In my personal experience, the way to start fresh, harnessing the natural energy around a new calendar year, is first to look at the recent past, finding clues about what is and isn’t serving forward progress. Put another way, I become a student of the best version of me by looking at my own past behaviors, actions, decisions, responses, feelings, and desires.
After looking through the recent past for context, I then spend time visualizing the future I want. I’ve done that visualization work through vision boards, journaling, and fore-form writing. The most powerful approach, for me, is always a physical vision board – something I can look at for reference, months later.
Having spent several years developing this approach for myself and having worked one-on-one with colleagues on similar efforts, I’m turning this approach into an online course called Your First 100 Days. For all of you who’ve followed along, off and on, for the past 10 years here on the blog, I’m offering that same content (minus the video lessons) in daily posts. The first post in the series is here.
The materials for the work are in the course workbook, which you can download and print for free this month. Note that the workbook references information and videos that are in the online course, that won’t be available here.
(And an additional note that if this is your first visit to the blog or to this series, welcome!)
The first module, INVESTIGATE, has four sections:
- Investigate your own recent past, making notes about the prior year – victories and defeats alike – without interpreting or judging them.
- After some time to reflect on that work, revisit the notes and look for patterns, insights, and things that you want to think about as you prepare your plan for the year ahead.
- Grounded in that examination of the recent past, take a gratitude snapshot, acknowledging the things/people/events for which you are grateful, right now, and noting what makes you proud, what you want more of in the year ahead, and what you hope to leave behind or minimize.
- Complete the module by listing 100 “wants” – which may be the most challenging part of this first block of work.
The second module, IMAGINE, is all vision board work, but I’d recommend doing it in steps:
- Write words that describe what you want for yourself in the coming year(s), thinking about the various parts of your life – health, financial well-being, relational well-being, etc. Starting with words is similar to writing an outline before drafting an article or long-form essay.
- Additional work, if it’s helpful, it an exercise in reviewing mindset and limiting beliefs. (Note: the worksheets for this additional exercise are not in the main workbook but are in this post.)
- Create a visual vision board – the work in this course/workbook has everything you’ll need, though it will require printing a number of pages in color and then cutting/pasting your way away. You can do the same work with magazines or other materials. The point is to get it done, not just to think about doing it one day. Remember, progress not perfection.
If you’re waiting for the weekend to do all of that work in one longer sitting, plan to spend 6-8 hours, total, on all of the work so far
On Monday, we’ll start module three and begin writing and prioritizing goals that emerge from these first two sections. Tomorrow, for those who’ve been here a while, we’ll return to some familiar ground.
See you then.