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Photo credit: Sarah Walton

I’ve prepared for 2018 better than I have for any year and I’m all atwitter about it. Feeling grounded and powerful.  And I wanted to share my process with you, since people have been asking.  

The Tuesday-Friday after Christmas I made myself a “work retreat” – I retreated from doing anything else besides working (on my life) over the holiday break.   I took steps to close out and make peace with 2017, then get super excited and planny for 2018.  

If you’re in the mood to get your mind wrapped around this year, I hope some of the ideas and resources in here will be useful and inspiring to you.  And if you’re a spunky type, maybe you’ll even use this to plan ahead for how you will handle your transition from 2018 to 2019.  

Steps I took to set up my work retreat:

  • Set intentions for the work retreat.  This article on self-care really set the tone for me – take care of myself by doing things that are “hard” but will make the biggest difference in improving my life.  For me that meant doing a strategic review of 2017 and setting goals/strategy for 2018 as a whole, doing a full financial review, creating a career strategy for 2018, a writing strategy for my blog (and upcoming book), clearing up miscommunications with two friends, and doing little administrative tasks I had being avoiding.
  • Look at my list of loose ends to tie up / things to do.  Make three categories:
    • Tasks I will do during retreat
    • Tasks I will not do – list out tasks as they come up for me so I don’t let them distract me
    • Tasks to do after the retreat – not urgent now, but schedule for later
  • Create specific, awesome rewards of fun nights / weekend for my work
  • Create individual accountability: video and in-person coworking sessions for at least 4-6 hours a day for accountability and energy
  • Create group accountability: Tell people on Facebook at the beginning that I’m doing the work retreat, and post my results at the end

What I did during the retreat:

  • Reflection: Annual Reflection over video with my friend Wes Kao – you can see our template and instructions here.  
  • Goaling: Wrote out goals to achieve in all areas of life:
    • The One Thing (free copy here – effectiveness/productivity book) – choose 1 thing to focus on and give it your undivided attention
    • Have one primary “thing” but also have one thing for each area of life.  For me this includes: Career, Finance, Community, Adventure, Exercise/Movement, Health, Personal/Professional Development, Partnership, and Family.  This allows you to have one primary goal for the year but also have aims to direct activities in other areas of your life.  Like, if your one thing for 2018 as a whole is to move to a new city and your 1 thing in “exercise” is to run a marathon – you make sure your exercise time is focused on running.  
  • Planning: Reviewed 2017 accomplishments and planned 2018 milestones with the Lifehack Bootcamp (productivity training) annual preplanning call, including what things do I want to stop doing (for me, that’s judging myself and my environment).
  • Career: Wrote a 2018 career strategy based on influence from:
    • Cal Newport (productivity expert): What is the 1 problem you want to be best in the world at solving?
    • Bev Kaye (career expert): Write 2 paragraphs that describe what kind of job you’re looking for and let this impact how you approach your current role and/or to use in a job search.  See mine here as an example.  
  • Finance: Met with my financial advisor and did a review of all 2017 finances
  • Relationships:
    • Over Thanksgiving, I sent emails to 10-15 people who had particularly contributed to my year, so I felt good that I had already spread the love.
    • Over my work retreat, I reached out to two friends I had misunderstandings with and cleared the air.
    • Spent time with family and friends new and old over the weekend/evenings.  These adventures were also my reward for my work.  
  • Intention Setting in Community:
    • Did a conference call with my sisters for us to share our intentions for 2018 so we can support each other
    • Did a video call with my two goddess friends for us to share our intentions for 2018 so we can support each other
    • Set up an energy healing session for my friend Aimee and I to create clearing and good energy for each other for the year
    • Hosting an upcoming event at my house for my friends to come together and share our intentions for 2018
  • Things I will incorporate next year:
    • Handle tax questions preemptively for upcoming tax season
    • Budget planning for the following year as a whole

Overall, here are my results from 4 days of work!  

  • 2018 Prep:
    • Built strategy around my career advancement and new blog
    • Set goals for all areas of life
    • Created a plan to write a book (found a publisher)
    • Created a plan of tasks to complete in January
  • 2017 Wrap Up:
    • Did financial review of all spending/income/investments
    • Finished small overdue tasks/requests/billing
    • Spent time with two friends to clear up miscommunication
    • Continued work in my part-time coaching job
  • Self care:
    • Yoga 3 times
    • 1 counseling session, 1 coaching session
    • Went on a date with San Francisco (took a long solo walk)
    • Spent time with friends & family in the evenings and on the weekend
    • Listened to an album that was on my list for a long time
    • Cooked for myself and guests for multiple meals in my new kitchen

Snapshot below of one of my video coworking sessions. 🙂

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