Year end is that time where we reflect on what’s been, and we make way for new goals, intentions, wishes (whatever word resonates with you). Did you achieve everything you set out to? And, most importantly, do you feel alive or do you feel defeated by your year of hustling it out? It’s a real good time to set aside half a day or so for reflection, and to get clear on what you want for yourself for the coming year.

This year I started out with only two ‘goals’.

1) Financial freedom
2) Inner peace

It wasn’t until the other day that I reviewed these and had goosebumps. I’ve been doing monthly check-ins centred around how I want to feel (thanks Danielle LaPorte) and setting my monthly intentions and commitments, as well as tuning in to the moon [how magic that’s been!]. But looking back I didn’t realise my initial goal-list was only two lines long!

Lost, stuck, lacking vitality and being so far from the usual bubbly and exuberant self that I am, the start of this year was utter hell. It had been a year [2016] of pushing, what felt like, a tonne of bricks around with no sights on when I’d be relieved from their heaviness. I’d stopped enjoying so much of what I’d loved before. The hustle was real, and despite absolutely loving what I was doing there was very little [welcome] down time and I was beginning to really feel like I would never be able to do enough to live a more meaningful life.

It was a shitty place to be! But, no-judgement, we all have these times, right? It’s how we move through these moments and get ourselves out of the crud that counts. These moments show up for a reason. They are our lessons. They are there to help direct our life and help us create our shifts. Ignore them, and, well, you miss the point [and likely continue to be miserable]. Show up and get amongst it and you reap the beautiful benefits, and you’ll grow.

My year naturally unfolded to become about one thing; healing. I had no idea I’d be embarking on the biggest growth year of my life. I definitely did not sign up for or buy into it! It just happened naturally when I allowed the space for it.

I bend so I don’t break, thanks yoga!

Between trips to Canggu to fuel my spirit with yoga, learning to surf, speaking Indonesian with locals and meeting new people in cafes, to embarking on breath work regimes to clear pent up trauma, having crystal dreaming sessions to learn about and heal past life crud (holy moly, guys!) and cellular release massages to release current life trauma [issues get stuck in your tissues], to going on adventures just ‘cos, moving my body in new and exciting ways, connecting with as many humans as I possibly could, to lots of alone time infused with incense, meditations, soothing beats, and journaling. And, of course, FIFO allowed me the space to peruse a lot of these things I’d usually feel too damn guilty to engage in.

Let me tell you, half the time I had no freaking idea what I was doing, but I just did it anyway. I leaned into the discomfort of it all [and through the guilt of not ‘doing’ something]. I didn’t really know how anything was about to unfold, yet I just trusted [cheers life]. It turned out to be the most rad journey, as much as it was tough and did not feel comfortable at all half the time. Coming out the other end, that seems insignificant now. And I can connect the dots and the totality of how every little experience, mishap and incongruence was only there to guide me to the good stuff.

Just some crystals I’ve been playing with.

This was the first year I didn’t set tangible goals–create this, be this, do that, have this. And I feel like I achieved the most, out of any of my years, ever! Plus, I felt so damn good doing life this year. Like, actually getting amongst it. AND my two intentions for the year were still met. I arrived there and I am pretty grateful for everything life threw at me.

The underlying premise behind setting goals with soul: Know how you want to feel. Danielle LaPorte talks about always chasing a feeling–the goal you set will be met with a feeling at the end of it. What is this feeling, and how can you actually hone in on it every day? It’s all well and good to load projects and plans into your goals for the year. However, don’t let this be at the expense of feeling good. Don’t let what you do for a living, get in the way of your actual living. Work out what makes you feel good first, then from that space you will find your shifts you need to make will flow quite freely. Promise!

Telfer minesite sunset from my office.

Now, YOU, I challenge you to go out there into the world this coming year and sink your toes into whatever you feel an inkling to explore. Don’t wait for the right time! And it can be just for fun! You needn’t always be chasing an end goal. Just be, take a step back, and look around. Play more. It makes you a hell-of-a lot more creative [and happy]. Don’t get lost in other people’s hopes and dreams for you. You really do know you better than anyone. So pave your own path. I really urge you to do the work to know and understand yourself. Don’t shy away from it. You want to flourish that relationship first and foremost. It’s difficult and sucky at times. But the more you know yourself, the more stability you’ll have + the more you can steer yourself confidently in any direction you choose!

Happy new year.

Now, tell me, what shifts would you like to see for yourself in 2018?

Claire Hargreaves