Time Travel instead of New Year’s resolutions: Three questions to help you live a more rewarding and meaningful year | HerCanberra

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Time Travel instead of New Year’s resolutions: Three questions to help you live a more rewarding and meaningful year

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Sticking with New Year’s resolutions can be a bit hit and miss.

Our commitment and motivation understandably wane as ‘normal life’ swings into gear. However, we can set ourselves up for a more rewarding and meaningful year, and give ourselves the best chance at achieving our goals, if we connect with the deeper meaning behind our resolutions.

When we do this, we can access a deep reservoir of resilience and momentum to help us stay on track when we face the inevitable bumps along the way.

It all starts with choosing resolutions (or goals) that align with your values, and that have real meaning for you. Three questions and a bit of time travel help us do just that.

In this short exercise, we’re going to imagine ourselves at the end of the year. From there, we reverse engineer goals for ourselves, and importantly we also identify and connect with the feelings and meaning behind those goals.

This is a great exercise to do over a cuppa in the morning or as a journaling exercise. Allow yourself to really sink into the imagined scenario and feel the associated feelings that come up.

So hop in your time machine (phonebooth or DeLorean, it’s all good) and jump ahead to New Year’s Eve 2022.

Imagine yourself waking up on the last day of 2022, reflecting back on your year as it comes to a close, and ask yourself the following questions:

“How do you want to feel as you look back on 2022?”

Perhaps you’d like to feel satisfaction, pride, or a deep sense of joy.

“What are some key achievements from the year that you’re most proud of or that really stand out?”

Focus on achievements that you can control, e.g., ‘was brave and went to audition’ rather than ‘got starring role’.

“Why were those achievements important to you? What did they mean to you and the kind of person you want to be?”

Dig deeper into your answer by repeating the question ‘why?’ and interrogating further.

Repeating ‘why?’ five times is effective for revealing the core of issues—in this case, the value and meaning behind your goal.

Once you’ve completed the exercise, choose 1-2 achievements to be your goals for the year, noting why they are important to you.  You may even wish to write them on a post-it and pop them in a prominent place such as on your computer screen, to keep them front of mind.

When I did this exercise, I noticed that some of my achievements held meaning because they involved overcoming some sort of personal hurdle. This is the rub with personal growth and living your best life—it involves doing hard, and sometimes scary, things.

So to best position yourself to stay on track during those more difficult times, commit to memory the feeling you wish to have on New Year’s Eve 2022. This is your pathway to connect with the deeper sense of satisfaction, meaning, and joy behind your goals.

We will all encounter difficulties and stumbling blocks on the path towards our goals, but if we can take a pause and reconnect to that feeling and the meaning behind those goals, we can more easily navigate the hurdles and stay on track for a better 2022.

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