On January 1st of every year, Nick and I have a special ritual we do…
To start with, we get up and watch the sunrise, because witnessing the first sunrise of the year feels like a powerful omen to us. Then, for the rest of the day, we reflect on the past year and celebrate our achievements and what we learned. Then finally, we get crystal clear on what we want to manifest and achieve for the year ahead.
We’ve found this sequence to be particularly potent for closing out the energy of the year that’s been, then setting the tone for the year ahead — and BOTH of those elements are crucial pieces of the puzzle. I know how tempting it can be to skip over the reflection side of things and jump straight to the heady, exciting energy of goal setting. But reflection is how we learn, grow, and evolve. It’s how we re-align, tune in and ponder our truth. So for the love of vegan brownies, PLEASE don’t skip it!
With that in mind, I want to encourage you to take a moment to acknowledge the year that’s been, all that you have achieved, and all the growth that’s taken place. I know this year has been a big one for many people, which is why reflecting on your growth and achievements — no matter how ‘big’ or ‘small’ — is super important.
And the best way to do all that? With the 5 step process you’ll find below. This is something I swear by — it’s the perfect balance of yin and yang. It fuses soul searching with tangible goal setting, to create a foolproof process for creating your best year yet.
So, my sweet friend — boil the kettle, whip out your journal, diffuse some oils, or lay on your favorite rug outside in Mother Nature and answer these questions with an open heart, mind, and soul, because we’re about to reflect on and celebrate the year that’s just been, then set you up for your most epic year ever… let’s go!
The 5 Steps To Wrap-Up 2022 & Turn 2023 Into Your Best Year Yet
Step #1 — Reflecting On 2022
Answer the following questions. These answers are just for you (and your partner, if that feels good for you). So please don’t censor yourself, judge yourself, or let your inner Mean Girl start commentating. Be as honest, open, kind and compassionate with yourself as you can (that’s where the true gold lies!).
- During the more challenging times in 2022, how did you show up? Are you happy with how you showed up or could you have shown up differently?
- Did you step outside your comfort zone? If yes, when? How did that make you feel? What did you learn during the process?
- Did you love with your whole heart? If not, how come?
- Were you fully present? If not, why not? Where could you have been more present?
- Were you kind? Could you have been kinder to yourself and others?
- How did you serve others? Could you have served more?
- Where did any old limiting Mean Girl fears or beliefs pop up? Did you master her? If not, how come?
- What do you need to shed or let go of, in order to move forward? It could be anything — an old limiting belief, a job, a relationship, a situation, a pattern, a painful memory, resentment, hurt, or a behavior you are still holding onto.
- What is something you’ve been doing that you’d like to stop doing?
- What are you pretending is working in your life… but it’s really not?
- How have you been making things harder for yourself than they really need to be?
And take a deep inhale and exhale, my darling…
You’re doing great, let’s keep going.
Step #2 — Celebrating 2022
For some of us, it can feel super uncomfortable to celebrate ourselves. If that’s you, I want to encourage you to step into the role of your own biggest cheerleader. Look at yourself with loving eyes, pick up those (metaphorical) pom poms, and let’s celebrate YOU!
- What worked really well in 2022? (It doesn’t matter how big or how small these ‘wins’ are, list them all!)
- What did you birth/create in 2022?
- What life areas or activities made you feel most fulfilled? Why?
- What have you achieved or what are you most proud of over the past year?
- What are the 3 biggest lessons you have learned?
- What have been 3 things that delighted and surprised you?
- How have you grown?
- What nourished you on a soul level this past year?
- When did you feel like the best version of yourself?
- Describe your 3 favorite memories from the past year. What do they have in common?
- What are you most grateful for in 2022?
Inhale and exhale…
Let’s keep going, angel.
Now that we have reflected on the year that’s passed, it’s time to ponder the year ahead. Before we do that, it’s super important to do a little ceremony to clean the slate and lay a fresh foundation for your dreams to manifest. You can do that by performing a sage cleansing ritual around yourself, your home, and your office. I highly recommend doing this at least once a year to clear the stagnant energy.
