It’s the beginning of the year, and there are lots of articles, columns and posts about setting resolutions. I shared one yesterday on TheMuse.com; “5 Career-Boosting New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Actually Want to Keep”.
These are very simple – and actionable – ideas that will give you impetus to make changes, without overwhelming you as you begin the New Year. After all, you want your resolutions to help create success, not set you up to fail.
But if you want to try something new…
If you are great at making, and keeping resolutions, you’re in good shape. However, if you’re looking for another alternative to create a vision for your year, I’ve got an idea for you.
It’s simple: Write yourself a letter dated one year from today. Using the past tense, describe all the things you accomplished in 2016. Put it away and open it in a year. Notice what happens!
I was introduced to this process by my good friend Sandy Shipley. She conducts journaling workshops, and finds that writing about your future in the past tense creates a powerful, subliminal call to action. Her students are often surprised at how what they wrote in their letters actually came to pass.
Unlike traditional resolutions, you’re not making a commitment of what you will do. You’re telling the story about what you already did as a way to set intentions for the year ahead.
Ready? Here are the steps you can take to create your own Past Tense Future Vision for 2016:
1. Date your page one year from the date you write such as January 5, 2017.
2. Write a description of your 2016 in the past tense. Use action verbs such as these:
In 2016 I achieved …
In 2016 I acquired …
In 2016 I began …
In 2016 I created …
In 2016 I experienced …
In 2016 I learned …
In 2016 I found …
In 2016 I met …
3. In writing your descriptions, be sure to include the Four Areas of Life:
- Right Place (including both home and work)
4. In your descriptions, get a real sense of what you’ve already accomplished by describing where you are, what you look like, whom you are with, and how you feel.
5. When complete, put your letter in an envelope addressed to yourself. Put it in a safe place to be opened one year from today.
I used this process last year on a couple of key intentions I had, and I found it a powerful process.
Now I’m doing it again for 2016. I’ll be sealing my letter tonight and opening it a year from now.
Will you join me?
Let me know if you write a Past Tense Future Vision for 2016. I’d love to check back with you in a year and see what happened!
In the mean time, I wish you good health and happiness in 2016!