In the first few days of 2010, you may be feeling energized and ready to embark on new challenges – yet at the same time you may be unsure about how to get started and where to focus your attention.
The following exercise will help you explore what you truly want and choose the area of your life that you’d most like to transform or enhance.
Step 1: Your Heart’s Desires
Consider the following aspects of your life and write down everything that you’d like to experience or create in each area. Writing (or sketching, listing, or otherwise putting your thoughts into form) is a powerful first step in clarifying what you really want.
Be as specific as possible and don’t limit yourself. What do you really, really want? Let go of any thoughts of what you “should” want. Your heart knows your deepest desires, so give yourself some time to meditate, become still, and connect to the authentic voice of your true Self.
What do you want on the material level? Your own house with a garden? Write that down. Do you want to pay off a loan or take a vacation? Also consider your desires for sensory gratification – sound, touch, sight, taste, and smell.
Write down all your desires for your relationships – with your spouse, partner, friends, children, parents, co-workers, and yourself. Do you want to finally let go of old emotional pain and forgive others and yourself for things that happened in the past? Are you ready to open your heart to a new romantic relationship? Would you like to create a more loving relationship with your spouse?
What would nourish your heart and soul? Do want to go on a meditation retreat? Start a journaling practice? Learn yoga or tai chi? Write down the spiritual intentions you have for yourself.
Work and Career
How would you like to grow and expand in your work this year? Is there a new skill you want to learn? Are you looking for a new job or thinking about transitioning to a different career? Are you ready to find a mentor or life coach?
Adventure and Fun
Making time for fun and pleasure in our daily lives is not a luxury but a vital life force that keeps us joyful and enthusiastic. Consider what kinds of adventure and fun you would like to have in your life? Is there something you’ve always secretly wanted to try, such as scuba diving, African dance, or a solo trip across the country? Write down all your ideas.
What areas of your life would you like to nurture this year? Do you want a new intellectual challenge such as studying a language or learning new software? Would you like more time to play or develop a hobby?
What do you want to contribute to your neighborhood, country, or the world? Consider how you might use your unique talents to serve others.
What are your health goals? Do you want to learn to meditate? Exercise regularly? Get more sleep? Attain a healthy weight? Are you ready to let go of emotional pain from the past? Write down everything you desire for your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
Step 2: Decide What’s Most Important
Now that you have a clear idea of what you’d like to see unfold in your life, it’s time to choose the one or two desires, dreams, or goals that you want to focus on first.
Maybe your top priorities right now are to take care of your health and focus on your relationship with a spouse or partner. Or perhaps you realize that what you really want most right now is a feeling of connection . . . to nurture your friendships and be part of a supportive community.
Choose two goals, knowing that doing so doesn’t mean that you have to give up all your other desires. They will be there waiting for you to cultivate once you have fulfilled your current most important desires. Focusing your intentions creates a ripple effect, and you may find that your other desires are spontaneously filled
Step 3: Commit to Action
Now consider one step you can take today that will move you closer to your desired outcome. The action can be as small as doing a web search to find classes in your area, buying a journal, or doing ten minutes of yoga. Then tomorrow, take one more step. By committing to regular, consistent action, you will tap into an unexpected momentum and discover the universe conspiring in your favor.