Now that the New Year has arrived and we have put the Christmas decorations away, it is time to plan how to move our vision to reality. We do not have to overwhelm ourselves with an elaborate goal setting process, complete with a Martha Stewart vision board and a step by step list of how to achieve all of our goals over the next 12 months. That would lead us down the dark road of perfectionism and limit our ability to live an exceptional life. Actually, a bit of good old common sense is needed right now. Once we have put some thought into our vision for the future, the next steps are to identify and evaluate our priorities and create a concrete plan to move forward in these areas. In order to achieve this, I offer a simple and practical structure to get you going.
- Evaluate your relationships. Our connections can elevate or deflate us. What is the vision you have for the relationships in your life? Who would you like more time with? Which relationships feel balanced? Are there new people or relationships you desire? Who do you need to distance from, since they are actually bringing you down? Make a quick list with four categories headings “More”, “Just Right”, “Growth” and “Less” and just start throwing names into the categories and see where they land. Do these names match the positions they actually hold in your life? Are there any changes you need to make? Pick one thing to change and then do it!
- Evaluate your time. What are your top 3 passions and interests? How much of your time is spent on the things that truly nourish you? Do a quick pie diagram and guess how you spend a typical day. Does it match up to your priorities? Get out your schedule and actually mark time in the calendar for your top priorities. Make the schedule your friend, not your enemy. I use the calendar on my phone for this activity, as it helps me plan and experience the things that mean the most to me.
- Evaluate your financial goals. Do not be afraid to look at this aspect of your lives as denial will only lead you further away from achieving you financial goals. Does anything need to change? Are you on the right course? Meet with a financial advisor and utilize their expertise. Every January we meet with our financial adviser to check in, review the plan and adjust as needed. This is an example of “information is power”: your choices will be empowered if you have the needed information. Each step forward takes you closer to your vision.
- Evaluate your health. How are you feeling physically and mentally? This is a great time to schedule a physical with your doctor and follow up on any of the self-care that you let slip during the holidays. Could a counsellor assist you in developing strategies in regards to your personal growth? Be kind to yourself as there is no movement in beating yourself up about what you have not done. Make a list of the three health practices that bring you joy and growth, and then move towards the things that you love and make you feel alive.