This is one of my favorite times a year. It’s an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and set fresh and inspiring goals for the New Year. These are the processes I turn to each year to set my clients and myself up for success and inner peace.
Below are five related processes for a clarifying your 2014 goals and vision. Since each of us is wired differently, it’s useful to find the most effective visioning strategy for you. Some people LOVE to write goals, others avoid the process. Some love details, while others are bottom-line. Some people LOVE visualizations, and yet others do best in verbalizing their dreams to others. Which style or styles resonate with you?
The most important element in crystallizing your vision is finding a medium that allows you to connect “emotionally” to your vision. We often identify goals intellectually, yet find ourselves disassociated and not inspired to achieve them. The juice, inspiration and magic unfolds when we are “emotionally engaged” with our visions. If you’ve set goals in the past with disappointing results, this may be the missing link. Being able to see, hear, feel and fully associate with what you DESIRE most, is the KEY to magnetizing it to you.
If you desire an amazing relationship, how would you FEEL if that partner was already in your life? How would you treat them? What activities would you enjoy together? If you desire a thriving business, what activities would fill up your day? Who would you spend time with? How confident and decisive would you be? If you desire a fit and trim body, can you imagine yourself eating healthy foods and looking forward to visiting the gym? What would it feel like to be 15 pounds lighter?
ENGAGING the SENSES in your VISION
1. Treasure Mapping – Creating a collage is an excellent way to engage the senses. This process involves finding pictures and words that capture your vision or visions. Magazines are great resources since advertising is designed to engage us emotionally. A picture says a thousand words…and at least a dozen emotions. A picture of a man and woman holding hands at the beach may embody feelings of romance, magic, love, connection and fulfillment. What body-type are you striving for? Where would you like to travel? What kind of home would you like to live in? Find the pictures that resonate with you. Look for words to embody that will support you in achieving your goals – in business or personal – such as “integrity”, “confidence”, “creativity”, “value” or one of my favorites “joy”. Create your own visuals when necessary with personal photos or Photoshop.
In 2004, I created an awesome treasure map, and nearly EVERYTHING on the poster came true. I “made-up” the concept of “Conversations with the Masters” that year…and interviewed three of the authors I had cut out pictures of – Byron Katie, Dr. David Hawkins and Wayne Dyer. I also had a picture of me and a wedding dress (I met my now husband in 2004). I also created a mock book cover, and something shifted in me when I saw “by Mary Allen” on the cover. It was August 2004 when all the pieces came together to get my first book published!! I also cut out an Oprah Magazine cover and created a headline and put my picture on it. In August, I was noting all that I was manifesting and thought, “I wonder how this is going to happen (meaning Oprah).” About three days later, I received a call from The Oprah Winfrey Show.
I’ve done several Treasure Maps since then, with comparable results! I did one exclusively focused on “having a baby” — funny enough, the pictures even look a lot like my Shanti and Riser. Use “treasure mapping” as a fun, creative way to expand your vision of what’s possible. Doing this with a group is also inspiring. The visual creates an emotional connection that creates magic.
2. The Written Word – From listing out 10 to 100 Goals in bullet format, to describing your vision in a paragraph with lots of juicy details…the written word is highly effective at engaging the senses. Write it down. Don’t underestimate the power of taking a passing thought and giving it life on paper. The more you describe your vision in detail the more REAL and associated it becomes in our nervous systems. The secret here is finding the language to elicit the emotions in YOU. I’m a big fan of writing down my top 25 goals each year. And, I like to challenge my clients to write a “vision paragraph” articulating their most important goals. You may include descriptors of the end result, including how you and others feel. It’s also helpful to describe the process in which you achieved the goal. What resources did you access? What steps did you take? Was it easy or difficult? Again, what feelings & emotions are present? I go into this in greater depth on my “Creating Your Yearlong Vision” and “New Year Creation” CD’s in my Secrets to Profound Peace and Soaring Success audio program. (It’s currently on special, so take advantage of this reduced rate!)
Examples from various clients…
To organize and express my thoughts, feelings and experiences in a way that touches, inspires and empowers others to make new shifts, gain a better understanding of themselves & others, so they ultimately experience more abundance, love, energy, peace, joy and freedom inside themselves. To awaken lives to a higher possibility of themselves through books, articles and courses. To creatively pursue new avenues of expression, such as media, to get the message out to more individuals in an enjoyable, and effective format that touches their hearts.
