Saying goodbye to one year and hello to a new one, gives us the perfect opportunity to reflect on what went well, what needs work, and, (whether it’s things, people, or behaviors) what we need to let go of. Like all passing years, and experiences, we can look back and choose to learn and grow from it -or- continue pushing on in the same patterns of behavior, hoping for different results.
Sometimes, when we do notice that some things a little work, and we really want to do things differently, life takes over and we find ourselves right back to our old patterns. Often, the problem isn’t that we don’t see or want to change the areas that aren’t working, it’s that …we’re just not sure “how” or what to do to change it. So… we end up resorting to our default way of being because it’s familiar, we know it, and in some weird way it’s worked well enough to get us to where we are right now. Right? Sure…. But is it what we really want?
How can we have the life we want? We need to have a plan, a kind of map, that will help guide us on the journey to our best life. This plan needs to take into consideration who we are, our life circumstances, and our deeply held values. Navigating life’s journey with a well thought out plan like this can help us have the life we want.
The first step to creating a life plan is to clearly define the “what”. What kind of life do you want? Life will either unfold and we’ll look back and wonder how we got where we are, or we can name what’s important and look back on a life lived according to our values and who we were created to be.
What kind of life do you want to live? The best way to answer this is to begin at the end. (your end) Pause for a minute and imagine yourself continuing on the same trajectory you are on right now, not changing a thing. Now imagine years have passed and you are at your own funeral, you see the people, all your friends and family, gathering, talking and reminiscing about you and the life you lived. …. What do the conversations sound like? What are you remembered for? How do your loved ones remember you? What are your friends saying? What about your colleagues?
Intentional or not, we all leave a legacy. If you don’t change anything what will your legacy be?
Are you pleased with the conversations at your funeral? Is that how you want to be remembered? If so, fantastic! Write down what you’re doing, who is in your life and intentionally do more of what you’re doing to produce these results!
If not, ask yourself these questions, “What kind of life do I want to lead?… What do I want to be remembered for?… What kind of relationships do I want?” These are only a few of the questions I encourage clients to ponder to intentionally direct their lives toward living for their best “ending”. When we begin with the end in mind, we can look ahead to our desired outcome, assess our current trajectory, identify where we may be off course, and make the necessary adjustments to get on a track that will guide us there.
In addition to beginning with the end in mind, it’s helpful to pause periodically and make an assessment of where you’ve come from and where you currently are. Ask yourself, “What went well? What needs work? Who contributed in a positive way to me and my life? Who didn’t? What and or who do I need to let go of this year to be the best version of who God created me to be?”
I know many people who use the beginning of a new year to complete this exercise. Me? I use my birthday as my time to reflect on where I’ve been, where I am, where I want to go and what I need to do differently or let go of in order to stay on track. It really doesn’t matter when you do it, it only matters THAT you DO it! This year CHOOSE to do it differently! Choose to be intentional, to ponder where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you want to go. Ask yourself the hard questions, make a plan and intentionally chart your way forward. I’d love to help you make your life plan and walk with you as you head into your best life!
Love and blessings,