January 2, 2014 by alunparry
How To Design Your 2014 Exactly How You Want It
It’s the time of year where a lot of people are looking at their “year in review”. But what about the year ahead.
At this time of the year, I tend to reflect and review where I’m up to and think forward to the year ahead.
I’ve just done this exercise on New Year’s Day, so I thought I’d share the process I used with you. It’s really energising to go through the process and get purposeful about the coming year.
So here’s how.
I see life as divided into 8 sections.
Health and Fitness
Where I Live
Learning and Growth
Fun, Joy and Play
The work I do
My aim is to look at each area and decide what I truly want.
By dividing life into these headings, I find that it makes it a lot easier than just asking “so what do you want from life?”
That’s too big a question. But to think about what you want in terms of friendships, or in terms of learning is easier to think through.
So what’s my process?
I take each heading in turn and I start off with the most powerful question of all.
What do I truly want?
Or to put it another way, what is the outcome I am looking for?
It’s a good idea to make this result that you want as specific as possible.
So instead of saying you’d like more friends, name the friends you want to bring closer to you.
Why do I want it?
This cuts through the bullshit. Sometimes we say we want things but we don’t want them at all.
In psychotherapy, there is something called a “parental contract.” This is when you decide to go for something because you “should”, or because it would please someone other than you.
Parental contracts aren’t much good, as they’re not about you.
By asking why do I want it, not only does it highlight this kind of stuff, but it has a positive impact too.
It puts you in touch with all the good stuff of why you want something.
So getting a higher income in itself doesn’t really inspire. But when I ask why I want a higher income I think of holidays and better leisure experiences, and they inspire me more than the goal itself does.
Weighing my target weight doesn’t appeal in and of itself. Far more motivating is that I’ll look great, my clothes will look good, my body will be more agile, and I’ll feel healthy!
It’s the why that is motivating, not so much the goal.
And if you can’t find a motivating goal, ditch it and focus on something else instead.
What will I do?
This is where you decide what steps you’ll take to make it happen!
So, for instance, I decided under the heading of Fun, Joy and Play that I want to go to the cinema every month this year (specific). So what will I do? Well, I’m rejoining FACT (Liverpool’s independent cinema).
One quick rider. I’m a big fan of 80/20 thinking. Not everything you do is as important as each other. Some stuff spins wheels. Some stuff gives you big wins.
So you needn’t do absolutely everything. Focus on the stuff that has the biggest impact. And do that.
I now have a clear sense of what I want, why I want them, and what I will do in order to make it happen.
It’s a self nourishing process. The good thing is that you needn’t even look at every heading if you don’t want to. I prefer to, but you could even just identify the areas of life that you want most change and hone in on those.
However you do it, I wish you a purposeful, designed, and happy 2014! What are you going to decide will happen for you this year? Share it in the comments below.