To deepen my soul connection with my life partner by enjoying, respecting, empowering and loving one another unconditionally. To share in open and honest communication, “seeing” and “being seen”, listening intently, while expressing and receiving love. To experience the joys, adventures and challenges in life with ease and resonance. To inspire other couples of what’s possible in an intimate partnership. To experience a passionate, sensual, spiritual intimate relationship that exudes ecstasy, love and nourishment at the soul level. To learn, grow and evolve together in a safe, nurturing, forgiving and loving environment, ultimately bringing out the best of each individual. To create a family together that exemplifies our love and provides a nurturing home to our amazing children.
To create and live a lifestyle which consistently causes me to be at my physical and emotional best, exemplifying and inspiring high standards of vitality, energy and physical beauty. To create a lean body with beautiful definition. No longer doing things with willpower, doing them with energy and power to burn. Every day in every way fulfilling the ideal of health.
See how the descriptions above help you really FEEL the end result more viscerally?
3. VISUALIZATIONS – Using the power of your mind to cultivate and embody your vision is another powerful resource. Again, the more detail and emotion you can FEEL and bring to life in your body, the more effective it is in eliciting the inspiration, creativity and action necessary to fulfill your goal or dream. Clarifying and identifying the end result and associated feelings and emotions through any of these exercises is useful preparation, and well worth the initial time investment. Spending even a few minutes each day to expand and FEEL your vision being realized is potent.
To help you with this process I recommend Shakti Gawain’s book “Creative Visualization.” If you missed my interview with her, you can access it here.
4. FINDING A THEME – What is your theme for 2014? This is not about your resolutions or specific goals with “do by” dates (though I recommend that too!). This is your guiding compass for the upcoming year. Your theme will likely encompass many of your goals, but maybe not all of them. In 2011 my theme was SPACIOUSNESS…and indeed, my schedule opened up allowing more time for relaxation and we moved into a home with more space! 2012 my theme was TRUST. Trusting my intuition and inner guidance. Trusting my body to communicate its needs, and me to respond! Trusting into Divine synchronicity, being connected to the right people at the right time. Trusting the abundance of the Universe. And trusting my body could carry & deliver healthy twins. Last year, my theme was BALANCE, as I continued to find ways to be fully present with my babies, work, self-care, friends, family and husband. This year, I’m playing around with the theme of FLOW, as I graciously navigate all the new challenges and opportunities presenting themselves.
In my group coaching programs, I’ve seen clients take on all kinds of themes. JOY, Gratitude, Abundance, Extreme Self-Care and others. One client selected “The Year of the Donkey” to represent his commitment to losing weight, so he’d be below the 200 pound mark, and eligible to ride a donkey into the Grand Canyon.
What do you feel energy and excitement around? What engages your imagination and feels compelling? What theme would serve as your best guiding compass for the year?
5. New Year Creation Questions. Years ago, my first coach, Jeanine Mancusi, gave me a unique set of questions to help create the New Year by engaging the senses in a non-traditional way. Who said goal-setting needs to be a linear process? You may use one or more of the questions below to stimulate your thinking.
You may want to create an inspiring atmosphere to do this exercise in – i.e. candles, music, nature, by a fire, etc. Have FUN with this process!
Here are some additional questions to support your New Year Creating.
If your vision were a piece of music, what piece would it be?
If your vision was from nature what would it be? (Tree, ocean, brook..)
What does it taste like?
What does it smell like?
What other senses can you use to develop your vision?
What if your vision was a thousand times bigger? Describe what it would be.
Use a metaphor to describe your vision.
Are you forcing anything?
Where can you ease off?
What can you take less seriously?
Are there any old rules you are holding on to?
What can you eliminate?
How would a six-year-old describe your vision?
Ask yourself some “what if” questions. What if I ______? (positive what if’s!)
Add one outrageous or wacky element to your vision.
Which of processes above resonates with you?
You may gravitate toward one them, or try them all. Each process engages the senses in a unique way. The first step is taking the time to CLARIFY and REFINE your vision – and FULLY ASSOCIATING EMOTIONALLY with that vision. That alone can be effective at creating unbelievable momentum throughout the year.
Secondly, super-charge your visions by revisiting your treasure maps, written goals and visions, themes or spend time visualizing – CONSISTENTLY. While you may utilize one of more of these processes in creating your vision, I recommend selecting ONE process to revisit on a regular basis whether monthly, weekly or daily. The more often you connect to your vision emotionally, engaging your senses, the more quickly you are likely to experience it in reality. Try it. Make 2014 spectacular!
Here’s to your success and inner peace,
PS: I’d LOVE your comments, please post them below!