I’m not sure where you fall on the goal spectrum but if you have been around here long you know that I am a big supporter of setting goals. Next week I am going to share my 2021 goals with you. (I would also love to hear if you are setting goals this year too. Comment below!). But before I do that, I wanted to chat first about the bigger picture: creating a 100-year life vision for yourself and breaking it down into 5-year increments. These two concepts are the first place I start when setting my specific annual goals each December.
In one of my favorite books, Essentialism, author Greg McKeown’s main point is to focus on fewer things done better. You can’t do it all and do it well. In that effort, he encourages the reader to reflect first on where they envision their life in 100 years. This can be hard to picture. I know it was from me. The essence of the question is to focus on where you are going directionally. What will matter to you when you get to the end of your life? What won’t? How can you focus on those important things and cut out the rest? This exercise should help to clarify the three to five things that will truly add meaning at the end of your life.
One note, there is no wrong answer here. I have amended and changed my answer a few times as I get more and more clarity each year. The point is not to have a crystal ball of where you will actually be in 100 years. It is more a process to go ALL IN on the aspects of your life that move the needle and to make time for what matters.
Here is an analogy that helps to clarify: To begin, think of various aspects of your life – your health, your relationships, your work, your faith, etc. – as balls you are juggling in the air. Some of those balls are made of glass and others are made of rubber. If you drop a glass ball it will shatter, unable to be repaired. If you drop a rubber ball, on the other hand, it can bounce back up. Work, for example, is often a rubber ball. With ebbs and flows of a career over your lifetime. The relationship with your spouse and children are glass balls. These are the fragile things – they require tending and care. Spend the majority of your energy on those things. It won’t always be perfect. However, I truly believe if your intention & attention is where it should be….the rest will fall into place.
I encourage you to take set aside 1-2 hours to think through these things – an afternoon during quiet/nap time should do it. One tip: I have a note saved on my phone that I can easily access. It has my 100-year vision, my most important 3-5 things, and a few favorite quotes and Bible verses. It is a constant reminder every time I need a refresher on what matters to me.
Once you have your 100-year life vision, I think it helps to bring things down a little closer to home and do a visualization process for 5 years from now. This concept will hopefully be easier since you can more clearly see what your life might look like in a shorter amount of time. To start, answer these questions as if you are living your ideal life 5 years from now:
- How old will you be? How old will your kids, partner, important relationships be?
- What do your physical surroundings look like? Your house? Your work? Where do you live?
- What activities will I be doing?
- What trips will I be taking?
- How will I look and feel?
- What will be important to me? What won’t be important?
Keep writing until you have a crystal clear video playing in your head. Once you have the video, pull out the important new things you identified. These are your 5-year dreams. With those items crystal clear….you are ready for the next step. Setting your annual goals!
I hope this process is as helpful to you as it has been for me. It’s such a clarifying reminder to get off social media or to stop tidying up my house already and to spend time on things that make life count. Also, if this post is right up your alley, you might like my home management series too.
I’d love to hear: Do you have plans to set 2021 goals? Did anything from today resonate with you? Have you ever thought through the bigger picture in your life?
PS: my 2021 goals + a vision board are coming next week. Stay tuned! xo