I recently had lunch with a friend who was unhappy with her current life circumstances now that her children had grown and left home, but she didn’t have any experience in exploring what she’d like to do in this next chapter of her life. Our chat came around to a couple of guidebooks that have been exceedingly helpful to me over the years. My friend has undertaken this journey of exploration in 2020. I hope you will find these tools helpful as well! Happy goal-setting!
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Julia's twelve-week course is designed to teach artistic and spiritual recovery by guiding you to listen to your inner artist, recover your sense of identity and power, and build compassion, strength and independence. Her tools will help you explore excuses and establish intention to make healthy changes that will nudge you along your authentic journey.
12 Days of Christmas for Writers with Julie Hedlund.
I love this 12-day ritual developed to evaluate the year coming to a close, celebrate and build on our successes, and let go of the things that didn’t quite work out the way we hoped they might. Julie starts her videos and exercises each December 26th, and you can sign up on her email list to receive a new video/exercise each morning. But fear not! It’s never too late to do these exercises. You can find her videos on Vimeo and catch up any week of the year. And be sure to get on her mailing list for December 2020!
The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz was first published in 1959. This is a gigantic overview of dreaming big and goal-setting--the ultimate bucket-list creator!
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Originally published in 1989, this book remains a hallmark for defining and living one’s life with intention and purpose. Start with the end in mind and build your life with consciousness.
Welcome to 2020 and the great expanse of fresh new days and small and big adventures yet to be realized. And it’s a Leap Year! Let us not squander the gift of an extra day.
New Years blogs and goal-setting advice abound but what’s most important as you set off to define your 2020 goals and aspirations is that you are clear about yourneeds and desires and that you don’t get caught up in the races other people are running. Determine your race. Set the training schedule accordingly for your journey, not anyone else’s. And once you set your plan, run your race. Pretty simple, right? It should be. But we’re human. And it’s easy to get caught up in what we think we should do instead of what we want to do.
Goal-setting is a solitary pleasure. Note my choice of the word pleasure. It truly is a joyful task. Each January I look forward to establishing and revising my “rolling” five-year goals as well as my annual and quarterly plans. I rarely attain everything I set off to do but that’s okay. I have a much better chance of living intentionally with my trusty roadmap in the glove box. Sometimes life forces me to take detours, and other times I choose to meander along the scenic route. Regardless of where life directs me, there is much joy in the journey.
So as you contemplate the year ahead, take joy. Carve out a space of solitude, pour a glass of sparkling cider or steam up a mug of hot chocolate, pull out a fresh pad of paper, and brainstorm what you would like from the days and months ahead.
For more blogs, check out Francine's past blogs on goal setting and other writing topics at www.24carrotwriting.com.