I am so over New Year's goal setting. Done. Kaput. New Years Resolutions are bunk (n. insincere, empty talk) There, I have said it.
We know that the bulk of us ditch our New Years Resolutions before the end of January anyway. And it is said the definition of insanity is to do the same things the same way and expect a different result - right? So let's shake it up a bit this year shall we?
First of all, let's talk about why New Years resolutions have such a low follow-through rate. I think that one of the biggest reasons that we don't sustain our initial enthusiasm for our "goals" past mid-January is that we rarely connect our goals with our feelings. We do not create a compelling reason to achieve that goal and do not answer the fundamental question of "Why" we want to achieve that goal. Instead, we create a situation where the achievement of goals becomes yet another line on the never-ending "To Do" lists. Our goals become another "task", another thing to "get done" so we consequently resist them. This over-zealous focus on goals adds more pressure and another layer of guilt to our lives.
Let's take a break from the New Years resolutions this year and instead, focus our energies and imaginations on our Big H.A.I.R.Y Vision for the decade ahead. You can't build the house before you design it. Instead of creating a linear "DOING" Task List for our lives we are going to create a living, breathing, wholehearted 10-year vision that is all about "BEING".
I would love you to carve out some time in your holiday for this important big-picture visioning work that I know will be profound. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE EXERCISES and work through them as you read this article. Block out an uninterrupted chunk of time to relax, have a warm cider, sit in your favourite armchair and really reconnect with what is important in your life.
MY 10-YEAR BIG, BEAUTIFUL H.A.I.R.Y VISION
Close your eyes and imagine. If anything were possible, what is in your 10--year picture? What is your most compelling, colourful vision of your life? What do you see in December 2022? Dream about all parts of your life - your health, your relationships, your family, your work, your home.
Make sure your vision elements are H.A.I.R.Y (Heartfelt - tapped into your emotions; Aligned - with your core values; Irresistible - passionate and powerful; Rockin'- pushing the limits and Yours - make sure it is your vision, not someone elses!)
Use the worksheet to write down your vision elements in the present tense as if they are real right now. Write down phrases, words, colours, adjectives, thoughts, feelings. They could be as abstract as " I am at peace, floating, calm" or as specific as "I am standing in front of a room bursting at the seams, onstage and seeing everyone clapping for me as I finish my speech". Perhaps you see a building, or a place (I am sitting in an Adirondack chair by a lake reading your favourite novel with the waves lapping on the shore) or perhaps you see a bookshelf with a slew of books with your name on them. Perhaps you are on an African safari...or are climbing Macchu Picchu.
This is a stream of consciousness riff. No editing. No blocking. Just a spew. Be bold, be big as you create and write down that HAIRY VISION on your worksheet. If it feels awkward or impossible even writing or thinking those thoughts - good - that probably means you are thinking big enough. The bigger the dream, the bigger the self-doubt. Stretch yourself. Connect with your emotions. Get out of your safety zone. Dream wildly.
Part 2 MY MOST H.A.I.RY ELEMENTS
We use the Acronym of H.A.I.R.Y to really get at the Why behind those pictures (Remember: Heartfelt,Aligned,Irresistible,Rockin',Yours.)
Now take a highlighter or pen and underline or highlight the images or elements in your 10-year vision that are the HAIRIEST, those that jump out at you, those which feel the most compelling. Think from your heart and gut for this exercise. Transfer those to the circles in the Part 2 Handout. Add more circles if you wish! Be sure to print this page out and put in a place where you can see and review it daily.
Part 3 IDENTIFY WHAT YOU ARE FEELING
Now use the worksheet to identify what you are FEELING as you live into your BIG H.A.I.R.Y 10-year vision. IMPORTANT: It doesn't matter yet HOW you will get there, or WHAT exactly "it" is, only how you feel as you are actually living that Big Picture vision. Connect with your emotions and write down on the worksheet how you are feeling as you are living into that 10 year vision in each area of your life.
Work and Career I feel energized when I get up in the morning. I feel a lot of satisfaction and joy because I am contributing wholly. I feel confident and proud of my work.
And then, for even more rocket-fuel - add adjective descriptors to your statements.
I feel totally energized when I get up in the morning. I feel intense satisfaction and overwhelming joy because I am contributing wholly. I feel rock-solid confident and bursting with pride about my work.
1/ Don't bother making New Year's Resolutions
2/ Instead, get clear on your big picture 10-year vision
3/ Make that vision H.A.I.R.Y
4/ Connect with what feels most compelling about that vision
5/ Put your thoughts down in writing and then print them out
6/ Read your 10-year H.A.I.R.Y vision every day this year and begin to really own it
Next Month's Feature Article: Living into your Vision