DEAR READERS: Happy new year! Happy new decade! Have you thought about it? This year we are not only celebrating a new year, but we are stepping into a brand-new decade. The potential for each of us is enormous. I always look at the coming of the new year with hope and conviction. It is a blessing to wake up and face the world one more day. Somehow that blessing feels bigger when the new year comes around.
How can we make it bigger in our own lives? By being conscious and intentional in our thoughts, words and deeds. Too often, people stumble into the day, waking up late, rushing to get to a meeting, engagement or activity on time, attempting to avoid being late.
What if you took a different approach? What if you made the choice to get up a little earlier, carve out some quiet time to reflect on your plans, then execute your day? Allowing yourself a few minutes of peace to gather your thoughts and set your intention can make a the difference in how productive you are.
Since it is a new decade, you can also consider a two-track approach to your life. Write down your goals and objectives each day for your day-to-day responsibilities and desires. Then write a second list that includes your big-picture thinking. What are the goals that you want to fulfill this year and perhaps even over 10 years? What are your big ideas?
To unlock those ideas, I believe in meditation and vision boarding. Sit down for a few minutes a day and quietly ask yourself what’s on your heart. What do you want to do with your life? Breathe deeply and get as still as you can so that you can listen to the voice inside as it reveals information to you. Whatever comes up, write it down. Don’t judge. Just look at your harvest of ideas and notice if anything stands out.
Next, create a vision board. It sounds hard, but it’s not! Get a piece of cardboard and pull out some old newspapers, magazines or other visual material. Look through them and pick out words and images that speak to your dreams. Cut them out and put them on your board. Add words and phrases as they come to you. Place them on your board.
When you feel that you are finished, review your work and notice what you have created. This is where your big vision lies. From this vision board, create a tangible list of steps that you think will help you to manifest your big idea(s). The more specific and detailed you get in terms of steps, the more likely you will fulfill your dreams.
If you keep your two lists active and you look at them EVERY DAY, you will see results over time. Commit to spending one hour per day on your progress, and you will be amazed at how far you can get. This type of resolution is for a lifetime, not just the start of a year, which means that if you have days that you don’t pay attention, you just start again. Don’t think failure, think success. Ask yourself if you deserve to be successful. If so, recommit whenever you feel that you have been distracted. Keep track of your progress, and revel in each small victory!
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)