I love the New Year, the fresh start and the chance to dream and scheme about the year ahead. But before jumping into setting my specific goals for 2017, I’ll be asking myself the following questions. Maybe you'll want to consider some of these too?
What would you do if you won the lottery? I love this question and use it with all of my new coaching clients. It’s surprising how everyone can answer it right away. Apparently we’ve all been dreaming about winning the lottery. And I’ve heard all kinds of answers: quit my job (I hear this one a lot), start my own company, go back to school, sell the house, move to a different city, stop working to spend more time with my kids, become an artist are just a few. Of course I don’t advocate that clients immediately do any of those things without thinking them through, but we do collaborate on ways to take steps in the direction of their dreams. You don’t need to win the lottery to sign up for an art class, talk to your boss about scaling back your work hours, or call a realtor to see what your house is worth. Perhaps your answer to this question could inspire some smaller, more achievable goals for 2017.
Who are you and what are you doing here? I recently heard the ancient story of a Rabbi named Akiva on Rob Bell’s Podcast, The Robcast (great name for a podcast, right?). In the story the Rabbi wanders into a village and is asked by a roman soldier “Who are you and what are you doing here?”. Intrigued the rabbi offers to pay the man even more to come to his home and ask him this question every morning. Rob tells the story WAY better than I do, you can listen to him tell it here: http://robbell.podbean.com/e/episode-128-i-may-vacuum-out-my-car-tomorrow/ It’s a deep question to ponder for sure.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? This question is actually the last sentence of the Mary Oliver poem, The Summer Day. I don’t know the whole poem by heart, but I know that last sentence. It really asks you to dream bigger than “lose 10 pounds”, you know? You can read the whole poem here: https://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/133.html
I Feel Most Alive When______? I love Dr Robert Holden’s work on success, happiness and love. I’ve had the opportunity to attend some of his training programs and he’s often asking thought provoking open-ended questions. I feel most alive when____ , is my favorite. The answers are usually really simple things that cost little to nothing; dancing, listening to live music, stargazing, etc. Imagine 2017 having more of the things that make you feel most alive. You can learn more about Robert’s work here: http://www.robertholden.org/
If you could accomplish just one thing this year, what would be it? In a world of responsibilities, to-do’s, should’s and must-do's, the New Year planning process can be overwhelming. Ask yourself this question and get laser-focused on where you really want to direct your wild and precious life in 2017!