I try to take some time between Christmas and New Year’s Day for reflection – I set my intentions for the new year, go over my core values to see if they align with my life (and if there are others that need to be a higher priority), and write some things on my “Want To Do” list. Hint: You don’t have to wait for a new year to do this. It can be done anytime.
Despite COViD, 2021 was a fairly good year for me. Sure, there were some difficult times – a partner in ICU for over 2 weeks for one, but there were other good things to balance it out. How was it for you?
If it wasn’t the greatest (and loss was not part of the reason, because that’s a different story), it may be time to do some evaluation. If you’re feeling stuck, unhappy or unfulfilled, I urge you to answer the following questions. Take some time to sit with your thoughts. These prompts are written to tap into your wants, needs, desires, and dreams. Have fun with them and discover what you can add to your life that will make it happier and more fulfilling. (If you’ve gone through my Meaningful Midlife Makeover Kit, some of these will be familiar, but still take some time to answer them. You might be surprised.) Hint: You don’t have to wait for a new year to do this. It can be done anytime.
- What are the top 3 things you’ve always wanted to do?
- If you could spend today doing whatever you desired, what would it be? Let your mind go. It could be something related to your work, your home, or something entirely unrelated. Start by how you would like to awaken in the morning, what you would eat for breakfast, and with whom (or no one) and then visualize the rest of your day.
- Where do you really want to live? Big city? Suburbs? Country? And what type of residence? Perhaps you’re already fulfilling this passion and you do live in your true first choice. If not, ponder the possibilities of moving to a place you’ll love.
- Where would you like to visit? Perhaps you’re harboring a secret yearning to visit Cape Cod or Westminster Abbey in London. The island of Cuba may be calling your name or even a tour through the wine country in France.
- What do you talk about doing but never do? In a conversation, you might state something like, “For the last 10 years, I’ve really wanted to take a cruise to Alaska.”
- What are the reasons you don’t go after your dreams? Explore within yourself why you haven’t pursued the life you want. Can you do something differently to help bring your dreams to life?
- How will I finish the sentence, “More than anything, before I die, I want to _______?” Say it out loud and fill in the blank.
- What are the things in your life that you would like to get rid of? If you’re discovering you don’t love everything about your life, maybe it’s time to do some “housecleaning.” These may be physical things, habits, and even relationships.
- Which people in your life inspire you and why? What is it about them that lights you up so much? What do you see in them that you’d like to see in yourself? (These are related to values.)
- If I were to make just one radical change in your life right now to make life better, what would it be? Your answer to this question will really open up your possibilities. Moving to a bigger city or to the country might really spice up your life. Getting more education might be a goal or perhaps starting your own business has always been on your mind.
- What childhood dream(s) have you abandoned?
- What is something you would do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
- What makes you forget to eat and/or pee? Think about something you could do for hours, that when you look at the clock, you can’t believe how much time has passed? It could be something you currently do, (but not enough as you’d like) or something you once did, before kids and/or job took priority.
- What can you talk about for hours that your friends or family say makes you light up?
- What is going well for you in your current life situation? What do you find fulfilling, meaningful, enjoyable and fun?
- What isn’t working for you? What drains you, makes you stressed, or you feel wastes your time? Answering this question helps us to know what you want less of in your life.
Let me know your aha moments! I’d love to hear them!
“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” ~ Robin Sharma
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