Naming Your Year

The days leading up to the end of the year are surreal. How do we simply wake up one morning and find ourselves freshly dropped into a whole new chapter, ripe with possibility? Who decided that 365 was the magic number and that, when you turn the page, you’ll be starting over again at Day 1?

Every since I can remember, or at least since I’ve been an adult out in the world under my own steam, I’ve enjoyed my own version of looking back and looking ahead at year’s end. On one of the beautiful, rare mornings leading up to Christmas when my body wakes me naturally and I can enjoy a cup of pre-dawn coffee by the tree with candles and quiet carols, I open my journal and do a little meditating.

I allow myself to emotionally travel back through the last twelve months. I’m not looking for accomplishments though, I’m looking for themes. What milestones, changes, or events cropped up that were meaningful? How did they feel? When I string them together, what picture do they paint? Ultimately, what did the past year represent? And I look for a word or a phrase. Just one. I may jot down a dozen, but I’m feeling in to each one, waiting for that “ding” when I know I’ve hit it, the word that encapsulates my experience of the past year.

For me, 2018 has been about “Rebuilding.” Literally and figuratively–redesigning, restructuring, restoring. Building. Again. A home, a career, a marriage, a stronger body.

Finding that word affords me a bigger picture. Rather than getting lost in the minutia of “what happened,” the process helps to neutralize my stories and get a higher perspective on how this chapter of my life fits with the rest. I can see more broadly what I’ve gained, what I’ve grown through, and what I’ve reaped.

And then I turn my attention to the year ahead. Ah, yes. Juicy, ripe possibility. And I look inside me for its name.

What word or words do I want the coming year to embody? It’s my choice. Where do I want to put my focus, my energy? If I can name it now and bring the feeling of it alive inside my body it will be easier for me to connect to it as I enter the year, and each day that I’m present enough to remember–ah, yes, this is how I want to feel.

  • Spend some time thinking back over the last year. Without focusing on “what” happened, allow yourself to look for a common theme that helps to define the essence of what the year mean to you. Make a list of whatever comes to you, and then spend time with each word or phrase to find the one that embodies the past year.
  • With the essence of the past year in your body, feel into the coming year. What do you want from it? How do you want to feel? What do you want for your life? What is your soul calling out for? Give yourself time to journal with this and then make a similar list of words of phrases that encapsulate the feeling of what you want. Name it. And then take 10 to 15 minutes to meditate on the essence of that. Bring it into your body and allow yourself to visualize how that will come to life for you.

May you connect to all that you are and all that is awaiting you in the coming year.

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