One of the holiday cards I received this year said:
“We are thankful for a wonderful 2015 that seems to have whizzed by us all too quickly.”
Do you feel like this describes your 2015? Life got busy and before you knew it, the year had passed.
And, darn it, you now feel a little bit cheated. You wanted more time, to feel like you experienced your year more thoroughly.
Well, you can have that in 2016. Let’s make 2016 be a slow year.
A year in which you spend your time doing what matters most to you, and savor it like you would a fine wine. Where, like when you were a child, each day is a new adventure and feels full and satisfying. Make no mistake about it, I don’t think that only kids can see the world this way. I think that it comes effortlessly to them, whereas for us older kids, we've forgotten how to appreciate the full length and possibility of a day. It takes a bit of intention. And it's time to set that intention before yet another year slips by.
Are you with me? Here’s how we’re going to build our slow year.
1. Design what a "full life" looks like this year.
If you've been following me for a while, you know the drill. Take a look at the entirety of your life, including your career, partnership, family, community, health, finances, home, fun and frolic, and your relationship to yourself. What do you want each of these parts of your life to look like in 2016? Take a moment and jot downsome notes.
2. Set a range.
It can sometimes feel a bit daunting to commit yourself to a BIG 2016 vision, even though that is what you secretly want and would really really love to have come true. So I set a range of outcomes using what’s called the MTO method of goal setting. For each of the parts of your life listed above in step 1, you write down:
Minimum: What is the minimum you’d like to have happen in this area?
Target: What is the target you’d like to hit in this area?
Outrageous: What is the over-the-moon outcome that you’d love to have happen, but that may seem a bit unlikely?
This way, you can dare to dream the big dreams, while setting yourself up to still make great progress on goals that seem more easily achievable.
3. Share it with everyone who will listen.
Accountability rules the day, my friend. If you make your goal known, others can not only hold you accountable for it, but also support you in getting there. Tell your partner, tell your friends, tell your coworkers, tell your Uber driver.
4. Check in with your vision each week.
Here is where you can really begin to slow down your year. Presence, mindfulness and deliberateness allow you to emerge from the fog of life’s busy-ness and truly pay attention to the moments of your days and weeks. Each week, take a pause from your tasks and read your vision. Plot out how you will enact it this week, day by day. Make sure that no area of your life is left unattended.
5. Celebrate each day.
Each evening, I take a moment to celebrate all of the great moments of my day. I think about what I am proud of having created that day. I think about the pleasant surprises that came my way. I think about the people I got to spend time with, and the beautiful moments we had together. I take a moment to savor all that was.
I make it a point to tell at least one person something I like about them, each day. This can be someone as close to me as one of my best friends, or it can be someone as casual as my CrossFit instructor. It’s amazing how this practice greatly enriches the moments you have with the people around you, and can turn a routine evening into something truly special.
These six steps, while simple and straightforward, together will create a year that is full: of meaning, of substance, and of texture. While they will not halt the passage of time, they will allow you to experience the richness of the moments as they flow by.
What are you going to create and savor in your slow 2016? Write me a note and share!