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Where do you want to be in 10 years time?

Many of us start New Years filled with Resolutions and plans. But as 2020 has been a year like no other, I'd like to suggest you start 2021 differently...

How about you ask yourself what Future You looks like? Are there aspects of your life you'd like to change, to improve, to simplify, to streamline... or, or, or. Perhaps what you actually want is for your life to be the same? Whichever way you want to go, how do you make sure of the outcome?

If you're in the "I want my life to be the same" camp, you're probably thinking "I've got nothing to learn here". But, before you go, can I ask you to stop for a moment? Do you know what it is about your life at the moment that you want to keep? Which aspects of it are especially important to you, so if you have to make a choice about what to protect, you can do it without having to go off into the desert for 40 days & nights to naval gaze? For it's a rare and lucky human being who can control everything in life.

Life is such that plenty of Stuff happens which is outside of our control. But if you know in advance what bits are truly important to you, you've an opportunity to act appropriately. Say you have a job really you like, but out of the blue your employers are subject to a hostile takeover. You're given an opportunity to continue working for the new company, but your role is going to be re-defined. Do you already know what parts of the role you enjoy, what aspects you've found uncomfortably stressful, even whether there is a new path you've always hoped to take but had been prevented from doing so? Examining your professional life in this manner wouldn't be considered unusual, but for some reason, examining your life as a whole in the same way isn't commonly done. But maybe it would be a good idea.

Most of my life has been reactive. I'd no idea what I wanted, or what direction to choose. I didn't make plans, I reacted to what was in front of me at the time. So my journey was more than a touch haphazard. That isn't to say I hated it or that nothing good happened, for that wouldn't be true at all. But if I'd stopped to think about it, perhaps I'd have found my purpose before I reached my fifties. In my mid-thirties, a single mother with a full-time secretarial job, I was asked by a colleague about my 5 and 10-year plan. It took all I had not to laugh in his face. I saw myself as having enough to do simply getting through the day, the week, the month, the years - up until my daughter was old enough to go to school, or leave school, or leave home. As a result, I didn't make plans, or time to study or retrain. Instead I lived from day-to-day, and my only thought of the future was to survive long enough to reach it. I (internally) mocked my colleague, when what he was trying to do was to have me see I could take part in the shaping of my future. He was 10 years younger than me, yet has always been proactive in the direction of his life; my older & wiser self admires him for it.

The thing is, if you don't know what you want, it's hard to choose the right path to get there. Vision boards are becoming more popular. They're not simply acquisitive - about the car, the house, the holiday - the best leaders will have you consider your life and your hopes for it before you start selecting images. Then when you start browsing images, you'll be better placed to recognise what that future life might look like. When I did mine, there was a surprise recurring theme in the images I selected, except they tied in completely with the dream I have of what I'd like to be doing in 10 years time... even if it's a dream I hug secretly to myself.

Whether you do it via a Vision Board, through journalling, via the NLP Disney strategy, or any other technique - just do it! Give yourself a chance of getting to the life you want by identifying what that looks like now.

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