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Ultimate Guide to a New Year’s Reset

mmm— somethin’ about pausing, reflecting, resetting, and refreshing in preparation for the new year. I love the opportunity that the end of the year brings to reflect on the last 365 days + also imagine a new set of 365 days to come. Putting a pen to paper each day has been one of the most transformative practices I’ve developed over the last year, and it all began when I started journaling at the end of 2019 in preparation for 2020. I have learned that reflection is essential to creating a life you love + enjoy. And to take it a step further, I believe that imagining the life you want to have is where even more magic happens. Which is why I decided to create a comprehensive guide to a New Year’s Reset.


Notice that I didn’t say goal-setting…..

Something about goals + resolutions just does *not* click for me.

Maybe it’s the terminology or feelings I associate with the words, “resolutions” and “goals”. I think that reflection + imagination are much more powerful tools to creating new habits and ultimately, the life you desire.

I recently went through my journals and actually looked back at what I wrote down one year ago. It’s pretty neat to see how effective this end-of-the-year reflection + manifestation process was (and also figure out which parts were not so effective). I wanted to do something similar this year, but make it even more effective based on all the journaling I’ve done in 2020.

Sooo, I whittled down my list of questions to create a *New Year’s Reset*. It’s a process that I believe is deeply impactful, instead of being focused on short-lived goals or resolutions.

So get out a pen + paper, grab a cup of coffee, and devote an hour to this New Year’s Reset 🙂 This exercise seriously shaped my entire 2020, and I believe it can do the same for your 2021.

Alright, let’s dive in to the Nourish with Nik Guide to a New Year’s Reset!

new year's reset

Reflect: The Year Behind Us

01. Let’s recap the year— what were your major moments + milestones? I like to view this as a “Major Moments Timeline”.

Think back to January and work your way through your year. Reflect on the moments that stand out to you + write them down.

02. What are you most proud of from this year?

03. In what areas have you made the biggest improvements?

This list is less accomplishment-focused and more about areas that you’ve grown. Maybe as you reflect back, you recognize that you have become way more patient with yourself + your loved ones. Or maybe you started a new habit + stuck with it throughout the year.

04. What is one area you feel you can improve upon or could have handled differently this year?

05. What are the major lessons you learned this year? What are you still working through + learning?

An example of a lesson I learned this year + that really resonates with me is this: enjoy your days, and you will enjoy your life. Set up your days in a way that feels meaningful + true to who you are.

An example of something I’m still learning is how to be an observer of situations rather than being reactive to situations.

Bonus Reflective Questions! If you’re up for a little more reflecting, complete the following sentences.

– I felt loved when…

– My favorite books, podcasts, resources, etc. were…

– My most cherished moments were…

new year's reset - motivational quote


Imagine: The Year Ahead

01. Write down some possible Word of the Year options. We’ll narrow it down later!

If you’ve never had a Word of the Year before, I like to think of it as a word that not only captures one (or more) of your values, but also feels aligned with the energy you’d like to bring into the year ahead. Kind of like a North Star— something to return to when you are feeling scattered, overwhelmed, stressed, or out of alignment. It’s probably something that isn’t exactly second nature to you, but by the end of next year it hopefully will come a lot more naturally. So write down some ideas, and we’ll come back to it later!

02. Make a list of what matters most to you.

This list should be pretty short + sweet because the key word is *most*. Think about the major areas of your life (relationships, career, health, etc.).

If your relationship with a significant other matters more to you than anything, take it a step further and specify what about it matters.

Example: Instead of just writing down “my marriage”— “a marriage filled with love and joy”

Instead of just “my career” — “a creative, inspiring career with autonomy and flexibility”

03. How is the best version of yourself spending her days in the year ahead? What is she doing, how is she feeling, where is she? Get specific!

04. If you were to look back a year from now, what did the last 365 days look like if this was the best year of your life?

Tap into your imagination here. How is your health, what do your relationships look like, how much money did you make, what does your career look like? All of the ingredients that come to mind for you are the components you need to create a future + life you love. This step is where MAGIC. HAPPENS. Write it all down like you’re writing the story of your year.

I recently heard someone on a podcast say, “A shallow life is one in which you are not working backwards from what you value and care about the most.”

I think that is such a powerful, accurate way of approaching life. We can so easily get wrapped up in things that simply do not matter to us. We spend our time + energy on things we hardly value. So work backwards and spend some time imagining what the last year of your life would look like if it was the best year of your life. I think this step is so exciting!

05. Now complete this sentence: On December 31st, 2021 I want to be…

This is a way to sum up what you imagined during the previous step and

*get spe. cif. ic.*

06. Take a look at your Year Ahead so far. What themes do you notice? Based on these themes, are there any mantras that might be helpful to return to throughout the year? Phrases to keep you centered on the life you envision?

07. Lastly, return to your list of ideas for a Word of the Year. Based on what you said matters most to you, how you envision spending your days, and what you imagine for the upcoming year— narrow it down + choose one word of the year!

Bonus Year Ahead Questions! If you’re up for a little more journaling, write down….

– Books I want to read:

– What I want to do more of:

– What I want to do less of:

And that’s a wrap for your New Year’s Reset! If you want some more inspiration, here are some quotes I love that I’ve saved to my Pinterest (i kind of love Pinterest + creating digital vision boards…. feel free to follow along if you want more inspiration in 2021!)

new year's reset
new year's reset
new year's reset
new year's reset
new year's reset

One more tool for your New Year’s Reset

In case this exercise got you thinking about starting a daily journaling habit that you look forward to each day in the new year, here is a resource with my grounding journaling template perfect for starting out!

I hope you enjoy doing this New Year’s Reset. I have no doubt that it will deeply impact your upcoming 365 days (+ beyond!). Happy New Year, friends!!

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love always, nik

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