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  • Monica Marie Jones

The Year of You


This year I kept my annual new year planning practice very simple. Instead of my usual elaborately detailed vision board I painted a picture of my favorite landscape and attached seashells and stones that I’d collected during my summer adventures, as well as a few magazine clippings with words and phrases to guide my year. I designed it this way intentionally because it represents how I want my year to feel. I’ve decided that my personal theme for the year is simplicity and beauty. I want my days to be filled with art and treasures, which is what my niece calls the seashells and stones that we found along the beach during our family vacation. They represent my desire to discover and learn new things that evoke joy and delight. To activate and enhance my inspiration I want my environments to be popping with color and creativity. I want to explore the world through travel and be enchanted by time spent outdoors in nature. I want my schedule to be spacious so that there is plenty of room for wonder and imagination. To set my desires in motion and to assist you in activating your own, here are a few strategies to support you in designing your year of you. Calendar Color Coding. In a typical year my schedule quickly fills up with client appointments, speaking engagements, training and retreat facilitation, and other business focused commitments. In order to organize all of these different types of engagements, and hold myself accountable to prioritizing rest and self-care, I implemented a color-coding system. Items that light me up, give me something to look forward to, and feel like a whole-body hell yes are assigned the color of sunshine, yellow. Each of my different offerings, clients, or projects have their own distinct colors. For example, my 1:1 executive coaching clients are a deep purple to represent royalty, and I use lavender for meetings with hot leads who are interested in hiring me for facilitation or consulting projects, but who haven’t converted to clients yet. What color-coding system makes sense for organizing your personal and professional schedule? Self-Preservation Planning. Block off time for yourself before your schedule gets filled with responsibilities and obligations that benefit everyone else. Set aside dates for your vacations in advance, or simply scheduling weekly or monthly self-sustenance days. These can be three hour blocks, half days, or full days where you pause and redirect the outward love, attention, and care that you give to others internally to nurture and develop yourself. What will you include in your self-preservation plan? Restorative Rituals. Put some intentional structures in place to increase and sustain the energy you need to show up as your best self in your personal and professional life. I like to use a strategy called backwards planning to determine what I’ll need to maximize my days. I start with asking myself questions like, “How much sleep do you need based on the level of output you want to give tomorrow?” I use my answer to set my wind down time, bedtime, and wake up time notifications and alarms using the bed timer feature on my clock and fitness apps accordingly. I also keep my phone on silent and activate the 'do not disturb' feature for most of the day so I can stay focused on and fully present to each of my daily tasks and responsibilities. What do you need to activate, minimize, or eliminate to feel more restored? This week I challenge you to design a year that feels energizing and restorative. At the close of the year your body and brain will be grateful that you made this the year of you. Manifestation Affirmations I am creating a calendar that has space for me. I am prioritizing self-preservation. I am practicing restorative rituals.

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