What’s my secret to squeezing the most out of fresh motivations of New Year’s resolutions? Like in past years, for me, it’s routinely been the Pick Four exercise.
This spiral bound book was “created in cooperation between Seth Godin and Zig Ziglar, based on the idea that
- small steps,
- group support, and
There is an motivation opening section, followed by an area to document your dreams. Next, you identify the ‘why’s’ of your dreams.
Then you break apart your dreams into the different parts of your life:
- Social, and
By then trimming your dreams into four actionable goals, you document your actions each week for twelve weeks, commenting on each goal, making you accountable to a very specific goal-setting and action planning process.”
It sounds simple, but it’s not, really. Goal setting in a meaningful way is a big task, but totally doable. You owe it to yourself to allow the space for this in your life. You have to think big. Often, as Oprah reminds us, you’ve got to “dream a bigger dream.”
Overall, it’s a very personal process, where you must let go and document your wildest dreams. It is a somewhat uncomfortable activity to open up the floodgates to anything and everything. It can be anxiety-producing to write those secret aspirations and crazy never-gonna-happen ideas down on paper.
Yet, if you don’t start there, you end up with the typical list: lose 10 pounds, make more money, get more stuff. And, as we all know, that’s just not the stuff that dreams are made of.
Looking back to 2016’s exercise, I saw that some of the things I wanted to do were bigger than just me. Part of my drive was to help people in a way that I hadn’t before. Some of my goals were less lofty, and more ego-driven. I mean, it’s no secret that I like an audience at times. But, once I got past the ego-stoking fodder, my list came down to people (instead of things). It was about connecting and having high-quality experiences. Only after going through the process did I notice that the theme in my life’s aspirations were mainly experience-driven.
How about you? What kind of “stuff” do you dream about?
I want to point out here that the life that you want is not a lottery pick. Sometimes, we feel if we just fit into ‘dem jeans, get into our dream house, or flip off our boss as we drive away in that new swanky car, that stuff will melt away the anxieties. We know that’s not it, yet we dream of winning the lottery for exactly that need to wish away the negative things we normally deal with.
Turning 180 from lottery pain-solving and, instead, going the spiritual route and asking the foo-foo “What do you really want?” can also make you stuck. It can feel more like a motivational weekend seminar than a real way to move forward.
You can’t ask “What do I really want?” in a way that’s meaty without understanding that it’s a process. That’s exactly why tools like Pick 4 are there to help. Even a “New Year’s Resolutions” list is just a tool.
In the past year or so, I’ve published a hot #1 book, had fascinating people come into my life that I get to learn from, worked with fantastic clients, have had “board meetings” on the water, have had tremendous joy working on projects while having impromptu therapy with my BFF, and traveled to speaking gigs that lit up my life — all while getting to see my girl’s shining face after school every day. Those things have all started with understanding where my dreams can take me.
Regardless of how you go about it, I urge you to commit your thoughts to paper. With the right tools and support, you never know where it might lead you.