Resolutions. Goals. Vision. Change. Growth.
Have you struggled with sticking to resolutions? We often start the new year off with big goals tied to resolutions. According to this Inc.com article, 80% of us that make those resolutions don’t follow through. It’s a great read about the word resolution and it offers another suggestion to create a positive change in your life. I’ll be honest, I’ve been part of this statistic. Many times, I didn’t follow through with resolutions. Go to the gym twice a week – made it 4 weeks in January, then didn’t go back until September. Get organized – worked on the paper clutter for 2 weeks and then dropped it. I have a super power of organizing finances and digital files but stick me in a room of stuff and I’m still a work in progress.
I often focus on one area and then end up feeling pulled in too many directions. Because of this overwhelming feeling, I sought out ways to create lasting, meaningful change. This is still an ongoing research project for myself. Learning, doing, revising, and repeating. The best part is that you can do this any time of year. Beginning, middle, end, and anywhere in between. Here is the latest of what I’ve found to be most helpful in my life. I hope you find it helpful to create a vision for a meaningful life.
Here are the two pieces I’ve found to successfully create change: evaluate where you are now, and create a vision for your life.
If we don’t acknowledge where we are right now (when we’re creating the vision of our most meaningful life), we will miss the mark on how to improve and likely feel more defeated along the way.
Creating a vision shines a light on your path and provides a guiding post as you navigate your days. It helps you frame your days, weeks, and months to create the future you desire. Imagine a big decision coming up about work. Instead of feeling scared, you can feel secure in your decision because you have your vision in front of you to guide the way.
Spokes Of The Life Wheel
I think about my life as a wheel with many spokes. Ideally, our spokes are aligned and we are rolling along smoothly. Often times though, we feel like a flat tire. One or more areas are slowing us down. Over the years, my spokes have grown from a few to many. Review my list and see if they fit with you or create your own.
- Marriage/Romantic relationship
- Family (kids, parents, siblings)
- Spiritual (God, universe, higher power, insert your own belief system)
- Physical Health
- Mental health
- Self care, joy, fun
Write out all your spokes. Take some time to think about each one. Ask yourself these questions:
- How this is important to me
- What do I value most about this
- How this inspires me and brings me joy
- What do I want to see more of in this
- If I had a magic wand, what would I change about this
Then rate them 1-10.
In my opinion, creating a vision is more important than goals or the word of the year. Once you lay out your vision, the goals and words will become more clear. I think of a vision as a map and compass with goals as the landmarks and words as the roads that take you on your route. When challenges come up, you can effectively make choices by reviewing your map and each of the pieces.
Now that we have evaluated our spokes and the significance of each one, we can begin to craft our vision. Did any word pop up repeatedly when you thought about the spokes? Compassion, grace, understanding, cooperation, empowerment. Those are a few of my words. I challenged myself to think in terms of improvement, without using don’t or stop. For example, instead of saying “don’t fight” or “stop beating yourself up,” I chose to reframe with “work together” and “extend yourself grace and kindness.”
Imagine each spoke in 5 years. How do you want to feel about each one? Write it down and think without parameters. Don’t limit yourself based on today’s constraints. Just write and dream and craft your vision.
My friend, Betsy talks about a bit about the exercise of expanding into what is possible on her podcast. It really encouraged me to dream without parameters, to breathe life into my dreams no matter how big or small, silly or serious. Check out the episode here.
In the crafting section, we jumped ahead 5 years. Now we have to take a step back and think about how it would feel if each of the spokes was 1 or 2 better. Like climbing the ladder of life and moving up 1 or 2 rungs. I desire to get to the top but need to be in each moment that takes me along each single rung.
In this next 6 months or year, I want to move each spoke up by 1. How can I do that? This is how I frame my goals. Instead of focusing on this giant vision, I can focus on the daily steps I can take to move just 1 step forward. When we use our vision as a map and lay out the goals as landmarks, it becomes easier to visualize the next steps. Each day when you are presented with a decision, you can look at your map and landmark and ask will this take me closer to my landmark or further away. When we focus on using that lens, the decisions become a little clearer. And sometimes, there is no easy or right decision. And that is ok too.
I hope this helps you create a meaningful vision for a life full of joy and happiness!
One Of My Goals
So you can see my process in real time, here is one of my spokes turned vision turned goal.
Spoke – marriage
- How this marriage is important to me – the commitment to each other and our family
- What do I value most about my marriage/husband- being together and enjoying life, the way we work together, his love and acceptance, his humor, his commitment to provide for our family
- How this inspires me and brings me joy – his trust and support and how he makes us all laugh
- What do I want to see more of – more connection, communication, and fun
- If I had a magic wand, what would I change – remove the irritation and overwhelm of the daily grind so we could fully appreciate and love each other
Rating – 5
Vision – Wake up each morning to have coffee and breakfast together. Kiss and hug on our way out for the day. Exchange love notes during the day. Discuss family and projects with inspiration and love. Have weekly date nights where we have fun and enjoy some special time. Share all our dreams and desires. Work together to make them happen.
Goal – Connect daily and have monthly dates nights to incorporate more fun and dreams in our lives.
Daily implementation ideas – Send loving note or say something kind to him everyday. Be on the look out for different local spots to dine at or activities to try for a date night. Ask him about his day. Find out more about his dreams and desires. Listen to his jokes. Apologize when I’ve been mean. Share my progress and shifts I’ve made.
A friend of mine, Juliette wrote a great article with more prompts and ideas on how to create a vision. You can find that here.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of The We Spot, its employees, sponsors, or affiliates.