Updated: Dec 22, 2020
Around New Year's, we hear the words goals and resolutions a lot. In fact, I’ve written some about getting clear on your English goals in the past. Writing down your goals can certainly have its benefits.
However, sometimes when we think of creating goals, we also feel an intense pressure to achieve them.
If you’re like me, I don’t want to feel the constant pressure to succeed, to reach my goals, and to improve myself. For what reason do I say this? The pressure to succeed—especially in America—is already a bit suffocating to begin with. And, I know that other cultures share a similar drive to succeed; it’s not just an American mentality.
So, what if we looked at things differently?
What would happen if instead of writing down endless lists of goals, we created clear pictures of our lives instead? When I say picture I mean a really beautiful vision of what we want our lives to look like in the new year ahead. How do we form such a vision?
...by asking ourselves powerful questions and being honest with our answers.
Ask Yourself Powerful Questions
What becomes possible if I enhance my English skills?
This is one example of a powerful question, and one you might ask yourself. In fact, if you have a moment, close your eyes, and really visualize your life if your English skills were exactly where you wanted them to be.
What would your life be like?
What thoughts came to your mind? Write them down if you have a moment. Try to add as much detail as possible.
Here are some other powerful questions to consider:
1. What would my life be like if I found meaningful work here in the United States?
2. What would my life be like if I started that online business I’ve been thinking about?
3. What would my life be like if I could present my ideas comfortably and easily in front of groups?
4. What would my life be like if I could I have deeper friendships with English-speakers around me?
5. What would my life be like if I could enjoy English movies, entertainment, and conversations more?
What would be possible?
I don’t know how you feel, but asking these questions feels gentler to me and not so “black and white” as making resolutions. And the vision that arises feels more like creating art than making a list.
But visualizing your future is not just a silly little exercise. Becoming clear on your vision can activate real change.
Why Creating a Vision Works
Creating a clear vision of our year ahead means being proactive, and this is where our power lies. Life coach and author John Graham explains it this way:
“A vision inspires action. A powerful vision pulls in ideas, people and other resources. It creates the energy and will to make change happen. It inspires individuals and organizations to commit, to persist and to give their best.”
Honestly, without a vision, we just react to whatever life throws at us. We say “yes” to things when we should say “no.” We are like an open door that lets anything and everything into our house without discretion. But when we know the types of experiences we want to have in our lives, we activate the energy that can make those experiences real.
So, why not take a moment to draw, write down, or mentally visualize how you see your life in 12 months? In this way you are creating more than a New Year’s resolution—you are creating a clear path to reality.