Happy New Year to you all!
Another year DONE.
The next one COMING.
2017 was another wonderful year for me.
Not all a bed of roses (not by any stretch!)
BUT a great year
of rich experiences that were a whole lot of fun
or experiences that were surprisingly good
at teaching me
about myself and who I am
and others and who they are.
It’s was also a year of connecting with wonderful people,
and making solid progress on some of my bigger goals.
And now, given the year has drawn to a close
I’m in the process of creating inspirational plans for 2018.
Plans that will excite, inspire and drive me
throughout the coming year and beyond.
How about you?
Have you got your plan for an ideal 2018 sorted?
A plan that has you feeling energized and excited
About the coming year as you farewell 2017?
If so, good on you!
And good luck in making them a reality.
You may like to read on to see
if you can gain a refinement or two.
If that’s not you,
I’m going to assume that since you opened this email
you would like to get something sorted
or at the very least,
put a few moments into thinking about doing so.
(Which is of more benefit than you might imagine)
I’ve got a process that you can follow
that will help you to succeed even more so
in life, love and work, in this coming year.
My wife tells me the process is a BIT INTENSE.
It doesn’t have to take much time though…
because simply by READING it
and EXPERIENCING the words
you will give yourself far more chance
of creating a year that fills you up.
I feel it’s important to set the scene as to why
I feel it’s so useful.
You see, my experience of planning for the future is that
way too often we are told to take time
to think about what GOALS we want to achieve
and to dream big and to then make them SMART goals.
(Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Time framed).
And I can attest to the process
and how well it works in ACHIEVING great goals.
I was hyper-focused on being a millionaire
by the time I was 30 (with my then hubby Joel).
We missed it by a smidge but we got there
soon after because of our hyper-focus on goal setting.
We had our goals typed out and pinned up on a door.
Friends would ask us about them and so they were kept
top of mind for us which, in turn,
kept us really focused on achieving them.
But after many more years
of setting goals for myself
and with the kids
and achieving a good chunk of them
I can tell you that setting and achieving SMART Goals
is FAR from the best goal setting method…
It works BUT it’s very limited and thus sees us missing out
on soooo much of our potential.
You see, the process of setting and achieving goals
is very END POINT focused.
Carol Dweck who wrote the book Mindset
would, no doubt label it as a process for people
who have a FIXED MINDSET
(which was certainly me!)
So while Goal Setting can motivate us
and keep us on track to achieve big things
it can and usually does encourage us
to be too future focused
with not enough connection to the present moment.
And this is important because,
our life is NOT lived in the FUTURE.
It’s lived in the HERE and the NOW.
And, in every moment between now
and that future point of achieving the
apparently very desirable goal.
And, what I have learnt through trial and error
is that achieving a goal,
even if it’s a truly inspirational goal
or a goal with a whole heap of money attached,
is that it only ends up being deeply satisfying
if we have enjoyed the journey along the way
AND if we have enjoyed
who we have been at each and every point.
My sometimes hard-won understanding
is that achieving the goal itself
is just the icing on the cake.
To say that in another way,
achieving the goal is NOT the cake!
The cake is the journey.
The cake is the life we live in between deciding on the goal
and actually achieving the goal.
And, the core of what I have learnt
is that no amount of icing
(no matter how impressive it looks to the outside world)
is going to make a good cake into an amazing one.
(And the best icing in the world
definitely won’t make a shit cake
into a good one!).
A deep level of satisfaction,
the type of satisfaction that really fills you up
and leaves you feeling truly grateful for,
and content with, the life you’ve lived to date
and that you’re living now,
only comes when we have devoured, ENJOYED
and FULLY LIVED every single step
of the journey to get there.
If we’ve been too focused on the future
to be present to today
we’re focusing on just the icing
and missing out on creating an amazing cake!!
Deep satisfaction can be grabbed and enjoyed
not only at the end point of realizing that goal
but at every point in between when we can take stock
and feel energized, uplifted and proud
of how present we are to the journey of getting there,
and of the choices we’ve made
about who we’ve been,
how we’ve looked after ourselves and,
how we’ve treated those around us too.
As well, we can feel a very similar sense of satisfaction
when we may not have behaved ideally
towards ourselves or others
but when we have acknowledged and honored
the truth of who we were
and we can own and embrace
new core learnings that see us feeling excited about
who we can now become in the future.
So when it comes to setting a plan that will see
YOU creating a Stunningly Satisfying 2018 it’s critically
important that you get clear on not only
where you want to end up,
but also how you want to get there
and who you want to be along the way.
While writing your goals down
WILL help you to achieve them
FEELING into HOW you’re going to go about it
is, I believe, of far more importance.
And, if I could ONLY do ONE of these two activities
Getting clear on my GOALS
Getting clear on who I want to BE & FEEL along the way,
I would, knowing all that I know now,
most certainly choose the latter!!
And, so on that note
let’s go through the process of
Consciously Creating a Stunningly Satisfying 2018.
(Remember: Take notes as you go if you wish, but the most important aspect is to FEEL into the questions and your answers to them)
THINK back through 2017
Start with just your memory first.
And, if you want to really do the job more thoroughly
go back through your diary in a second pass.
It can be a good idea to make a list,
even a scrappy list that you can throw away
once this is done.
Scan the year for the big experiences you had
the unforgettable events that happened,
the meaningful ones, the smaller more
mundane ones and any others that
that made a positive, negative or memorable impact.
Own everything that jumps out at you.
The good the bad and the ugly.
(Don’t miss the ugly bits… they’re important!)
Now FEEL into the year that’s just been…
That means, relive those snippets and notes in your mind
and notice how you FEEL as you do.
Start off with the year as a whole.
