Alright, let’s get down to it. The new year is here, heck, it’s the start of a new decade (okay, this is relative depending if you are on team 0 or 1). We are basking in the glow of a “fresh start”.
Every year, January brings renewed optimism for change, for a better life, for a better you. And that’s a wonderful thing.
It’s wonderful, because this fresh start gives us a chance to reinvent our lives and ourselves. It allows us to reinvigorate ourselves, to shed the baggage of the previous year and do anything. Anything is possible!
That is a gift, my friends, and I suggest we make the most of this gift. Not just by creating and sticking to resolutions, but by reinventing the way we live.
Wow, I just felt a bit of overwhelm with a topping of anxiety come across me. Anything…!! That is so broad, but true. However just like a kid with a new magnifying glass, you truly see the power the heat of the sun can do when it’s focused. So, let’s focus.
K.I.S.S. (Keep It Succinctly Simple)
Something I always remind myself about when feeling a bit of overwhelm is to keep it simple. Einstein stated; “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
We may be experiencing a bit of clutter and what do you do when you have a cluttered desk you start by clearing it off. One of my favorite authors, Dan Millman of the Peaceful Warrior series, wrote about the three truths in life. Paradox, humor and change.
- Paradox – Life is a mystery; don’t waste your time trying to figure it out. We cannot have joy without experiencing sadness. Without challenge, no triumph. Without war, there could be no peace. When you see or experience great adversity in your life — see it for what it is — a test. What can you learn from the previous year? What worked, what didn’t. Simple as that, there is no hidden meaning, except the one we make up.
- Humor – Keep a sense of humor, especially about yourself. It is a strength beyond all measure. We do this when we are kids. Everything is play, in work and in life. Find the humor to keep things in perspective.
- Change – Know that nothing ever stays the same. Holding onto something is often what holds you back. Weather changes. Seasons change. Relationships change. Countries, borders, governments, leaders, laws, cultures, habitats, products, habits, customs, thoughts, bodies – everything you can think of changes.
Getting clear on my vision – Live on purpose instead of by accident
Once you learn and let go of your past self you allow room for your vision of yourself to grow. This is the bigger picture, your life’s vision defines who you want to be, what you want to be known for and the set of experiences and accomplishments you aim for.
I’m talking about YOUR vision. Not that of your parents, spouse, kids, teachers, the media, the government, friends, the neighbor, the pet… YOURS.
Believe it or not, you have the right to choose your vision. And you can make it a reality.
If you struggle to know what you really want out of life, remember that it’s not about finding one vision for the rest of your life. Visions can change frequently, just focus on what pulls your right now. A vision also requires us to expand our horizons and look in directions that we may not have previously looked, so being open minded is key.
Answer these questions to help you get clear on YOUR vision
- Who do you want to be (this is different from ‘what do you want to do’)?
- What would you do if you weren’t afraid of failing at it?
- What things that inspire and interest you do you want to experience frequently?
- Which of your strengths do you want to use every day?
- What kind of people and relationships do you want around you?
- What places do you want to be in?
- What impact do you want to have on people around you, or even the wider world?
- What experiences do you want to have, personally and professionally?
- What health and wealth do you want to have?
- What do you want to be known and remembered for?
- How do you want to feel about your life?
Perhaps you have some more questions of your own.
A lot of these answers won’t come from the conditioned mind, so meditate or do anything that helps clear your mind. Think outside the box, remove your limitations, be curious and don’t be afraid to ‘get it wrong’. Just follow what inspires and excites you.
Whatever comes up, write it down, draw it, have fun with it and be creative, you could even collage it as a vision board.
Your true vision does not exist within the confines of your fears and limitations, it’s always found outside of that.
Go small or go home…
I see your face; you might be asking yourself. Isn’t the saying “go big or go home”? Yes, that is one way to look at it. However, by going small we create little wins and successes. How do climb a mountain? One step at a time.
How can you break that BIG vision into smaller more doable pieces? Here is an example…
Say you want to be healthier. This is very broad, lets start narrowing it down. Changing your diet will help you reach your health goals. What is one thing you can replace this week with something that is healthier? Each time that you are successful in the substitution give yourself some praise, a pat on the back, tell your best friend, celebrate a little.
This can work with anything. How can you break your vision up into small, bite size, specific goals? If something doesn’t work, it is alright, you learned, maybe make it smaller or save it for later (you may not be ready for that step yet).
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I would love to hear your feedback or how this may have helped you. Be like water my friends.
Michael Kraeuter is currently the head coach of the Ashburn Village BLUE WAVE Swim Team and recently studied to be a Human Potential Coach. As a Human Potential Coach, he helps people achieve their goals, realize their potential and upgrade their bodies, mind & life. In his spare time you can find him practicing Yoga or swimming to help keep his mind, body & spirit in check.