Thursday, January 17, 2019

Bring Your Letter to Life!

Earlier this month I invited you to write a letter that describes 2019 in detail—your best year yet! If you haven't written your letter, do it now. You might have noticed in the past couple blog posts, I ask you to do something, then I build on this in the next post. Creating the life you want takes action. You can’t watch from the sidelines. So if you're playing catch up on an assignment, that’s okay. Just do it now.

Once you know what you want to happen in 2019, what are you going to do about it? How do you turn a dream into reality? How do you make the uncertain, more certain? Answer: Use your letter to inspire action.

Jonathan Fields, author of Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance, says, "When you are driven by a calling or a deeply personal quest and you allow that calling to inspire action, you live in the world differently. You do a thousand little things you've never done before. You act and interact with more confidence and vitality….You begin to radiate the quest. You come alive." This is how your letter comes to life!

To get started, choose one thing from your letter that really matters to you. Then ask, "To accomplish this dream, what actions will I take?" I suggest beginning with an ambition that's creative and fun. If losing weight has been on your list for the past decade, save that for later, after you've built up some momentum. Experience the power of the letter to inspire action, and then use this fuel to help you achieve the more challenging goals.

In my letter, I wrote, "Because I was intentional about putting friendships on project status I have a group of people who I can easily reach out to. It's wonderful! And just what I needed. I knew I had to do something or else go through life lonely." This quest has inspired me to reach out to people, invite them to lunch or dinner, and be more open and vulnerable. Or as Fields states, "do a thousand little things you've never done before."

I've reread my letter multiple times. Partly because it's fun to imagine the life I wrote about and partly because it reveals what I need to do to make it a reality. I'm holding myself accountable to achieve these plans. Not from obligation, but from inspiration. I'm pledging to my future self a best year yet!

Copyright 2019. Patrice Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 11, 2019

What Do I Really Want This Year?

Last month I guided you through an exercise that brought closure to 2018. If you haven't done it yet, I encourage you to do it now (click here) before you start preparing for 2019. Without reflection, your future will be more difficult to bring into focus.

Next, imagine it is one year from today. You have paused to reflect on the past 365 days and to celebrate what an amazing year it has been. Consider the following questions:

If this were my best year yet, how would it look?
What would have happened?
What would I have achieved?

Now, write a letter to yourself describing the highlights of 2019 AS IF they have already happened. Write in the present tense. For example, this is how I started my letter: "Wow! What a year it has been. I've never felt more engaged, more enlivened, more richly satisfied than how I feel now." Then I described why I felt this way.

As I was writing, and obviously enjoying the experience, my husband asked, "What are you working on?" I explained it was a letter to myself, dated one year from today that reveals everything I want for 2019. He rolled his eyes. I can guess what that means. Patrice is doing her dreaming thing again. Forewarning: Even the people who love you most might think your dreaming is, well, dreaming. Don't let this discourage you. This is your one true life, so start writing!

Once you’ve written your letter, read it over and answer the following questions:

To accomplish this dream, what actions will I take?
What mindset will I embrace?
What is this vision calling me to become?”

Now that you have a script for 2019, take action to transform your dreams to reality. Make this your best year yet! 

NOTE: You might believe that just thinking about what you want for the year is as effective as writing it down. It's not. Research reveals writing down your goals and aspirations increases the chance of them coming to fruition. Telling a few people about your goals will further increase the likelihood of achieving them. So write and report!