Decoding The Year: Turning the goal setting process inside out

“I’m breaking up with resolution setting,” I fumed. “It’s only February and I’ve fallen behind on everything!”

This was me, some years ago, ranting and railing to the husband. And as I got ever more angry with my lack of stick-with-it-ness, he quietly said: “Are you sure you’re approaching this whole goal setting thing the right way?”

That made me stop in my tracks and think – my resolutions were a list of things I “should” do:

  • Lose 10 kgs
  • Exercise everyday
  • Be more organized: Clean the living room and prepare for office at night
  • Organize the <insert latest pain point in the house>
  • Weekend getaways every month

You get the drift, right?

When I sat down and looked over this list, it was no surprise that I could never stick to my resolutions. It looks a bit like a drill sergeant blowing a whistle on your head telling you to go-go-go! And there started my quest to create goals with soul.

Turning the goal setting process inside out

I read widely and voraciously – articles, books, blogs – trying to find a better way of approaching this whole goal setting process. And I came across a couple of different systems that sounded interesting – determining a word of the year, desire mapping, visioning… During this time, I also downloaded a number of workbooks and journaling prompts to aid me in this whole soulful goal setting process, but I almost always found them wanting. Some were too “business-ey”, some were super goal and resolution oriented, some didn’t gel with me at all, some were too short and some were lovely but too long and repetitive.

After a few years spent researching and trying all of these different workbooks and systems, I finally decided to stop looking out there for the perfect end of the year planner and create one myself. I had an idea of what my system of goals with soul would involve, and armed with that and my inner wisdom, I came up with a set of prompts that would help me to dig deep, plant a seed for the new year, and nurture it into being. And in a moment of pure inspiration, I decided to share my workbook with you, in the hope that it would resonate with some of you and help you as much as it helps me.

decoding-the-year-workbookSay hello to the first edition of the Decoding The Year workbook!

As I was thinking about this process and coming up with the prompts, I realized just how much has gone into the creation of this workbook. This is something that had been percolating within me since some years, I just didn’t realize it. It’s a distillation of all that I’ve learnt over the years that were less than spectacular, the times when I felt directionless, and those little sparks of magic when things just seemed to fall into place. They all came together in this juicy workbook.

So here’s the very first edition of the Decoding the Year workbook! I hope it helps you to reflect on the year gone by, plan for the year ahead, and to go out and make those plans a reality!


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Posted in Journaling, Soulful living, Year-end wrap-up and tagged , , , .

I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


  1. That’s one beautiful workbook. I had been trying to get a perfect planner since weeks and then downloaded some free templates and made one of my own. I downloaded yours too and I understand that I should do this exercise before actually planning anything for 2017. Thanks, Jini. <3

    • Ah yes, finding the perfect planner takes some time, doesn’t it? I’m still finding my right system too! And yes, this comes first, then comes planning. Hope you enjoy working through it; I’d love to know what you think!

    • You’re very welcome Alana! I hope you find it useful, and I’d love to know what you think (if you do use it).

  2. Seems like my comment disappeared … Thank you so much for the workbook. I got link earlier but couldn’t download at that time. Is there a way I can download it again?

    • That’s strange! I can’t seem to find it either! Could you drop me an email? I’ll send the workbook link across to you.

  3. Wow!!! i didnt knew about a workbook excited to read it. Thanks for sharing 🙂 Goals are always unachievable and thats why they are goals 🙂

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