Looking Back To Move Forward

I’m a huge advocate of taking timing, slowing down and being intentional about life – especially during powerful times like the new moon and the New Year.   Here is a personal ritual that I do between Christmas and New Year’s Day.  I’ve done this for the past 9 years and it’s not only extremely powerful, but one of my favorite things to do.

While it’s essential to set goals for the future (2015), it’s just as important to commemorate and celebrate all we did in the past (2014).  I first heard of this idea nine years ago from Cheryl Richardson, author of “Stand Up for Your Life,” and have been doing it ever since. Look back first, to remember and celebrate all you that DID…and then set your sights on 2015 and move forward.


Why is this important to do?

1.  It helps us remember the years as they fly by…and they’re going faster and faster, don’t you think?  Last year, when I recorded my 2013 highlights and then looked at back my 06 -12 highlights, I was amazed how many times I said, “Wow, I totally forgot about that!”  Pictures, of course, are a great way to remember special moments throughout the year.  But I’m usually too caught up in the moment to even think about grabbing my iPhone for a pic, so this exercise is what enables me to recall and appreciate all those precious life experiences.

2.  It pats YOU on the back and helps you realize how much you DID do, even if there are still many things you want to accomplish in 2015.  It puts you in a grateful state of mind, rather than a guilt-full state of mind for anything that you didn’t achieve. When you acknowledge all that you did and experienced, and set your goals from that positive mental state, you’ll feel empowered and excited about the future.

3.  It helps you “complete” 2014 and embark on the next year’s journey with renewed energy.  Energetically, this is extremely powerful and is actually one of the most important reasons to do this exercise.  Completing an existing chapter before entering a new one, helps clear the space for what you want to attract into your life.  Clear, open space is very inviting for manifestation…


So what is the best way to do this?

1.  Use the simple categories below to jot down the highlights of last year. Feel free to add or eliminate categories as they apply to the life you want to create – these are just the ones I use.  Write them down on a notepad, or type them into a document on your laptop or iPad.  Do this right NOW, very briefly, just to get you going.  The important thing is to not over think it.  Simply write down 1-2 things in each category that come to mind – then you can go back and fill in more later.  This makes it FUN…and not just another thing “to do” (you don’t need that!).  Which brings me to my next point…

2.  Have fun with it!  Do it yourself or with your girlfriend, boyfriend, partner, or even your whole family at Christmas!  It makes great dinner or conversation: “What were some of your highlights in 2014?  What were your favorite movies/books?  What Aha’s did you have this year?  Your favorite weekend and why?”

3.  Celebrate ALL that you did and then set your goals using the same categories.  SAVE both documents for future reference – they are incredibly fun and insightful to look at every year.

4.  Enjoy! I love doing this every year…it’s one of my favorite things to do between Christmas and New Year’s!

2014 Highlights (then I do the same for my 2015 Goals)

  • Health/FitnessScreen Shot 2014-12-19 at 1.50.50 PM
  • Fitness
  • Business / Prosperity
  • Career / Brand
  • Dance
  • Personal Development / Learning
  • Passions
  • Spirituality
  • Savings / Investments
  • Self Care
  • Home + Living Environment
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Love
  • Life Goals
  • Charity/Giving Back
  • Travel + Adventure
  • Fun stuff
  • Cultural
  • Material
  • New Restaurants
  • New Books
  • Weekend Trips
  • Accomplishments & Achievements
  • Things I’ve learned
  • Themes this year

Why I’m such an advocate for designing  life in this way:

One the most significant events in my childhood was hearing a 50 year old man tell a story about writing down the 100 things he wanted to do in his lifetime, when he was still a teenager. By the time he was 50 years old, he had achieved 80% of the goals he had written down as a young man.  And these weren’t small goals either.  They included sailing down the Amazon River, visiting every country in Europe, living for a year in Italy, etc.

I was absolutely mesmerized by his talk and what he had done in his life.  He had lived, loved and made a difference.  I saw, heard and felt the heart energy + vibration of a man who I wanted to be like, so I DID what he suggested.  IMPORTANT LIFE TIP:  Find people whose life, energy and vibration you aspire to emulate.  Seek them out, listen deeply to their advice…and then (and this is the kicker)…DO it! :-)

Ever since I heard that life-changing talk, I have written down my goals every year.  This simple concept helped me design my life as I wanted.  Goal setting with heart + feeling are so important and should be taught in our schools.  Unfortunately, they’re not, but we can teach our children (in my case, my gorgeous niece Ashlie) and do ourselves.


Take Action Challenge:

Want to join me in the days between Christmas + New Year?   Go through your 2014 highlights and then set goals for each category for 2015.  Use this ritual as an opportunity to really celebrate YOU, say goodbye to the past and hello to a vibrant new year!

Be Happy…Be Vibrant…


Carmen xo

PS:  As always, I love to hear your comments, questions and thoughts in the comments below – I’ll be sure to respond :)

PPS:  I’m headed back to Bali for 5 months on Dec 24th – so Happy Holidays and I will be writing you next from Bali!

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