“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” – T.S. Elliot

I love to start each new year contemplatively. But the intentional quieting of my spirit does not come without effort. Sometimes it’s hard to find the space for quietness in the midst of activities and those never-ending lists of things to do. Other times, it’s just hard to quiet my mind enough to really feel like I walked out on the other end with a peaceful spirit. Perhaps that’s why I like things that can help me focus on one thing at a time.

photo source: my talented husband, Nick Steffen
photo source: my talented husband, Nick Steffen

Here’s a few things that help me reflect, prepare and contemplate the year ahead: 

  1. Pick a Theme Word. I’ve done this for three years now, and I can’t believe how insightful this has been for me. Pick one word that you want to focus on this year, write it down, and keep it close all year long. The first year, my word was INTENTIONAL and last year, COURAGE. This year, my word is INSPIRE – live inspired to inspire others. These have not been chosen lightly, and I have really benefited from this. What is your word?
  2. Start a day-by-day calendar. I bought a cheap (but cute!) day calendar from Target and started mapping out a few things. I love having a week-by-week calendar. It makes the lists manageable and gives me a sense of order when things seem a little crazy. (I also have PRODUCTIVITY SHEETS for my work that help list out the projects for the week. VERY HELPFUL!)
  3. Remember these 5 things. I like these simple reminders and short articles that give me a sense of peace as I consider the year ahead. What articles would you add to the list?
  4. Do a 2016 Dream Guide. These kinds of guides are a great thing to go through near the start of a year to reflect a bit. I love this one…
  5. Commit to live one day at a time, with joy, inspiration and hope. I believe there’s a great year ahead – and don’t want to miss it. When the calendar fills up too heavily, or I try and pack five more things on my to-do list, I miss the moments that make up this life. And it’s not worth it. So this year, I want to commit to live each day purposefully.

What helps you start a new year out on the right footing? I’d love to hear what you’d add to this list!

Step by Step,
Amber - signature


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Hannah Hobbs says:

    I love this, Amber! So inspiring! I do theme words, too! I’ve already had several in years past, like ENOUGH, SURRENDER, and last year’s was the phrase MORE OF YOU. God has certainly grown me so much through these seasons of intentional focus. In 2016 I’m clinging to HOPE.

    1. Amber says:

      Great choices Hannah! I love hearing how those words shape our journey throughout the year. I do pray that your 2016 is filled with great hope and purpose!

  2. Jan says:

    Hi Amber, I love this so much! It came at a perfect time for me:)

    1. Amber says:

      Glad it is helpful Jan! I love to hear about how people reflect at the end of a year too…

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