People make half-hearted or enthusiastic New Year’s resolutions, which they end up forgetting by mid-February. Resolutions are fine. They are made with good intentions (like the road to hell), to “be/do/not-be/not-do,” but do you feel really good about them?
I’m bored with resolutions, but I’m excited about plans and design. What do you plan to accomplish this year? What do you plan to stop doing? What’s your career design? What’s your lifestyle design? What’s your accountability strategy? When you envision the year, what does it include? Where do you have this written down?
One of my favorite things to read is anything by Jennifer Dziura of GetBullish. When I do, I get a shot of energy more potent than caffeine. I designed my year by drawing heavily on Jen’s writing. See:
Bullish: How To Attack 2015 Like A Badass
Bullish: Screw New Year’s Resolutions – Try Designing Your Career
If you haven’t already, it’s never too late! To create your vision of the Best Year Yet:
Imagine the Most Awesome Life you can: Not future awesome, like “I can’t wait until I can decorate my house the way I want,” but Now Awesome. Imagine you wake up tomorrow and everything is awesome, but it’s still 2015. What would that be like? In my Most Awesome Life, I feel confident and energized. I have some mornings with no activities, so I can work from bed in my pajamas, read, or do chores while the sun is new. I look forward to going to work, because work is satisfying and challenging. I have a huge network of friends and professional acquaintances that I can call on at any time. I feel amazing in all of my clothes and I don’t have bad hair days.
Write your wish list for the year: What do you wish to achieve? Go for the moon – it’s a wish list, not a realism list. For me it’s a 75% savings rate, at least one day per week off the computer, fewer hours of the spent day sitting, start my business, get paid for my writing.
Do you know what you value? Most of us have never written or thought about what we truly value. But your values must inform your goals to make them worth reaching. How does your Word of the Year relate to your values (See Happy New Year! Now, Choose A Word )? I value social connections, which informs my goals to network this year, work one-on-one with people, and prioritize family and friends. I also value financial independence. The goals are to “save 75%” or “network twice a month.” Values make the goals matter.
Consider what is important to you on a daily basis: if your values are macro, and your wish list lofty, now is time to bring them to the micro level. How do (or don’t) your values manifest themselves every day? Do you want more of this, and less of that? How can you incorporate pieces of your Most Awesome Life into your daily life? I don’t want to spend a thousand hours on the computer, doing the equivalent of eating junk food. Sleeping is important. A flexible schedule = flexible mornings. Continually curating my closet to include only amazing pieces.
You can capture your year vision however you want – in a collage, or a list, or a timeline of sticky notes. It helps to have it exist physically (because you made it) and be displayed where you can see it (like your Word). Considering Awesomeness, the wish list, values, and your daily life, now design, plan, and otherwise envision your year. Cull where necessary. Optimism is great, but you do not need to do everything this year.
Schedule meetings (Jen suggests a day in April, July, and October) with yourself to check on your year plan and progress. Accountability to your vision is the difference between you and aforementioned resolutionists.
Be flexible. Life rarely goes according to plan. But by having a vision and knowing your intentions, you’re prepared to adapt no matter how life goes.
You want the best, and the best way to get the best is to seek it. Plan it. Design it. Put your vision on the wall, and live it. Happy Year!