Welcome to a new year and a new decade!
What are you doing to start the new year off on the right foot?
I’ve talked to a lot of people who use January to “detox” their lives. Some go sober, some do food challenges like Whole 30, some purge their homes of clutter and excess belongings.
I’m all for hitting the reset button, but what happens after January? If you’re trying to accomplish something more long term or deeper, now is a great time to create a vision for how you want 2020 to be.
The first step is actually to look back before we look forward. Last month, we focused on the importance of reflection and celebration when looking back on the past year. What were your biggest successes and what were the biggest lessons? Using this information from the past, we begin to envision our future.
The second step is examining your motivation. Ask yourself, “Am I moving away from something or moving toward something?” It is a subtle difference, but it influences your progress in a big way.
Moving away means that you are reacting to your present circumstance.
Moving toward something means that you are not just reacting to your circumstance. Rather than focusing on what you don’t want, you focus on what you do. This requires more effort but yields much better results.
While moving away can get you started, people often get stuck there. Imagine that you are swimming laps. Pushing off the wall can only propel you so far. Eventually, you have to start swimming to make progress.
Let me take you through the process of switching from a negative, moving away perspective to a positive, moving toward perspective.
One technique that I use with my clients to shift their motivation is positive visualization.
You are already an expert at visualization. Unfortunately, it’s usually negative. We create worst-case scenarios in vivid detail, kind of like a horror movie.
Lisa is a mother of three who is ready to begin working outside the home after a 10 year absence. She knew she did not want to return to her previous employment because she required more flexibility and it was not her passion. Thus, her initial motivation was moving away from her current status quo.
She chose a new career path that requires her to take a class and several tests to obtain her license in the field. This is where she got stuck. Lisa was creating a series of stories all focused on a dreaded negative outcome: she might not pass the test.
First, we had to stop the horror movie by using some reality-testing. Lisa was a competent student in the past and was able retake the test until she passed.
Next, we began creating a new movie, one focused on success. The key to creating a powerful success story is to make it as detailed as the horror movies. We visualized what she would wear to the test, practiced calming techniques so that she would feel relaxed and confident, and focused on how good it would feel to get the results.
Next, we got very clear on what Lisa is moving toward. What would make this a success for her? While she wanted to contribute to the household income and take some of the financial burden from her husband, she wasn’t really motivated by the extra income. Instead, we focused on what she could do with the money, like paying for a trip to Disneyland. This was pretty good, but it still wasn’t her true motivation.
When we began talking about her relationship with her daughter, a deeper meaning of success came to light. Her “BIG WHY” was being a role model for her daughter. Starting a new career, taking risks, working hard to learn something new, struggling and succeeding were are valuable examples to set for her daughter. Lisa began visualizing telling her daughter that she passed the test, celebrating her first sale with her daughter, her daughter’s joy on that Disney vacation. This became her new motivation.
Now it is your turn! How do you envision your 2020? Which specific details do you notice when creating your vision? Are you moving away from something or moving toward something? What is your version of success? How does it make you feel? Who will be with you? Where will you be? Why does this change matter? These are the type of questions most vital to positive visualization.
Focus on the best outcomes, not the worst-case scenario. When you make your success story as detailed and visceral as your horror movie, you can bring your vision in to reality.
If you feel that you could benefit from more guidance related to creating your own vision for 2020, I encourage you to schedule a clarity call. Let’s dive deeper together!
Here’s to a wonderful and prosperous New Year!