Remember, you have the ability to manifest and create whatever your heart desires in the new year — and any time… but it ain’t going to happen by just sitting back and wishing it to manifest! You gotta take inspired action daily, beautiful!
No amount of sitting back and wishing will make your dreams manifest. You have to take daily inspired action.
It’s now time to let go of the past and ponder the future. Close your eyes for a moment and think about the year to come. Once you have let your mind freewheel for a few minutes, open your eyes and answer the below questions. You could even do one of my Mastering Your Mean Girl Meditations to help you get in the zone.
Step #3 — Create Your Dreams In 2023
It’s super important that when you are setting goals (any goals) that they tick the following criteria…
- They must be heart-centered.
- They must inspire you and give you goosebumps.
- They must be true for YOU and not be something you think you ‘should’ do or achieve based on someone else’s agenda.
- You must use inspiring language. For example, ‘I want to lose weight is not as inspiring as ‘My goal is to wake up every morning feeling healthy, strong and vital’. Same with ‘I want to quit sugar’. Try something like, ‘I will treat my body like the temple it is, and only nourish it with the highest vibrational food that Mother Nature has to offer’.
- They must make your heart sing. If your goals don’t give you butterflies and excite the bejesus out of you, then create a different goal or try rewording it and using inspiring language.
- They mustn’t overwhelm you or stress you out.
- You must be super specific about what you want, and set goals that can be measured tangibly. For example, ‘I want to feel more gratitude’ is too vague. Instead, try something like this: ‘My goal is to list three things I’m grateful for every single morning before I get out of bed.’
(Please note that if fear pops up and you get nervous in your tummy when setting your goals, this is a good sign. It means you’re on the right path.)
Ok, keeping the above in mind, let’s set your big and beautiful, heart-centered 2023 goals.
- What are 5 words that best describe how you want to feel in 2023? For example: strong, connected, vital, balanced, calm, present, healthy, grounded, expansive, focused, glowy, abundant, etc.
- What are 1-3 health goals you would like to achieve?
- What are 1-3 career goals you would like to achieve?
- What are 1-3 financial goals you would like to achieve?
- What are 1-3 self-love goals you would like to achieve?
- What are 1-3 relationship goals you would like to achieve?
- Do you want to travel this year? If yes, where do you want to go? Be as specific as possible. For example, ‘I would love to try 3 different camping spots X, Y, and Z this year, in February, June, and November.’
- What are 2-3 hobbies that you would like to explore and make more time for in 2023?
- What will you commit to *not* doing in 2023?
- What will you make more time for?
- How do you want to do things differently in 2023?
- Create your own 2023 Self Love Menu like I share in my book Mastering Your Mean Girl. Get your FREE Self Love Menu here. Stick this on your fridge and do one thing from your Self Love Menu each day.
- What does your ideal morning routine look like? Be as specific as possible.
- What does your ideal day look like?
- What does your self-loving nighttime routine look like?
- How can you give more to yourself next year? What would that look like specifically?
- Now close your eyes and think about 2023. See it, feel it, experience it like it’s already happened. Use your imagination and let it play out. See yourself living your best life, achieving your heart’s desires and manifesting your dreams. What does that feel like? Who is around you? Take 5-10 more minutes to really allow yourself to future-trip here. Smile as you see yourself healthy, strong, kicking goals, being surrounded by loved ones, and achieving what it is that you want. High-five yourself in your mind, and when you have finished your visualization, move on to the next step…
No amount of sitting back and wishing will make your dreams manifest. You have to take daily inspired action.
Step #4 — Set Your 2023 Affirmations
This is where you come up with 3 powerful statements that you will write out and stick around your house and office so that you can see them for when times feel challenging and hard. Or you could set these as alarms on your phone to go off during the day.
Your affirmations can be anything, but try to use positive language, and set them in the present tense, as though what you’re affirming has already happened. For example…
- Everything is unfolding exactly the way it’s supposed to.
- This too shall pass.
- I create my own reality; if I don’t like what I have created I can create again.
- I am the one in the driver’s seat, I am responsible for my life and happiness.
- I am responsible for creating my happiness and joy.
