Once the pine needles and cinnamon scented candles are cleared away, our thoughts may well turn to the tempting idea of a new start in the new year, to changes being made and to projects finally undertaken. (I have my own list of goals or resolutions or outcomes, one of which is to celebrate an important birthday every day, all year long.)
How do we turn dreams into reality? It’s actually crucial to spend time daydreaming about what life will be like once we have what we really want because that necessarily brings us closer to the reality. When opportunities come into view, we are able to recognise them. Walt Disney, that great dreamer and achiever, called this “imagineering”.
But there are pitfalls lurking in the New Year resolution list? The danger is either that we make too many resolutions and run out of energy before the end of January or conversely, that we put off making the changes that will make the difference to us.
Here’s a checklist for testing each of your goals or resolutions; if you can’t answer the questions, it may be that this particular goal should be reconsidered, postponed or –dare I say it – binned.
ARE YOU POSITIVE? Can you state your goal positively in the present tense?
“I’m definitely going to lose weight this year “
“I am enjoying two sessions of exercise and eating healthily six days a week”
ARE YOU FOR REAL? If you could really have it, would you take it?
“Well, I’d like to spend more time with the family but I can never get away from the office.”
“I really want to spend two evenings with the children so I have planned changes to the way I work.”
WHERE’S YOUR EVIDENCE? How will you know when you have what you’re aiming for? How will it feel, look, sound?
“I’ll manage my finances better this year”
“When my turnover hits the projected £500,000, I’ll know that my business is sustainable. I will see the results on the balance sheet/I will feel very satisfied/I will hear good reports from my accountant”
WHO’S IN CHARGE? Is the change within your control?
“When my partner gets his/her act together, I’ll be so much happier”
“Now that I know what it is I want, I can take the next steps”
If every journey starts with a single step maybe it really is time to get those walking shoes on…