It’s the question on everyones’ lips this year –
- Have you set your 2020 vision? (very droll)
- What are your plans for the New Year/New Decade?
- and more along this vein
And yes, I’ve been asking my coaching clients the same thing!
Tell me, are these questions raising your hackles? I know many people who say that they like to “go with the flow”, “see what comes up”, “see what I feel like doing”. Is that you too?
Possibly “that’s the way” you’ve done things for years. It’s worked perfectly fine. Why should you change now?
Well it really depends on whether you have everything you want in your life right now, or not. If there’s a little voice saying “life’s perfect, I can’t see any improvements I can make” you may as well stop reading now. Bye.
If you’re still reading, perhaps it’s because you wonder (and it’s such a good thing to be wondering) whether you could improve your lot, get some better results, create a shift in your career / relationship / health & fitness / whatever it might be for you.
And if you’re also wondering how to go about it, then you’re in the right place. Stick around! I’m going to share 5 simple steps to create a really cracking plan.
But first, I have a confession to make: I used to really rebel against making plans. Hopelessly, I would look at my diary, write a few things down that I should get done, then ignore them! HAH! Guess what would happen …. I’d have to write them down again the following week, and the next, and the NEXT! I had a To Do list longer than my arm. It was depressing! And when deadlines were involved I’d frequently find myself working late into the night to finish something that I could have easily done
without pressure, had I started weeks before.
Something HAD to give.
It was when I decided to get myself a coach that I was able to start turning this sorry state of affairs around. Who’d have guessed?! Yes, the coach needs a coach. (And I know my coach has a coach too!)
So having learned a thing or two in the last year, and created much improved results for myself, I thought it would be useful to share my version of the process I’ve learned to create my 2020 vision:
Step 1: Recognise and acknowledge where I’m at right now
Realise this – a map is only useful if you know where you are in the first place! It’s important to discover my starting point for this 12 month journey so that I have a better chance of arriving gracefully.
I looked back over 2019 and made a list of all that I’d achieved, the big and the little things, and gave myself a pat on the back. I celebrated those things all over again, it was fun!
I should point out that before I started working with my coach, I rarely spent time congratulating myself, I thought it a bit self-indulgent, to be frank! But now I realise that it’s more about recognising a “before & after” moment, acknowledging a lesson learned or skill acquired, and I get a real kick out of it.
Then I made another list of all the things that didn’t go so well, and reflected on how I might have done them better. I didn’t beat myself up about them, I merely looked them in the face and acknowledged that those events (or those people in my life) have actually helped me, because I have learned something from them. And I thanked them.
You try it: If you did this for yourself, what would you remember that you’d done well? Did you congratulate yourself at the time? What about the challenges of the year – have you thanked them for what you have learned? Take that moment now, congratulate yourself.
Step 2: Set an intention for what I want in my life this year
Oh my … what’s an intention? LOL, I think in my youth my thoughts at the start of a year would be “how much fun or trouble will this year bring”?!
Up to a couple of years ago I’d never even heard of this concept of setting an intention, and this year is the first time I’ve used it with volition. I have designated a word that is to be my emphasis for 2020, and I’m happy to share it with you: PROGRESS
It is my intention that everything I do this year should help me make progress: in my health and vitality, my finances, my career, my relationships, my search for knowledge … in fact in every area of my life. The concept of progress is going to keep pulling me forwards.
You try it: What word or phrase could you select that would inspire you during the coming year? Write it down.
Step 3: Get excited and dream big!
With my body and mind lit up with the idea of making progress, I started writing down everything that came into my head. I just stood at a whiteboard and wrote – anything and everything that came into my mind. Some of it seemed crazy but I wrote it down anyway – everything that I want to experience in the future, fantasies about who I want to become, what I want to physically own – I wrote it all down, no filter, no judgement. Who knows whether I would be able to fit it into my life, somewhere.
Then I realised that a few of these things I was writing about were off my Bucket List. Yes! I added some more! I started thinking further than 2020, and went to 2025 and beyond to 2028 when I will turn 70. Wow, I was excited to think that I was coming up with more ideas for my future. Because ‘old age’ is different now to how it was for my parents, and here I am planning to live my life to the full rather than dwindle into retirement. Plus I like to think of myself as “growing up” rather than “growing old”, LOL.
You try it: Who do you want to become, and what do you want in your life for 2020 and beyond? What‘s on your bucket list? Write it all down. Do a brain dump of everything!
Step 4: Create a timeline
When I stood back to look at my list it was a fair jumble of things, some of which I could achieve in a few months, and others that would take longer. So I started to sort it out. I looked for what I want to manifest in 2020, and highlighted those. For
everything else, I created a rough guide of whether I would achieve them in 2, 5 or 8 years. I continued until everything on the board was either highlighted or dated. Lastly, I tidied it all up into groups of dates.
You try it: What can you achieve this year? Now how about 3 years, 5 years, up to 10 years from now. Give everything a number/date. Create a clear list for each date.
Step 5: Picture it as done
This last step is great fun. Do you remember as a child getting really excited about something that was about to happen? Remember how you could anticipate the thrill of going to the circus or a party, or a movie? This is just like that.
I took each of my 2020 goals in turn and mentally stepped into the future, to that moment of success, savouring what would I be seeing, hearing and feeling on 31st December 2020 to have achieved it!
This is a vital part of any planning process because it brings forward the thrill and feeling of accomplishment – and provided you really can feel that, it overrides any doubts that may be niggling in the background. The stronger the feeling, the stronger the certainty and clarity.
As I held onto that powerful feeling, I wrote myself a short paragraph about each achievement so that I can remind myself regularly about what I have to look forward to.
You try it: What will you see, hear and feel when you accomplish each goal? Create as colourful a picture as you can, make it vivid, then write it all down.
So how do you feel now? Excited? I sure hope you do. Here’s to the most amazing year for you!
I look forward to your feedback on how you go with these steps. And it goes without saying, if you’d like some personal help with this process, drop me a text and I’ll get in touch.
All the best,