Play around with some variations until you land on 3 that resonate the strongest. (If they give you that ‘oof’ feeling in your gut, you know you’ve got a good one!) Once you’ve settled on your three affirmations, write them out or print them out, and place them in highly visible locations. I love to display my affirmations on my computer and phone home screens, on my bathroom mirror, and on my bedside table.
Step #5 — Write A Letter To Your Future Self
Zoom ahead to December 31st 2023 and write a letter to yourself about all that has happened in 2023 and all that you have achieved.
Start it off with something like this…
WOW!!! 2023 has been the most expansive heart-opening year ever! You are an amazing, patient, present and playful parent to your little girl, and you have transitioned into the role of mother so effortlessly.
Your podcast hit 100 million downloads and you interviewed Oprah and Tony Robbins — two of your dream guests. Well done, sista! Etc etc…
When you finish your letter, sign your name, pop it in an envelope, seal it, write your name on it and put it somewhere you won’t lose it, so you can read it in one year’s time. Nick and I do this every year and love reading what we wrote to each other on the 1st of January. It’s so insightful, heartwarming and actually quite mind-blowing!
And there you have it! This is the exact process that Nick and I have used to manifest everything from business goals, to record deals, to publishing contracts, to soul sisters and brothers, to the beautiful little baby I can hear giggling in the next room as I write this.
It is a POWERFUL process, so underestimate it at your peril.
It’s also something that should not be rushed. So please take your time with this. Do it over the month of December and chip away at it each day. Some parts of it you’ll fly through, some parts might leave you stumped — either way, it’s all perfect. Be gentle and kind with yourself, and allow the process to unfold in its own time.
Most importantly, have fun with this whole exercise — because if it ain’t fun, it ain’t worth it.
Now it’s over to you, my darling. I’d love you to tell me in the comments: What’s one thing you’re going to manifest in 2023? And when are you going to block off time in your calendar to go through this exercise? Share your answer below — I can’t wait to celebrate you!
thank you for this beautiful, inspiring blog post! I have a question about the letter to write for the end of 2022. Shouldn’t I read this letter every day to keep my goals in mind during the year or what do you do or can you recommend to keep your goals in mind during the year?
Thanks for all the inspiring questions! I also became a mum for the first time this year and draw so much strength and power from the birth experience and can take a lot with me into the new year by reflecting on your questions!
Best wishes from far away Austria 🙂
Congrats on your baby honey, I am so happy for you. It’s the best huh!
You can do something called scripting which is where you write your life script and read that every morning and night before bed and then keep this letter for January 1st, 2023. Scripting is also very powerful but must be read every day. Let me know how you go angel. I am sending you so much love and light. xx
I really enjoyed completing this, and I agree it’s a good mixture of questions. This is the first year i’ve done anything like this, but I really want to implement it every new year as a new tradition. The first half was hard and there were a few tears but it balanced out with the visualisation of what 2022 will be like.
Thank you Melissa!
Pleasure honey. I’m so happy excited for you. xx
Hi Melissa. Thanks for this amazing template. I’m just curious – step 4 – goals – I have answered all 16 questions but what do I do with the answers here? Do you have these around the house too like your 3 affirmations or is step 3 just to get you thinking for step 4 ? Thanks heaps
Hey honey, you can have them printed out and stick them up someone you can read them daily to help you stay on track if you wish. Do what feels right and good for you.
setting up a goal is really necessary for your target and achievement. This can work like self-motivation.
Totally agree honey. How do you set your goals?
I am very grateful for this post. After suffering from repeated miscarriages in 2022, my desire for 2023 is to conceive again, have healthy pregnancy, and give a birth to healthy and happy baby. I intend to use this Melissa’s process, and look forward to applying it.
I am so excited for this year for you honey, it’s going to be a goodie. Also make sure you jump on the waitlist for Wholy Mama. You will LOVE it. xx
Thank you for this guidance ✨
In 2023 I want to be more present, in the moment, with family and friends. Feeling connected, especially to myself.
I will nourish my soul with movement, vibrational food and mindfulness growth.
This girl is going travelling full time with the love of her life in our 1974 Kombi and boy am I excited. Big self growth goals for me.
Wishing you love, laughter and joy in 2023 xx
WOW honey that sounds amazing. I am so excited for you. Enjoy is all. xx