Following on from last week’s blog, Your Giving where I talked about taking an alternative view on making New Year’s resolutions, focusing away from things that involve others doing or giving me something and instead on what I can put into the world, I’ve had a lot of really inspiring conversations online and in the flesh world about people looking to do the same. Seems I’m not the only one ready to overhaul this end of the year ritual.
When I look at my list of intentions for 2014, they’re a far cry from the ones I’ve made in previous years. For one, they’re all dependent on me pulling my finger out and just getting on with stuff, whereas before, they were all about things being bestowed upon me, rather randomly and against the run of play in some cases.
Having spent the last 12 months steering my career in a slightly new direction, it’s given me a perspective on how slowly change takes place. That’s no bad thing, it’s just that when fundamental changes are made, foundations need to be laid, contacts made, sometimes training or at least the acquisition of knowledge needs to happen and these things take time. It’s easy during all of this to feel like nothing is happening, something I thought many times during the first half of 2013. “Why haven’t I had the Spielberg tap on the shoulder in Starbucks yet?!!”. But a gradual appreciation of the movement and pace of this process has meant that I’ve been much more realistic, when creating my list of 2014 intentions.
It all suddenly looks very…. do-able. This list is now all down to me. If it doesn’t happen, it’s either because my finger remained, as it were, unpulled out OR something unanticipated came along that had me redirect my energy. Either way, it’s a win-win. My intentions list becomes my bottom line, the minimum I can expect from the year ahead and anything above and beyond that, an added bonus.
If all I have at the end of the year is what’s on the list, I’ll be more than happy but, as anyone who’s self-employed knows, curve-balls and opportunities can fly at and past you all the time, so who knows what meandering path the next 12 months will take.
I liked what someone said to me once on this subject. He said that army generals spend many, many hours planning but the plan is almost just a by-product of the process. The plan is not the goal. The goal is to be in the mode of planning because this allows you to be ready for all eventualities.
When great opportunities comes along, we should all want to be ready. Have the experience we need, studied the things we need to, met the people we should. Being in a state of readiness is probably a bigger factor in people’s success than we realise. I doubt Simon Cowell made his millions by being sat at home with his hand down his pants. (wow, what a visual).
It seems that perhaps our intentions are a blueprint, one possible outcome but our readiness for the actuality of what comes our way is what creates favourable results.
In my particular situation, “being ready”(which is an ongoing commitment) looks like acquiring knowledge and training and making sense of the new environment I’m in.
So in addition to my intentions, I made a smaller list of things I’m going to do to ‘be ready’.
And finally, an even smaller list of opportunities I’d be ready to receive if they came along. Even though these are things generated by outside forces, I think it’s OK to have them as they’re now a much lower priority and there’s a lot fewer of them. And as all these life coach gurus say, it’s good to make them measurable, realistic and achievable. So that’s what I did.
Goals are achievable and bite-size but we all have dreams too and I started to wonder, how do you take these dreams out of the realm of fantasy and ground them in reality. It doesn’t really work to have “Get Married” or “Earn a million quid” on a to do list. But it is important to shift our perspective on dreams because when we hold some future event as a ‘dream’ we prevent it becoming real. In our heads we think ‘fantasy’ so that’s what the universe gives us – a nebulous notion that lives only in our minds. To manifest these things, we have to truly believe they could be part of our future as much as we believe night follows day.
I took a piece of paper and wrote down one of my ‘dreams’. Under it, I wrote the step I would have to take immediately before to achieve it. Below that I did the same, and continued until I got to the step I would need to take tomorrow.
Suddenly the dream become a reality as I reverse-engineered a road map of how to get there.
All this, started me pondering, who out there is planning for 2014 in a similar way? This year is going to be a good one according to the astrologers what with Jupiter being in Uranus and all that (I think that’s what it said) so perhaps it’s a good time to overhaul the parts of life we’re dissatisfied with.
You might be thinking about what the year ahead holds or working out how to get to the places you want to. I’d love to hear from you if you are.
Here’s my thinking, let’s make this blog a little time capsule. Let’s write down a couple of our intentions for 2014 then in 2015, we can have a look back and see how well we did!
Are you in?
Two of my intentions are to do three drafts of my screenplay, The Break and two drafts of my other script, The Fear Locker. I’m also going to write and direct a short film called Let Him Go.
Alright, how about you? Put your replies in the comments below.
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Have a great day and looking forward to hearing from you!
Here's a couple of cool blogs about the year ahead.