One Simple Exercise To Help You Succeed in The New Year
By Sukh Singh, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International
“Create an environment in your life that is conducive to the nourishment of your personal growth. Allow yourself to let go of the people, thoughts, and situations that poison your well-being. Cultivate a vibrant surrounding and commit yourself to making choices that will help you release the greatest expression of your unique beauty and purpose.”
– Steve Maraboli
At this time, you may be beginning to think about the year ahead and the year just gone. In setting goals and trying to create a plan, we can however try to do too much and end up overwhelming ourselves with a list of goals longer than the Great Wall of China!
In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers (inspired by his father's work for adults), Sean Covey gives a very simple, easy-to-digest visualisation exercise that I find grounds me and guides me to get very clear on what's most important to me. Before you read this, make sure you have a couple of minutes to really absorb what's being said and that there are no distractions. You'll really appreciate it when you do...
Here's some relaxing music to help you...
"Do you have a clear picture of who you want to be one year from now? Five years from now?...I'm not talking about deciding every little detail of your future...I'm simply talking about thinking beyond today and deciding what direction you want to take with your life, so that each step you take is always in the right direction...
Don't worry about your friends, your family, or that zit on your forehead. Just focus with me, breathe deeply and open your mind.
In your mind's eye, visualise someone walking towards you about half a block away. At first you can't see who it is. As this person gets closer and closer, you suddenly realise, believe it or not, that it's you. But it's not you today, it's you as you would like to be one year from now.
Now think deeply.
What have you done with your life over the past year?
How do you feel inside?
What do you look like?
What characteristics do you possess? (Remember, this is you as you would like to be one year from now.)
You can float back to reality now. If you were a good sport and tried this experiment, you probably got in touch with your deeper self. You got a feel for what's important to you and what you'd like to accomplish this next year. That's called beginning with the end in mind. And it doesn't even hurt."
Give it a go...and even if you don't see things clearly, what's great about this exercise is that you can come back to it again and again. You can even start asking your future self questions like, "what are you proud of?", and "what makes you happy?". In a sense, you are getting the chance to mentor yourself!