Don’t fall into the trap of this year being the beginning of something special just because it is a new year. The days will become the same very quickly. There will be no immediate change in all what is wrong with the world and nothing immediately new about all that is great. It is just a continuation.
This sounds all doom and gloom, actually it is in a way… because things will stay the same from the 31st December to the 1st of January like they do in any year, ok, with some mild variations, but essentially things will be the same. Then we will pile on through the year with everyone complaining about the year, reminiscing about the years gone past or some fictitious ideal year but people will not always take the ownership of the year that they alone are having.
A friend mentioned to me before that you are just a background character in most other peoples movie. He then said you should be the main character in your own movie, I had heard it before but it is always great to hear it again as it gives time to take stock of the actual comment.
What was great about how he illustrated it was when then pointed over to the two guys who were sitting in the opposite corner of the cafe and said, ‘To them we are nothing more than two people in the background of their sitcom or movie… think of a Television episode that you have seen, anyone of the many, and always in the background there are people who you never get to know, the passing characters, faceless and nameless. That is us to them and them to us. You, we, are the main characters in this movie and you, with your own unique perspective from your own viewpoint are the hero in your movie, so take responsibility in writing a great script’.
I loved that framing. It was a pretty cool way of putting it, so I decided to bower it for here. (I will give it back – cheers Adam)
Nothing much changes unless you decide to do it for real. If this new year and it’s resolutions is the catalyst for that change, then that is great, and so ride that wave until you get the change that you want. What works, works. Right?
There is something fresh about the new year. It is ground zero for that year. It is time to take stock and think about what the previous year was like, what it gave you and what you learned. Take that time, it is important and it is very much a behaviour of the successful people in life.
Once you have taken the time to reflect, gathered your thoughts, then it is time to talk about New Years resolutions… and the fact that you should not bother to set any. Don’t. I am serious, you will not stick with them.
There is another way. Think about a ‘life plan’. I can hear people groan when I say this, but if I was to say write me a script for a movie I am going to make with you or give me a business plan for this business we are going to start together, people would be like; ‘Ok, cool, when do you need it for?’ and they would run off with passion and energy…
But when it comes to designing their life, people are just lazy. Ouch, Truth hurts.
So here goes nothing;
Tell yourself what you want to be doing this time next year, what you want to be like as a person and write it down.
Even better still, after writing it down, use an app to capture it and that will remind you about what you wrote. If you want, set it into your diary for next year as a reminder. Use positive language and be clear when you write it down. You doing this?
I get it. It is not an easy thing to do, because we can lack imagination so let me kindly assist you.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to prompt some clearer thinking and more richness in your ideas;
1. What areas in your life are working well for you, what do you find meaningful, enjoyable and valuable?
2. What areas in your life aren’t working out too well for you, what stresses you out, makes you anxious or drains your energy?
3. If you were financially secure and dint need a full salary anymore, how would you be investing your time?
4. What skills, talents or abilities do you have that you are naturally good at and are passionate about using?
5. Other than yourself, who else is holding you back from pursuing your passion in life and how are they holding you back?
6. How will you address these people?
7. What would you do with your life if you no longer cared about what other people think about you?
8.What valuable lessons have you learned through life so far that you can ut to good use or to start to teach to other people?
9.How rewarding would your life be if you were doing something that you loved every day and were making money with it?
10. Is there a group of people somewhere in the world that you know cold benefit from your help? who are they and where are they? How would you connect with them?
11. If you had exactly 5 years left to live, what would you spend your years doing and what difference would you want to make?
12.What steps are you going to take next?
Now do the same exercise for what you want to be doing in five years time.
But this time it is different, this time go further with the story of you that is in your vision now. Play it forward and frame it into a scene from a a television show….
Here is the framing for this part of the exercise. 5 years from now you are flying home for the holidays, flights are delayed, and as you are passing through the airpot you bump into someone you used to work with.
This is someone that you had lost contact with but someone that you always enjoyed their company and conversations, picture that person and get that scene fixed in your head.
As you wish each other a Merry Christmas and sit down to share a coffee and a catch-up while you wait for your flight to be called. That person asks you, “How is life been, what you doing these days, how is the family…. are you still working for the same company?”
What do you want to tell them about the last five years?
Take your time as this is important.
As you finish the conversation because your flights are called and you go separate ways…
How do you want to be parting as you head for the flight, do you want to be wishing them a Happy New Year and feel great about it or do you want to be leaving the conversation somewhat deflated.
Your choice. Your script.
Happy New Year.
Cut to snowfall and zoom to Christmas decorations.
Queue Christmas Music.