Are you starting this year feeling confused instead of having clarity of direction?
The trend of late is to be clear and have a plan set weeks before the New Year even starts. I love this concept and have practiced it myself successfully.
However for some, this doesn’t always feel possible and the good news is that this is perfectly okay.
I agree that at the beginning of each year it’s important to gain clarity of vision. And especially at this significant point in time starting a new decade.
Without clarity of vision, meaning where you are heading and where you aim to be at the end of the next 12 months, this exciting opportunity to have a fresh start can often be missed.
If you had a year of change last year, a traumatic experience, a loss of some kind or things just didn’t work out the way you wanted them to, you may feel confused. You may not have the clarity you’d like to hope for in January and you may not know what you want or where to start.
If this is you; please relax.
You don’t need to have it all figured out. You’re not failing because you’re not all set and ready to go the way the experts say you should be. It’s okay to feel confused. Because, I have learned along the way that confusion comes just before positive change and transformation.
Take the pressure off yourself. The more you push or put yourself down for not knowing the more confused you are likely to feel.
And the truth is, you already know the answers, you’ve just forgotten where to access them.
When you are ready you can begin to gain clarity by creating space to explore. And ask yourself questions to reveal the answers you already have deep within you.
In my experience, it’s essential to close the old year first, by reviewing it. It’s important to follow this review process initially, because it clears old emotion and puts you in the most resourceful mindset to explore the new.
Once you have done this, you can follow these six simple steps to gain clear vision on the year before you.
Create your clarity space
There have been times when I have attempted to do this hurriedly in my office and I want to let you know it doesn’t work. It’s vital that you create a space that you love before you embark on this exploration. Because the more relaxed you feel the easier the answers will be revealed to you.
Your space can be anything from a lovely beach spot under a tree (my personal favourite), to a space in your home or garden with candles and crystals. The most important thing is that you feel relaxed. And if you have the opportunity of being near nature, even if it’s just near your pot plants on your apartment balcony, I encourage you to do that. Because it’s easier to connect to your essential self when in touch with nature in some way. And this is where your answers lie.
Have your journal and pen with you and get comfortable.
Let go of the “shoulds” and preconceived notions
We have been taught to continue with goals or a vision we currently have, until we achieve it. This is because we have already reached many milestones to get to this stage. I agree with this to a point.
The problem is, the journey we take in achieving each step of our vision takes us to new opportunities and ideas. Those new possibilities sometimes mean those old plans are no longer viable options, because we have found something more important. Something we would really love.
Here is the big distinction though; this doesn’t mean it’s okay to stop because a goal that you want has been just out of your reach. That’s just letting yourself off the hook. This is about those old goals no longer lighting you up from the inside. As you think about the goal, you realize it’s not what you really want anymore.
I find that sometimes people are fearful that if they let go of what they thought they wanted, there will be nothing else to take its place. When this just isn’t true.
Because holding onto old goals and preconceived notions that you really don’t want anymore actually creates more confusion. And when you decide to let go, a new vision begins to open up.
It’s okay to let go of what you don’t want and be comfortable with not knowing. As you do this you will notice the waters start to clear and you create the space to find clarity on what you want.
Clarity begins with knowing who you are and what’s important to you
If you don’t have a deep understanding of who you are and what is important to you, it’s difficult to know what will bring you fulfillment.
As you gain this deeper clarity of yourself, then the vision of what will light you up on the inside will be more accessible to you.
Let go of the need to get this done in a one hour sitting. This kind of deeper understanding of self often comes to you over a period of time. When you ask the questions, the answers come little by little and it’s important that you are okay with this. Remember the more you pressure yourself the more the confusion will persist.
Ask yourself these questions:
What is most important to me?
In what way would I like those important things to be in my life?
What do I value most?
What or who do I believe must be in my life for me to be happy?
Be patient with yourself while you are exploring the answers that come and write down whatever comes to you without judgment.
As you do this you will notice even more information come to you and when you least expect it. Be prepared to sit in your clarity space often to add more as your answers become clearer.
Be honest about what you love doing or feel passionate about
Many of us spend our lives the way we think we should. Doing what we think we should or continuing to do things just because we always have. We do this for so long that we forget what we really love to do.
When we create space to do what we love, we feel fulfilled. As we feel more fulfillment and contentment we feel more inclined to reach for other goals. And we can even open up possibilities of having a career or hobby doing what we love.
Ask yourself the questions:
What do I really love to do?
What activities bring me joy?
What am I passionate about?
What do I enjoy that I know I am really good at?
If you find this challenging then think about what you loved to do as a child. Explore what you were passionate about as a teenager. These were the times in your life when you were less inclined to just follow what you were told to do.
Do this as many times as it takes for you to gain full clarity. My partner and I do this each year. We both start the year making separate lists of what we love to do and want to do. Then each month we do something from each of those lists.
Explore options of what you want
Most of us have a lot of clarity around what we don’t want, but not much around what we do want instead.
If you know what you don’t want that’s a fantastic starting point, because it means the options of what you actually want are narrowed down a little. This brings you so much closer to knowing what you do want.
Ask yourself this question based on what you know about yourself now:
What do I really want for me and my life?
As we ask this question, sometimes fearfulness and nervousness can create confusion and make it difficult to access the answers.
If this is what you are experiencing, ask yourself this question:
If I could have anything I want and there was no risk of failure, what would I reach for?
For some, no matter how much they attempt to reach for clarity on what they want, they find their mind is bombarded with examples of what they don’t want.
If this is you, each time you write about what you don’t want ask yourself this question:
If I don’t want this what do I want instead?
As you continue to ask yourself these questions you will find clarity increases. Don’t rush the process and you will see your way forward in a way you have never seen it before.
Make a decision
By now you will have lists of things you want to have in your life and what you want to reach for.
At this stage there is sometimes a fear of making the wrong decision or going with the wrong option. It’s impossible to do this, especially if you have gone through the steps and have a much deeper understanding of yourself.
Any decision or option you choose, even if it doesn’t give you what you hope for, will bring you one step closer to clarity on what will. So now it’s time to decide and take a chance.
It doesn’t matter what decision you make, just choose one of your options and set a goal statement around it. Then focus on the first step to bring it into your reality.
Final thoughts to give even more clarity
It’s okay to be confused, because the only place from here is upwards to clarity and that’s a good thing. We are all different and just because your friend or colleague has it all sorted, it doesn’t mean you have it all wrong. It’s just that you are unique and are having a different experience.
In addition, a 12-month goal may be too big picture for you right now. You may find it easier to see a shorter term vision for instance over the next two months rather than the whole twelve months.
And this is perfectly okay too. The important thing is that you start taking action on that shorter term-goal. Because as you do this you will find increased clarity for the remainder of the year.
Be patient with yourself, start now and create the space you need to find your own direction. I assure you it will be well worth the time and effort, because you will know yourself and have clarity like never before.
Coaching can assist you to gain even more clarity much faster. It helps you shift deeper emotions and beliefs that may be getting in the way.
If you would like to see what coaching can do for you, contact me by email on firstname.lastname@example.org to book your complimentary 30 minute clarity session.