I don't know about you, but I'm late to the planning party this year.
Normally by February, I've engaged in my visioning process for the upcoming year and am on my way to moving toward my goals. This year, however, not so much.
Like so many other folks, 2020 left me feeling deflated and at times just plain stuck. So I've been easing my way into this new year, tending to those feelings with radical self-compassion, while also wrapping my mind around how to set meaningful goals in such uncertain times.
What I've come to is that to make plans, to set goals or intentions or pursue dreams right now, it requires a heightened degree of creativity, flexibility and openness in how these goals are met, as well as how quickly. But that doesn't mean we can't begin moving toward them. In fact, by navigating the process in a more fluid way, we are opening ourselves to opportunity instead of focusing on limiting factors. This is what is often referred to as "growth mindset."
So where to begin? Well, one of the exercises I regularly offer clients (and that I engage in myself), is that of daydreaming. I mean it! Despite what we may have been told as kids, daydreaming is valuable.
One way to engage in this practice is to set aside some quiet time in a comfy space. Ask yourself, what do you want your ideal day or month or year to look like? Shut your eyes and let your imagination do its thing. How do you feel? What spaces are you in? How do you fill your days? What colors, smells, textures, symbols or literal images come to mind?
Another way to begin is by utilizing tarot cards to access your intuition in this planning process. Before shuffling the cards, ask yourself : What is the highest wisdom available to me for the coming year? Note your response to the cards, your own associations and if it feels appropriate you can research the traditional meanings. If tarot is new to you, feel free to check out my blog post about therapeutic tarot.
From here, I suggest externalizing what you envisioned either through writing in detail or creating a visual representation - a drawing, vision board or sculpture are all possibilities. Lately, I've been encouraging clients to utilize Pinterest to make vision boards if they want a more portable vision board to glance at.
Once you've got the vision, the goal setting becomes easier and more fun! For instance, if what you want is to feel energized, take a moment to list out a few enjoyable actions you can take to help cultivate that feeling. If what you want is to travel (and physically that is not possible at the moment), perhaps you are actively putting aside funds to be prepared for when you are able or you're learning a new language or reading about cultures and taking virtual tours.
I will add here that no matter what your goal or intention, it is very helpful to schedule in your action items so your calendar is reflecting the life you're intending to cultivate. Even if it's just a half hour here and 20 minutes there, scheduling activities and tasks that are meaningful to us help create a feeling of living on purpose, with purpose.
As poet Mary Oliver wrote, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
I really do want to know.
Till next time, wishing you health & ease,