Happy New Year! Another year of opportunities and dangers will present themselves periodically as we progress through 2022. This is called “life”.
Don’t be like everyone else and fall for the old adage of “life happens”. A better philosophy of life is “life planned”. Many people simply create resolutions for the new year and hope for the best. This is not planning, this is wishful thinking and relying on fate, which may not render the desired results.
President Abraham Lincoln is credited with one of my favorite quotes about the future: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” A powerful statement by a great leader such as President Lincoln should be given proper deference and thought. Under the stress of the Civil War, and the loss of a son, Lincoln continued to rely on his personal philosophies to keep him focused on the future of our country.
If a country can be run with such an approach, surely, we can manage our personal lives with the same principle. One of my yearend tasks is to spend time alone, thinking about the current status of my life and where I wish to be at the end of the next year. It has been said that people will spend more time planning a vacation than planning their life. You can change this rote approach to life and start today by planning your future using a methodology that has served me well.
First, find a quiet place to simply think. This would ideally be a location that doesn’t allow phones, discourages talking and has resources to help you find answers to questions that may arise. Sounds like your local library, doesn’t it? Yes, this is where I spend my time thinking about the future for my future goals. There is no better place than a library to offer you the solitude required to bring out your best thoughts and allow a space for creative planning.
Second, think with ink. I know, we are in the 21st century and everybody has a smartphone, laptop or some other gadget to electronically record their thoughts. However, the brain functions, and remembers, differently when you use your hand for writing on paper rather than typing on a keyboard. Start with a strategic review of the past year. Did I accomplish my goals as intended? Is there work still to required to achieve an important goal? These are important results that give rise to your brain contemplating your future.
Record your thoughts on paper and simply read what you wrote. Are you proud of your progress? If so, celebrate in some form that you truly enjoy. If not, ask yourself if the goal was clear enough, empowering enough and challenging enough to require your greatest time, talent and treasure to achieve. Perhaps you will carry over an unfinished goal to 2022? This would not be the recognition of defeat but a reframing of the goal in a new light with additional information learned in 2021. Don’t listen to defeatist talk but rather give yourself the right to be positive in thinking and your outcomes will improve.
Lastly, write your completed goals for 2022 in your planner, on a piece of paper or wherever you can see them on a daily basis. The importance of referencing your goals often is to keep them top of mind. Everyday your mind goes to work on the matters you deem important by evaluating and analyzing what you feed it. If you are focusing on your big, hairy, audacious goals for a bigger, better, bolder you, that is what your brain will work to bring in to existence.
This is a new year, a new you and new opportunities for growth. Be the 1% of people who develop measurable, challenging goals that cause you to grow to achieve the objective by writing them down in a manner that can be reviewed frequently during the year. As an added bonus, why not listen to positive, powerful podcasts during the year to keep you on track? I recommend our podcast, “Live a Life by Design”, which is available wherever you listen to podcasts.
There are few concerns for your future when you are actively creating it. This is your year to realize greatness within you. Invest in yourself. Become who you wish to be – a bigger, better and bolder YOU!