As you look at it as one chunk of time…
Are the emotions you feel energizing, uplifting, expansive
Are they light and neutral, ok-but-not-so-inspiring?
Are they dark and down, chaotic, heavy and depressing?
Are they something else altogether?
Or a mix of all of the above?
DON’T THINK about how you SHOULD feel.
I want you to simply NOTICE and ACKNOWLEDGE
how you DO feel about the past year of your life.
Once you’ve felt into the year as a block of time
I want you to go back and FEEL into the segments too.
Consider these questions as you go and, once again,
NOTICE and ACKNOWLEDGE how you FEEL.
(Avoid judging, or if you do judge,
just notice that and let it go so you can stay present
to how you feel about the year just gone).
How was the year for you?
Was it all you’d hoped for?
Overall did it feel good to you?
Why? Why not?
What were the key events or experiences
that made more of an impact?
What specifically made them important?
Are there experiences that you wish you had had?
What FEELINGS did you miss out on
by not having had those experiences?
Who did you hang out with,
in hindsight does that feel wonderful or
perhaps not so good?
Is there someone that you would have preferred
to have been able to hang out with?
Who were you throughout the year?
How were you being?
Are you proud and honored
to be the person you were last year?
Why? What specifically jumps out at you?
What aspect of yourself, if any,
didn’t shine in the way you might have liked?
Did you feel into life?
Did you embrace your chance at living in 2017?
Did you have the energy to do that well?
Or were you weighed down with a lack of health
or with uninspired thinking?
Where possible, and when you had the energy,
did you go to the edge of your comfort
zone and lean a bit further out?
Do you feel you grabbed YOUR life with both hands?
So that’s the past.
You’ve just felt into yourself and your life that was
over the last 12 months.
And, NOW for the FUTURE.
The future is NOT the PAST.
Some things might stay the same BUT
you can change whatever parts you want!
A stunningly satisfying 2018…
Let’s use conscious contrast,
(your recent experience of 2017)
to help you decide
what do you (and don’t you) want in 2018????
More of the same?
Something totally different?
Whatever feels OK for you, is ok!
If you feel a LONG way away from
it’s going to feel a bit tough to get started.
BUT, let me assure you,
at the end of 2018,
you will be absolutely delighted
that you started a year ago.
And in 10 years time,
you’ll wish you could give the you
(who’s sitting here right now)
a jolly big hug and a kiss
for making the decision to start TODAY.
Now, rather than getting too engrossed
in specific details
of various GOALS
that you may THINK you want to achieve,
I want you to FIRSTLY focus on
HOW you want to FEEL along the way
and WHO you want to BE throughout 2018.
Because the reality is, who you are BEING
and how you are FEELING will have far, far more impact
on your satisfaction levels in 12 months’ time
than what you actually end up achieving.
A few questions to get you started:
In 12 months’ time, as you look back
how do you want to FEEL about the 2018 year?
How do you want to have been?
What emotions do you want to have experienced
on a consistent basis?
What challenging feelings would you like to learn
to work with?
What elusive feelings would you like to create more of?
How do you want to feel as you wake up each day?
How do you want to feel as your head
hits the pillow each night?
How do you want to feel towards those around you?
What type of relationship do you want to have
with your significant other?
How would you like them to feel towards you?
Who and how are you going to need to BE
in order for that to happen?
Does that excite you?
(If not, go back and think again!)
And review all that’ you’ve just written…
Who and how are you going to need to BE
to have a chance of making it all a reality?
Your thinking’s job is to create a wonderful future for you
AND for those you love
AND it’s to ensure you FEEL good along the way.
So be sure that you’re not lazy in your logic
when it comes to getting clear on how you
want to feel and how you want to be in 2018.
Now that you’re clearer
(don’t worry about being perfectly clear)
this can be an iterative process
start to consider,
what experiences do you want to create in 2018?
And who do you want to be around you?
Consider the day to day experiences.
The experiences you have as you contribute to others
(either at work, at home or in a voluntary capacity)
And the experiences as you contribute to yourself
(your health, your wealth, your happiness
your spirituality and your general well being).
Consider the weekly experiences,
the monthly ones,
and the once in a year ones,
or even the once in a lifetime experiences
that you may want to include.
And now, once all that is done,
what goals might you like to achieve along the way.
As you’re living the life that you want to live
what goals and future challenges
may make that experience more exciting,
more vibrant more inspiring?
Is it to make a million, or ten?
Is it to make a positive impact at your workplace,
in the community or across the globe?
Whatever goals you choose for this coming year
ensure you choose them.
* Critical note for the more logical types.
Often you may not consider the act of “feeling”
to be one of your strong points.
And, that’s ok. The trick for you will be to actively avoid
(with a hypervigilance) anything that FEELS bad.
Even if you THINK an idea SHOULD feel good,
IT DOESN’T MATTER!!
Your feelings DRIVE you, they give you enegery,
and if your thinking is taking you in a direction
that your feelings don’t like,
it doesn’t matter how much you THINK you want it,
your feelings will turn off the gas!
So be sure to do the thinking you need to do
to see that you FEEL good
about how you want to BE in 2018.
You’ll notice there’s NOT much planning
on what needs to be DONE in 2018 in this document.
Most would THINK that we need to DILIGENTLY
and meticulously PLAN for HOW & WHAT
we need to DO in order to achieve our goals.
And, Yes, that’s important,
BUT nowhere near as important
as the above step.
Get the above step right
and you will FEEL
that you won’t be able to stop yourself
from doing the next level of planning
and you will also FEEL
you MUST take action.
So loopback if you need to.
Not just now, but in a few months time too.
Loopback and connect to the FEELings
that will be the source of your EFFORTLESSLY
achieving a stunningly satisfying life.