As the champagne corks pop we celebrate the arrival of a precious gift…a whole New Year of our lives. 2020 has a nice ring about it. Neat. Rhythmic. Balanced. The start of a new decade. New Year Resolutions fly like kites in the skies of possibility, potential and the fresh start that a new year brings. For many there is a new energy, a time to take stock, reflect, make plans, share dreams and make the new year a special time.
One of the BIG messages Viva 70 brings is that we each have our own signature life script that we author. Our dreams for our older age are born of the values and experiences and the wisdom we have accumulated. As the years click over at a seemingly faster speed there’s an urgency to live the life that we really want to live. No time to mess around anymore!
The start of a New Year is a good time to take stock and think about how you can live the life you want in the next year. I suggest you grab a notebook and some coloured pencils and start work. If you’re a couple you may want to do this individually and then come together after a lovely dinner and share the the plans you have each developed.
I try to keep this simple. Ultimately its the story of the life that you want to create with a particular focus on the next year ie 2020. It doesn’t have to be intense and therapeutic. Share your ideas with a heart open to possibilities and suspend judgement. Laugh and enjoy the conversation. Expect difference of ideas and welcome them. If you are doing this exercise as a single person notice when you bump into fear or the “I couldn’t possibly….” Flex and stretch your imagination. Focus on what you want initially..how you get there will take shape. Expect to succeed. You deserve nothing less.
So let’s start.
Step 1: The first step is to review the old year. 2019 Draw this diagram on your paper.
Think of say 4-5 highlights of 2019. simple things such as a holiday, a fun time with the family, a great film. anything that rises to the top of your mind when you think of your life in 2019. Now think of the Lowlights– the challenges, the difficult, the tough stuff. Just describe 4-5 points. Dont overthink this. Just respond from immediate thoughts. Ok, here’s a tougher one. How would you describe YOUR main purpose last year? Think Intention, key focus, the main driver of your life in 2019. Was it to be more supportive of the family, or have greater time for yourself to develop new interests? Was it to become more community minded and volunteer more? Was it to learn and grow and strengthen your skills. Was it to find ways of making or saving money.
In greater detail we can look at Finances. How did you go financially against the expectations you had last year. Simply describe. We come to goal setting in the next stage. Relationships can be with self, partner, family, friends. How would you describe the relationships you had in 2019? Finally how would you sum up your health and well- being last year- fitness, activities, illness, mental health. well done you’ve completed the review of 2019! remember.. top of mind.. It should take only 15-30 minutes of individual reflection. Sharing may take longer.
Step 2: Major Actions
From your review what are 3-4 major action/ changes you want to make in 2020. It may be a renovation, travel, developing a better relationship with your daughter, developing new interests, moving to a new home, saving for an overseas trip. Only identify 3- 4 major goals or actions. Any more and you’ll lose focus Now Prioritise these 3-4 major actions. No 1 is the most important.
That’s the big picture actions but now we need to detail how exactly you’ll achieve these 3-4 things. These are measurable, evidenced based goals so at the end of the year when you do a review you can say…” yes I did that” or ” No I need to work on this a bit more.”
Step 3: Goal setting
Use a new page for each of the Major Actions you have identified for 2020. Take each action one by one. In goal setting we say exactly what will I do and how will I do It? Also, how will I know if I’ve achieved this? Measurable and specific is good!
For step 3, you’ll end up with 3-4 pages of measurable actions which is the plan for the key changes in your life in 2020. So the planning is done. In the next article we’ll talk about motivation and what happens when life get’s in the way. We’ll also look at how these goals become a powerful story of what your life can look like in 2020. Stay tuned… time to do some review and planning….