I have to admit that I do NOT watch, listen to or read any political stuff and avoid discussions of such like the plague. Until they have a good news or just all news program, I will continue to simply scan one or two internet news pages to make sure I know important things happening but that’s it. All the negativity simply pollutes my mind and attitude.
But I did know that last night was the annual State of the Union address by the President of the United States. I also know that it’s a bunch of word and ideas of what the President “would like” to accomplish – remember, though, that there are both houses of the government that have to approve any action so good luck with that.
Two things struck me as useful in this whole event, though. And they both apply to you and my designation that this is the Year of You.
The first is that everyone should create their own State of the Union “address” every year – it should be a summary that includes:
- Where were you in January last year – and I don’t mean geographically unless that’s important in your life (such as if you had a significant move later in the year). I mean look at last January and see where you were emotionally and spiritually. Were you busy making resolutions or instead, outlining your goals (like we did in our Define and Conquer program which is available online) and your plan of action. Or were you just plodding along ‘same ole, same ole’? Were you feeling excited about the upcoming year or dreading it? Look back at your calendar or journal or diary if you have any of these. Look at your emails to see what you wrote to your friends or even what purchases you made that would impact living your life for the rest of the year. When you do your taxes, use this information to take inventory of the various months.
What happened during the year – what was planned that happened, what happened that you didn’t plan? Write these things down. Did things happen that you weren’t expecting or planning for that turned out great or turned out not so great. Did something occur that you thought was pretty horrible but when you look back on it now you can see the good things that came from it? That happens to me all the time – especially when I’m willing to look at it as an event, without being held hostage to my emotional ties to that event.
Where are you now – at the end of the year or at the beginning of this year? What’s your emotional state right now? What’s your spiritual state? What’s fulfilling in your life and what’s missing? You can add whatever you want to your own State of YOUR Union address. I encourage you to write it down – you can use bullet points or you can write it all out like a speech writer would. But put it down on paper and keep it.
- The second thing about the presidential address that struck me as pertinent to all of you was his declaration that this should be the “Year of Action”. He said “”What I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth…..”. In order to make this The Year of YOU, you have to take action. You have to plan for action. Stop just dreaming or wishing. Stop staying that it’s not meant to be or that other people are lucky and you’re not. It’s not about luck, it’s about planning and taking action. Your next writing assignment after the State of YOUR Union should be to write down your goals and what you really want to achieve this year. What are you aiming for – and aim high – it shouldn’t just be something like “I want to be happier”. That is too vague for your subconscious to embrace. If you said that doing x, y, z (and they are specific items) would make you happy then that would be ok. I’ll give you one example of my own that is only partially good. I am focused this year on completing the 315 mile trek across Tennessee in July. I have this dream in my mind almost constantly when I have any idle time at all. Can you figure out what’s wrong with this goal? I’ll give you a hint – it’s one event. It’s over in July and I haven’t even thought about what I’m going to do or want to do after that. That is not good. It’s what happened to me when I graduated from medical school. I had wanted to be a doctor since I was four and all I ever did was directed toward that goal and it took me a long time. But I had not really thought about the after. So the day I graduated my only feeling and thought was “what now?”, “is that all there is?” and that was NOT a good place to be emotionally. That’s why we have to build on our goals and keep them coming. We set and revise the goals as we go on. But the most important thing is to be specific about what you want to do and achieve.
Then you put down your plan of action! In order to achieve these goals you have to take action and you should plan it. What are you going to do when or by when? Write these things down!Then, of course, you have to actually take the action – you have to get rid of the fears that you’re not good enough or you can’t succeed or you don’t deserve this, etc etc. It’s time to get out of the emotional hostage situation! Get yourself a negotiator – a coach.
So, start write now and state the intention to get at least your state of the union address written by this coming Sunday. Then set yourself another goal, perhaps the following Sunday, to have put down where you want to be by December of next year and how you’re going to get there. Take 2 or 3 weeks to outline your plan of action.
If you’re interested in another live Define and Conquer type program this year, let me know either by email or by posting a comment here! Now get to work!