This is the beginning of a new decade, a natural “marker” to reflect and gauge our journey. This provides us with an opportunity to look at the highs and lows, the success and weaknesses of our last decade. January becomes an imaginary “new start” when we can compost the past and with a beautiful new pen set priorities and create a magnificent decade ahead. Many of us may have made New Year’s resolutions that already have slipped and here at the end of January, we aren’t any more successful than we were in December. So what can we do about that disappointment?
Getting Started – Reflect and Daydream About All Areas of Life
Take the majority of a day or two to establish a plan for this decade. What are the most important things you would like to do? Spend a little time daydreaming and visualizing how you would like your life to be. Look into the specific areas of importance: health, love relationship, family, career, spirituality, interests and hobbies, finances, personal growth, service, etc.
Write Outcome Goals
Make a decision about what you would like each area of life to look like ten years from now. Write what that looks and feels like. Express the specialness of that vision or goal in the present tense, as if it is NOW true: I am enjoying the excellence of my health; the fulfillment of eating organic and “clean” foods; the ease of movement I experience as I walk, dance, and do everything with my 130 pound feminine, fit and sensual body.
Now go backwards and benchmark the goals or milestones from that outcome goal to where you are now. That outlines the steps you take to get from where you are to where you want to be. It fills in the gap or the part to which we usually do not pay enough attention.
Next pay attention to all the small steps you will start with to attain the next goal. These are the attitudes, plan of action and support you need to accomplish the beginning of your journey. Write each step in detail.
What It Looks Like
You will have a paper, a wall, a notebook, something that shows your movement from left to right, present time to ten years in the future for your first goal. You’ll have lots of detail in present time and just sketchy milestones as you move through the ten years. As you get to the next milestone, or perhaps the next month or quarter, you’ll fill in the details of your steps.
Do the same thing with each area of your life: write the outcome goal, fill in the milestones, and complete the details of your next steps. You will have the next decade completed of your life plan. If the decade seems too long, try 5 years or a marker that makes sense for your life.
Keys For Success
It is up to you to work on these goals daily and weekly so you establish new behaviors and habits. Savor your successes. Celebrate the accomplishments of milestones. Get someone to be your accountability partner or a group of people who are doing the same thing so you can support each other.
I have a group of friends who have been doing this together for eight years. We meet on the phone at least once a quarter to review our progress and get help with anything we need. We add additional meetings to learn or address specific items, such as organizational systems, educational/business systems, etc. We also set up special calls with each other for coaching when we need the on-going support of a coach. (We are all coaches by profession…) We have written books, started new businesses, expanded businesses, been hired as consultants, secured corporate contracts and speaking engagements, supported each other through deaths, births, marriages, divorces, relocations, second homes, awards, and many other highs and lows of life. The support and accountability make this life-planning enjoyable and worthwhile.
You have one week left in January. Do you want to get started on your life-planning journey? If you read this during another month, well, you can still get started!