We are just into the New Year and already our world is celebrating success and also facing challenges. With the recent terrorist attack in Paris, we are once again reminded that a lack of respect and understanding of different world views will lead to conflict, and in radical situations loss of life. As we see opportunities for our economy to once again become strong with the opportunity for more jobs being created, young professionals are seeing opportunities for their career and their life. The New Year gives us a clean slate – a place to declare and envision what we want to create in our life.
I am very fortunate to be able to celebrate Christmas, New Year’s and my birthday all within a 10-day period. For those of you who know me well, you also know that this is the time of year when I look at my vision for the next 5 years of my life. Recently, my husband and I were planning a few days to get away and celebrate the New Year and my birthday and there was no accident that I discovered a piece of paper pressed into a book on his nightstand. I opened it up and saw it was dated 2009. It was our Vision Map where we had written down exactly 5 years ago to the day our 5 year goals. I was so excited to see 6 of the 8 things we had identified were achieved. We had not pulled this paper out and looked at it in 5 years. I was reminded once again of the power of personal vision and intention.
It would be wonderful if each person could begin their New Year really believing in the power of achieving their dream. Many of us see people who have lost faith, given up, become too tired or cynical and stopped believing in possibilities. As a professional coach, of course I believe in the possibility that each person can create their vision. I have seen it happen many times. But there are certain requirements that must be in place for that to occur. We have all heard of New Year’s resolutions – but I am not talking about that. I suggest personal declarations. The kind of declaration, once shared, you feel in your gut is real and important for YOU; not because you should do it, or someone else thinks you should. Declarations that come from deep inside of you that speak to what is truly important to you. Declarations that support your purpose in life and your values. It is great to set goals, but a goal that is not grounded in your personal purpose and vision for your life will ultimately become hard to achieve and not bring real fulfillment.
So, before the end of this month, I suggest you take time to reflect and allow yourself to examine what you really want in life – then declare it to yourself and to someone else who will hear it and check in from time to time to see how you are doing.
- What is it that you want to accomplish before you die? What is that “one day” conversation you find yourself repeating?
- What is the spirit you want to being to your life each day? Optimistic, pragmatic, curious, adventurous?
- What are the unique gifts that you naturally have to give? Perhaps you are artistic, or you have a great engineering mind. How are you contributing those gifts?
- If your life unfolded in the next 5 years just the way that you wanted it to, where would you be living, what would you be doing, what new projects or goals would you be embarking on?
- Who are the most important people in your life and what are you doing 5 years from now?
It is true, time flies by faster and faster each year. So take that time now to see yourself in your future and write your declarations down – not from your head but from your heart. We all know what we really want but seldom take the time to reflect deeply what is really behind what we want. So, at this time in the peace and quiet grey of winter, look inside and begin to plant the seeds for your future. When we access our feelings about our life and experience the gratitude for the gift called life – we realize that we are the real gatekeepers of our destiny.
Warmest wishes, Barbara