This Monthly Habit Will Help You Live A Life You Want To Experience
At work in our professional lives we have business goals, targets, KPIs we are heading to during the year.
But rarely we look at our life as a whole and start to draw a vision for the upcoming season. It seems that we are stumbling around in our own life and get surprised when we find ourselves running in circles and making the same resolutions again and again without making a difference.
My life this year – keep planning simple
Instead of our general and well-known resolutions we can start with making a draft picture for the next year. Often we resist to make another detailed plan regarding our personal life, because we do not want more tasks, responsibilities and scheduling in our days. We have enough of them at work. And that is ok.
Life is not about tasks. It is about experiences, engagement and choices.
So, if you choose to look ahead, you can imagine what life you would like to live this year by asking these questions:
What would I like to experience in my life this year?
What are the important parts/roles of my life?
What would I like to give and get regarding these fields?
What footprint would I like to leave in my family/friends/work/… this year?
What am I interested about?
What new things would I like to try out?
In which fields would I like to gain inspirations?
How these last three questions are connected to the different fields of my life?
One outstanding side-effect of this process is that you start to integrate your personal and work life. You start to bring your different roles and plans together around the same table.
You can keep it simple. Take a paper and some nice colored pens and start to organize your thoughts aligned with your interests or roles. You can draw a mind map, or write some bullet points about your plans and group them into focus areas.
Making this plan does not consequently imply definite and huge changes in your life. Maybe, as you think through and plan your next year you finally come to the surprising conclusion that you are satisfied with most of the areas of your life. And you only want to bring about a change in one specific field.
It is important to keep in mind that this should not be a task list. It does not have to contain dates and deadlines. You can choose to decide that you are going to focus on some of the areas in the first half of the year, and some of them are left for the second half. But it’s not necessary: you should only do it if it helps you to organize your actions.
Remember, it is a map expressing your visions in a structured way to guide you through the year and remind you what you want to experience in your life.
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My life this month – keep it even simpler
After you created your vision for the next year, you should ensure that you do not lose sight of it. To make this happen, the next step is to make a plan for the upcoming month.
The method is the same that you used when imagining the whole year. Start with having the picture of the year in mind and continue with the following questions:
What would I like to experience in my life this month?
What are going to be my main focus areas in this month?
What are going to be my main activities inside my focus areas?
Sometimes we have too many interesting plans, ideas and desires waiting to come true. And we often fail to choose from them, saying: ‘These other ones are important for me too.’ As a result, we do not make a definite choice to highlight some focus areas, time passes and we find ourselves have not started any of our plans.
We can put an end to it with this monthly habit.
Again, you can keep it simple. Grab a pen and a paper, and organize your thoughts in the way you did before. Then repeat it at the beginning of every month. After the second month it’s worth to review the plans of the former weeks and see if there is anything you can borrow from that month.
It’s not necessary to find and carry out something extraordinary every month.
It can also be a reasonable goal to accomplish regular and standard tasks this month, because it’s time to gain some practice in them by disciplined execution. By dedicating time each month to focus on your life you become able to keep yourself on track.
Creating your plans increases your self-awareness regarding what you want from life. And even if you do not pull your notes out during the whole month, those moments can be enough to get you back in the driver seat of your life.
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Review and Revise
Remember, it is not a task list, your notes are for your inspiration.
So keep it flexible.
At the end of the month you may find that you haven’t done all the things you planned. And this can be ok. You can spend some time to understand why you’ve chosen to skip some things that you had planned by asking these questions:
Are they still important to me?
Do I want to move them forward to the next month?
What else have I done instead of them?
Was it a good deal?
You can revise your yearly plan as well, if changes in your life indicate it. None of them are carved in stone.
Your plans and visions are just to serve your focus, inspiration and engagement.
What’s in it for me?
In our everyday rush we often complain about not having time for this or that. But we spend our time anyway and often
we are waiting for the perfect moment to start making our dreams come true,
we are waiting for the right time to start living up to our personal mission,
we are waiting for the opportunity to come, when we can start to live our life.
Good news. The opportunity for living your life has come. You are alive, so it is right here, right now. Start to live the life you aim to.
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