    You seem to be doing really well- I kind of wonder if I need some checks and balances like you have- but I am not sure I’d be disciplined enough to keep on it.
    Thank you for asking.

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