The New Year is coming up fast, and with each New Year, millions of people worldwide make New Year’s resolutions…that are not kept, or at least, not for long. Don’t fall into this trap of disappointing yourself (and possibly others) again this year. You’ve no doubt been there, done that, and it doesn’t feel good. In fact, it makes you feel bad — maybe even hopeless — and tears down your self-confidence. Here’s how to make the upcoming year and beyond your best, most fulfilling future possible.
Take a bit of you time, some quiet time before the New Year, get out a hearty size pad and pen and get ready to design a better life for yourself.
It goes without saying that life is tough, and if you’re not living the life you want, it’s up to you to get tough too and change that. It starts with you, no matter what your circumstances. You may feel trapped in a life not of your making – yet you did make this life. The decisions you made up till now, the people you strove to please (sometimes subconsciously; in fact, many people live out their lives trying to fulfill their parents’ expectations, which may not be a good fit for you personally, because you are not your parents, you are YOU) – you made your own choices, despite others’ influence, and whether or not you had enough money or time. Take responsibility for where you are in your life now. This is such an important step to your success at what you wish to achieve and acquire, because you need to realize it’s up to you and only you.
New Year’s resolutions are not just for the young who are bursting with dreams and setting goals and perhaps wishing to climb to the top. In fact, resolutions are quite likely even more important to the older set for whom every moment seems more precious. So if you are not as young as you once were, especially if the future looks dim and you cannot muster up enthusiasm, this good news is for you: You are still here; and there is still the opportunity to make your life all it can be, starting right where you are!
Now grab your pad and pen and get ready to create the life of your dreams! First, imagine your ideal life; pretend you’re living it now. If you really do that, you should find yourself smiling by the end of this exercise:
· What does your ideal life look like?
· What do you look like? How’s your image, your health, your fitness?
· What do you do for a living? How much money do you make in your ideal world?
· Where do you live?
· Do you have a mate, and what are they like? If you already do, could that relationship be better? Or would you prefer someone else because what you’ve got going now is just not making you happy and is not going to continue to work long-term?
· What is your family like and how are the dynamics in your ideal family? Needless to say, everyone should all get along and, even better, love each other. Sometimes this may seem impossible – but what if it weren’t? What if you could get along with your family and everyone could feel the love and bond that a good family should be able to enjoy – without drama? How can you start to make this happen? This will be a separate exercise – but don’t put it off – during which you will write down every member of your family and forgive them for whatever they did to you (or whatever you think they did to you). Often we jump to conclusions without checking in with the other person, and alienation results. But family is your roots: honor your family. Gathering your family back together in a state of love and frequent communication can make for a happier life.
· What are your friends like? Do you have enough? Do you have at least one “best friend”? “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket;” friendships can change and dissolve because people change and circumstances change. It’s good to have a few close friends to whom you can turn. And it’s also good to have a group of friends so you can get out there and run with the pack sometimes. Ideally, you should have friends (real friends with whom you can have deep, personal conversations and a mutual caring for each other) and allies in every facet of your life: in your personal life, at work and in whatever groups to which you belong.
· How’s your social/cultural life? If you live in a big city like Chicago, there is something to do every day or night of the week, so many places to check out, so much to experience. Even in small towns, there are special events. Show up! In the wilderness, there is a world of nature to explore. Don’t miss the party; live life fully!
· What do you like to do? What did you used to like to do? What did you enjoy as a child, as a teen, as a young adult? You should be doing all these things currently!
· What is your spiritual life like? What are your beliefs? They should serve you and the greater good. While you’re at it, resolve your fear of death. We’ve all got this problem, but there are some folks who have managed to dispel that fear. If they can, so can you. Imagine how nice it would feel to be free of this fear!
· Finally: Why are you here? Time for some soul searching. What is your purpose? Or at least, what do you think it is? Better yet, what would you like it to be. Start there. Start fulfilling it TODAY.
Your ideal life is now on paper. In the next article in this three-part series, you will find the impetus to get going on bringing your ideal life to life.