How to Write Your Own Code of 2016 (With Me!)

(pictures Aline Bouma

After I put up my article about my Code for 2016, a few people responded enthusiastically about the idea of a code, and wanting to write their own! Which I think is totally cool. I wanted to help you out a little with yours, by sharing my basic ideas and tips about writing your Code for the year.

(And I offer the option to write it with me? Because that seems fun.)

THE BASICS OF A CODE Your code are the principles that you want to live by, to use as a guide, to help decide your actions and fix your mindset.

These are not goals or a collection of inspirational quotes. This is your code. In my earliest article on a Code for 2015 I wrote: “clear, simple ideas about how I want to live. […] A way to think and act in everything that I do.”

This is what you want to be, embody, envision, channel this year.

In 2016, for the upcoming 10,5 months -or however long the code serves you well-, you will live by the code.

What I think you should keep in mind when you write your code:

  • Don’t make it too much/Don’t write down too many rules of code. I have four for this year, and last year I had only three. This is plenty, especially considering these are ways of thinking and behaving that will be in everything that you do. The whole point of the code is that it applies to you and your entire life right now.
  •  It has to come from you. If you go by things you think you should want, it won’t work. Using a pretty Instagram feed or other people’s ideas of you as your compass won’t work.
  • You have to have an emotional response to the code you end up with. What your code becomes has to have an emotional component, something like “YES! This is what I want to live by” or “Holy shit, why didn’t I do this for myself before.”

MAKE IT HOLISTIC Just like with that creepy 10-year old that lights his Legos on fire, is rude to his teacher and tried to shank his mom for not giving him a Pop Part: Everything is connected.

Your life does not happen in separates, it is not compartmentalised. If you’re passive in your relationships, it’s not very likely you go out and get what you want in other areas of your life either. If you can’t motivate yourself to work out, you’re likely to procrastinate in other areas. If you have trouble opening up to your friends, you’re probably not a Shary Chatty Cathy with your family or your partner either.

For your code, you have to think holistically. How do you want to be in all areas of your life? What do you want to be as much as you can? What do you want to keep in mind at all times? What do you want to live?

THE ACTUAL CODE Your code can be anything. What your actual code becomes is totally upto you.

For me, in 2015 it was based on a Get Bullish article, a quote from Eat Pray Love and a Kanye West anecdote:

“If it isn’t extremely productive or extremely pleasurable, just stop”

“Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth”

“My life is dope and I do dope shit”

In 2016, my code was formed by a single word, one of my own old articles, an encounter with the exact opposite of what I want to be and finally, my wish to get back to my more spiritual side.


“I give myself what I want”

“Be joy(ful)”

“Connect with energy.”

Your code can be anything, based on anything, phrased like anything. You just gotta feel something when you want to use it, I think. Mariet wrote about the Core Desired Feelings a la Danielle LaPorte, and feelings are great to go on for how you want to be in all things. But a quote, a phrase or a simple wish can work just as well.

TAKE YOUR TIME But you really have to take the time to write it, to reflect. Writing a code that works requires some introspection and an honest look at yourself, your life and what you want.

I don’t think there’s any rules on how to write a code and it’s a combination of letting inspiration strike you as well as sitting down for it. I let mine come to me in the first month of 2016, and then one day I wrote the whole thing down.

What could work too is sit down every day for 5 minutes of meditation. Meditate on ‘what do I want’, ‘what is my code for 2016’ and see what ideas come to you.

BUILD FROM THERE Once you’ve gotten the basic lines of your code out of your head and onto the paper. Write more about it. Why did this quote/idea come to you? Why is it important to you? Put it to paper why this is your code for now, and (roughly) how you will live by it.

There are no rules. This makes it easy to write a code, as well as really hard. It can take some time and effort putting it to paper in the way you want to.

That’s why if you really want to, we can write your Code of 2016 together.

Doing Coffee and Coaching over the summer, I learned I LOVE working one-on-one with readers.

Plus, writing individual things for and with you has been on my Blog Goal List for a while anyway. I would love to write you a Code for the upcoming year that resonates with you personally, and works for you.

WRITE YOUR CODE OF 2016 WITH ME The basic idea is very similar to the Coffee and Coaching I did over the summer, so here’s the gist.

  • You meet me in The Hague or Rotterdam (or Skype, but I like face-to-face a lot more)
  • For a 3 hour session
  • In which we sit down in a coffee shop, talk shop and take our time drafting a Code for you this year.
  • I have a plan set out for the session, and we also go a bit into depth about having a code, how I live by my code and how you can too.
  • Once we’ve established the draft of your code, I’ll write and finish it for you, Self Help Hipster Style.
  • I’ll send it over, and because I believe in checking in, we’ll do an email follow up in August to see how well you’ve been living your code.


  • 3 hours with me, with all my focus on you and my writing and knowledge at your disposal
  • a beautiful PDF of your personal Code for 2016
  • An email follow up in 6 months (I can do real life too but if I do you are paying for my coffee)

The costs of Code of 2016 One-on-One Workshops are 75 euros.


HOW TO BOOK ME Since Paypal buttons seem to have permanently vacated my blog, send me an email at info[a] with some info about you and some available dates, so we can start to set it up! (You can still pay through Paypal)

I don’t know if there’s gonna be a stampede to get in on this (probably not), but if you really want to do this with me, you should know that I’m probably only going to take up the first 3-5 people that email me. Early bird gets the workshop — and the double chin selfie!

Talk to you later, babies.

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  1. I love it! En wat een super goed idee om dit aan te bieden. Volgens mij zou jij ook een online cursus kunnen ontwerpen, die mensen dan vanuit huis kunnen doen – aangezien je ook veel lezers in het buitenland zult hebben, gezien het feit dat je Engels schrijft. Maar dat is misschien iets voor na je boek 😉