At Lark's Song, we kind of know how change works, and we're sure that many of you started the new year with grand aspirations and resolutions. But not many of you took the time to review the previous year for the purpose of awareness of discovery, so you could make clear and informed choices for your well-being in 2016.
We are contemplating how to complete 2015 and start creating for 2016 with wisdom as well, and we’d like to offer you this tool as a thank you for supporting us in this first year as a non-profit. It was beautiful and messy, full of successes and failures. Whether you’ve supported Lark's Song as a client, colleague, partner, coworker, friend or family member, we are incredibly grateful for you! There are many feelings that come up as we think about 2015, but when we think about the people that have co-created with us, the overwhelming emotion is gratitude.
We hope you will use the following as a tool, one without too many rules. Make it messy or precise, finish all of it in a day, some of it over the coming weeks, or none of it at all. As you use this tool to complete and create, keep the following in mind:
- Live at Choice! No one else is responsible for your life and you’re not responsible for anyone else’s, so stop being held hostage by other people and their limits or expectations.
- Be Courageous! Failure is actually an option! If you never fail, you are actually choosing to create an ineffective “life laboratory” in which learning and growth cannot take place. Stretch yourself to your maximum potential.
- Be Creative! Don’t make rules where there aren’t any. If your life isn’t honoring your strengths, your values, or your purpose, then create one that does. That doesn’t mean that your life circumstances need to drastically change, but it probably does mean that your perspective or approach to them does.
- Delight in the process! There are no rules here. You don’t have to answer all15 questions if you don’t want to. You can skip some, answer some today and some tomorrow, change the questions to fit you in a more personal way – whatever you like. Turn on some music, get something to drink, and enjoy this time.
- Write your answers and share your responses with someone! This step takes commitment and courage. Writing something down is an act of commitment, just skimming over the questions will not help. You actually have to write something. Sharing your intentions creates additional responsibility foryou, but it is also inspiring to others and gives you the gift of accountability as you accomplish your goals. Step out of your comfort zone and try it.
Our wish for you as you enter 2016 is that you will live a year of creating courageously and choosing aliveness. Please feel free to share this resource with anyone that you have the same wish for.
(It may be helpful to have your calendar or planner for 2015 and/or 2016 on hand, as well as a journal or other resource for saving your responses.)
1. What were the successes, gains and breakthroughs of 2015?
2. What were your failures, losses and breakdowns of 2015?
3. What were your top 3 learning points from 2015?
4. As you lean back and look forward, what are you grateful for?
5. What one person do you need to pay a gratitude visit to that impacted you in 2015?
(A gratitude visit consists of writing a specific and concrete letter of gratitude that is about 300 words long, setting up a meeting with the recipient, reading it out loud to them, and talking together for about 30 minutes afterwards about their impact and getting curious about what is next for them. Consistent gratitude visits have been shown to diminish depression and increase flourishing more than medication and therapy combined.)
6. What is one courageous choice that, if you made it, would dramatically change your life?
7. What are 2 simple things that you could do every day that make you feel more alive?
8. What is your theme or vision for the 2016?
(This is where you get to imagine! Your vision is just a picture of something better, not goals or strategic action points. What does your picture look like? What do you really want for 2016? If you could sum up the year with one word, what would it be? 2016 – the year of _____)
9. What one thing could you produce in 2016 if you really cultivated your personal creativity?
10. What are your top 3 priorities for 2016?
(If you struggle with aligning priorities or coming up with goals, breakdown your life into categories and assess which categories you would most like to grow in throughout the coming year – professional development, relationship with spouse/significant other, finances, community involvement, personal/spiritual development, health and well-being, leisure and recreation, family and friends, physical environment, etc.)
11. What 2-3 character qualities would you like to develop in 2016?
12. How can you maximize your purpose statement in 2016?
13. What are you tolerating?
(Make a list! All the broken items, stacks, piles, irritants, half-done projects, etc.)
14. What is one thing that you need to remind yourself of every day?
(How will you remind yourself? Get a painting, write it on your mirror, keep a card in your wallet, change the wallpaper on your phone?)
15. What actions do you need to take to 2016 to realize your vision and goals?
16. What accountability will you put in place to ensure your success in 2016?