Setting The Stage
January 2015 Insights
Happy New Year everyone! As I’ve shared with you in past newsletters I’m not big into new year resolutions. As a life coach I hate limiting myself and my clients to resolve “getting going” on our life ambitions based on what the calendar says. However, I am a big proponent of setting the stage for greater success all through the new coming year. So I thought I would take the first newsletter of 2015 and share with you a valued exercise I personally use in the beginning of every new year.
Coincidentally, this exercise builds on last month’s newsletter “Keeping Your Fire Stoked”, where I shared essentials for sustaining success. In particular essential #4, Creating a Vision of What You Aspire for Most. I first learned of this practice back in 2010 when I was pursuing my life coaching certification at iPEC (Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching). Though I didn’t realize then the impact it would have on my life personally, it has become one of my favorite “go to” tools to set the stage for greater success in my own life. What I love most about this visioning exercise is the clarity I get from it. It allows me to really hone in on my aspirations for the coming months so I can put my wheels into motion. It also serves as a means of providing greater accountability because I can then constructively break down my hopes and desires into tangible goals and task driven work. Let me first share with you the exercise and then I’ll move into how you can use it to enhance your life.
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Imagine It Is One Year from Now And What You Aspire For Is Actually Occurring
Paint a picture of what you see. Design a vision that is exciting, purposeful and fulfilling, one that you find inspiring. Include all the senses (how you feel), people and places that will be just right for this scenario to flourish. Remember to consider as many aspects of your life as possible; personal development, career/profession, personal finance, health & well-being, intimate relationships, social relationships, family/parenting, fun & enjoyment, spiritual awareness. Ask yourself:
- What are you doing? (In as many aspects of your life as possible)
- With whom are you doing it?
- Where are you living?
- How much income are you earning?
- How much fun are you having?
- What difference are you making in the world each day?
- What do your senses pick up?
- What do you feel?
Ultimately, you want to use this exercise to create a vision of what you aspire to be and experience in the new coming year. This process, of seeing and even feeling a new improved you in all aspects of your life will allow you to develop life objectives that support your vision. There are no right or wrong answers to this exercise just get as specific as possible. Take each aspect of your life you vision as enhanced and break it down into short (within the next 3 months), mid (within the next 6 months) and even long term goals (by year end). The act of doing this exercise can serve as a roadmap, providing direction and guidance to keep you on track. I also suggest checking in with this visioning exercise at least monthly and for myself I have found it helpful to do the visioning exercise again mid-year, as clearly based on what unfolds over the first few months may result in a need to tweak your plan so it continues to support your vision the remainder of the year.
The most important thing to remember with this exercise is that not everything is written in stone so their needs to be some level of flexibility, however not at the risk of losing sight of your vision. Remember as I said in my last newsletter there is no end state to self-development, greater success and happiness is a work in progress but without a vision it is very hard to find direction and therefore without one you will limit your growth.
Wishing Everyone A Very Happy New Year