It’s that time of year again. The time when we all naturally realize that we’re about to start yet another year and we’re asking ourselves, “Did I accomplish what I wanted to do this year?”
My coach just asked me this question last week and I had the good pleasure of reviewing my intentions for 2014 that I had written in January and celebrating the fact that I had achieved almost every single one. How cool is that?! It was so exhilarating to know that what I intended to do, I actually accomplished (and even more!).
For many of us, though, that question isn’t going to be answered well. Why? Because we didn’t really know what we wanted in the first place! We didn’t make a plan. We didn’t sit down and really allow ourselves the opportunity to envision the future we desired. We didn’t write down anything that we wanted to achieve, so we left it up to the universe to decide for us what our year would look like.
Sure, we wanted changes when this year started. We wanted to become more healthy, more happy, have more fun, make more money, be debt free, find our partner, make our marriage better, finally get the job that makes us smile, upgrade our living situation, get that new car, start that business, and go to that exotic location for vacation – but now we’re facing the reality that we didn’t do those things. To want change is never enough.
So, do you want your year ahead to be different? If so, then listen up! Because there’s only one reason why 2015 won’t be any different and there’s a radically simple solution to make sure that you make this your best year yet.
Author Chuck Palahniuk said, “If you don’t know what you want, you end up with a lot you don’t.” Don’t you find that to be true? When we don’t know what direction we’re heading, then we begin to move in the direction that seems best based on all the external factors instead of paying attention to our internal compass. We end up at the end of another year wondering where all our time went and if we’ll ever live long enough to see those dreams in our heart come true.
So what’s the alternative? Being clear.
If we want to create a more satisfying future then we need to know exactly what direction we need to be heading. So here are 3 points excerpted from my upcoming book, Your Best Is Next, you’ll want to make sure you’re clear about when setting out to make 2015 your best year yet!
1) Be Clear About What You Want
Have you ever had that moment with a friend or your spouse or loved one when you’re about to go to a restaurant with them and you ask them where they want to eat and you hear, “I don’t care. Whatever you want”? Then, being kind you ask them what type or style of food they would prefer, hoping to gain some direction about the choice you’re now saddled with making and then you hear, “Just pick a place…I don’t care.” Ugh! Then you start rattling off suggestions rapid fire and all you hear from them is, “No…not tonight…I don’t feel like that place…I had Italian last week…” Frustrating, right?
Isn’t that how so many of us approach our lives? We look around us and what we’re experiencing doesn’t feel satisfying or fulfilling and we say things like, “How did I get here?” or “Why are things like this?” or “I don’t like where I’m at.” But almost none of us decide to focus on what it is that we do want. Instead we begin to obsess over the things in our lives that we would like to get rid of. What we need to know, though, is that where our focus goes our energy flows. That’s why it’s absolutely imperative that we are being clear about what is that we actually want. When we take the time to understand what it is that we really desire to have, do, and be in our lives then our energies will begin to work on how to get where we’re headed.
In his book, The Alchemist, author Paulo Coelho wrote, “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” So true is this statement that it can never be underestimated the power of a clear intention. Be clear about what you want and watch how the world around you begins to help you instead of hinder you.
2) Be Clear About Where You’re Going
I have a friend who’s a pilot who shared with me an interesting fact about flying one day that has always stuck with me. He told me that for every single degree you fly off course, you will miss your target landing spot by 92 feet for every mile you fly. So the longer you fly off course, the farther you travel from your target. That means that if you’re flying from Los Angeles to New York and only one degree off course, you’ll land approximately 43 miles away from your intended target. One degree off. There’s no room for error when you’re flying a plane of passengers at 30,000 feet which is why every plane leaves the ground with a crystal clear flight plan and an air traffic control feedback monitoring system to help guide them to their target.
Don’t you think your life’s direction deserves at least as much attention as any pilot gives to his flight plan? During World War II, Sir Winston Churchill said, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” This bit of wisdom is unfortunately true. If you’re struggling because you know what you want but you haven’t taken any steps to get there, then it’s time to get clear about where you’re going. After all, you don’t want to end up miles away from where you wanted to be.
Be clear about where you’re going by demystifying the process of achieving your dream. Not only will your path become visible but your dream will be one step closer to becoming a reality.
3) Be Clear About What You’re Doing
We’ve all seen movies where dream sequences are used to tell parts of the story. There’s so much action, drama and excitement built into the dream sequence that you sometimes forget that what’s happening on the screen isn’t really happening to the character in real time. They wake up and the story resumes where we left them. Nothing really happened. But our minds sure do get fooled easily into thinking that something did!
Sometimes we get so excited about where we’re headed and what we envision our future to look like that we forget to take meaningful action towards the completion of our goals. Coach Anthony Robbins says, “What’s talked about is a dream. What’s envisioned is exciting. What’s planned becomes possible. And what’s scheduled becomes a reality.” If we’re not taking real, concrete action towards our dreams and goals every single day, then we can’t expect to make them a reality. If we’re not clear about what we’re doing, then we’ll wake up one day to face the reality that nothing’s really changed.
Be clear about what you’re doing and take action in your new direction by putting one foot in front of the other. After all, as Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu once wrote, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Don’t make the mistake this year that so many of us have made in the past. Be clear about what you want, where you’re going, and what you’re doing so that this time next year you’re celebrating all that you’ve accomplished instead of mourning another year gone by without making the difference you desired.
What Do You Want To Change In 2015?
I’d love to hear about what differences you desire for your new year!
Tell me one thing you want to change in 2015 and why in the comments section below.
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