It’s fairly safe to say the few people will be sorry to see 2020 fade into the rearview mirror. The receding year has been a whirlwind of stress, anxiety, fear, and worry. Most of us have experienced times where predictability and stability went out of our lives leaving us feeling powerless in the face of external forces. It’s been a real test of our fortitude, resilience and endurance. Despite it all, it’s important to reassure ourselves that we have done our best.
New years have that innate ability to bring forth optimism. The hope for new vaccines and other changes in the shifting landscape cause us to look to a brighter future. How can we shape that future to manifest more of the health and wellness that we truly want?
It’s often said that we create our own reality. While pandemics and global events are more than our own individual creation, our response to all that happens to us is more in our own hands. Two techniques from life coaching that can help us create the life we want are perfecting the present and imagining a transformative future.
Perfecting The Present
“The past is no more
and the future is not yet …
nothing exists except the now .”
Much of our regret comes when we are contemplating, perhaps even stuck in, the past. Much of our anxiety comes when we do the same with the future. A great personal growth (and coaching) technique is to ask oneself “How can I make the present moment the best possible?”
It is easy to ignore much of what is around us as we dream of living somewhere else, working in a different job, being in a different relationship. Aspiring towards goals is good, but are we always looking beyond the ground we are standing upon, and what do we lose in the process?
A silver lining of the pandemic lockdown has been the reports we hear of people who embraced their present moment, their present situation, and made the best of it. It has been like we are trapped in the present, which many philosophers would argue that we are. With that has come realizations. What can I do with a time schedule that I have more control over now that I’m not commuting into a workplace? What am I noticing about my own backyard, neighborhood, even my own living space, that I appreciate, or that I want to improve upon? How can I make this day my best day possible? We might call this mindfulness, or awareness of the present.
Perfecting The Present is about asking your client to examine their present time in their life and how they can make it their best possible. How can you make this your best possible day, week, month, year? The focus shifts to improving the present and our relationship with it. It becomes about loving our own neighborhood more and making it a better place to live. The same with our workplace, our home, our family.
Imagining a Transformative Future
Guide yourself (or your client) through this Future Self Fantasy.
Imagine that it is December 2021.
You breathe in deep with your eyes closed and reflect upon what you imagine the past year has been.
Take your time and ask yourself:
What am I really glad that I did to make this year a positive experience?
Pause and reflect upon this.
What do I find myself very grateful for from this last year?
What am I glad that I did for my own health and wellbeing?
What am I glad that I did for others?
What new meaning and purpose did I discover in this last year?
Now, take what you imagined, and what perhaps you have realized from that experience and begin to shape it into a fantasy of what you want 2021 to be like.
Then we fantasize
Then we plan
Then we actualize our plan
In the coming year I see myself being more ___________
In the coming year I see myself being less _____________
In 2021 I intend to connect more with ______________
In 2021 I intend to shift the way that I ________________
In 2021 I have the opportunity to ____________________
In 2021 I will ______________________________________
By the end of 2021 I will be able to see these measurable changes in my life _______________________________________
Support & Accountability
The very act of writing these intentions down and making them conscious is a great first step. If you want to ensure even great probability of success, share them with someone else. Select that person or persons with great care. Make sure they are positive and supportive, not critical or negative. Create agreements with them on checking in on a regular basis. Perhaps you might do this with a group. A terrific coaching group could be formed by attracting people who want to have group support and accountability in actualizing their intentions to make 2021 their best year possible, perhaps their best year yet!
Be safe, be well and stay well.
Michael Arloski, Ph.D., PCC, NBC-HWC is CEO and Founder of Real Balance Global Wellness (https://realbalance.com) a premier health & wellness coach training organization that has trained thousands of coaches around the world.