Looking Back, Looking Forward, Being Present

Four years ago at this time, I wrote about the process I go through at the end of each year, which I call “Closing the year”. A lot of people wrote in saying how much they appreciated the process, so I reprinted it the following year, and the year after that… Taking a few minutes to go through this powerful process is a gift you can give yourself today.

Now
It’s December, and soon it will be the end of 2008. The New Year is a time when people often look back at what they’ve accomplished and learned, and look forward to the year ahead. Once I’ve written this tip and sent a few emails, I’m going to go through a process I do every year, a process I thought I’d share with you.

The process is what I call “Closing the year”, and it’s a simple ritual that helps me to really enjoy my time off, and to go into the new year with maximum energy. I suggest that you do it when you finish work for 2008. I spend 5 or 10 minutes doing each of the following steps:

1) Brainstorm all the things you’ve accomplished this year,
the memorable experiences you’ve had, and everything you’re grateful for. Spend a few minutes making a list of everything you’ve managed to achieve. Use a pen & paper for maximum effect (this process is most effective when you actually do it J)
You might be surprised at just how much you’ve accomplished in twelve months (if you are saying “I haven’t accomplished anything”, I’d challenge you – at the very least, you have survived. I expect that as you think about it, you’ll realise that you’ve accomplished much more than that!)

2) brainstorm the things you no longer want in your life;
make a list of the things you’d like to leave behind.
We all have things in our lives that are past their ‘use by’ date. Physical objects, unhelpful habits, limiting beliefs, thought patterns that hurt, people we no longer wish to spend time with, etc.

3) Think about your dreams for the future.
What do you want to bring into your life? What experiences would you like to enjoy? What new skills would you like to learn? What would you like to do? How would you like to be? Make notes, draw a picture or speak into a tape recorder to help you remember your dreams.
Spend as long as you like dreaming about the future you desire. If you don’t know what you want, you can ask yourself the ‘miracle question’: “If there were a miracle in the night, and when you woke up tomorrow, everything in your life was exactly the way you’d like it to be, how would you know there’d been a miracle? What would you see, feel and hear that would let you know a miracle had taken place?

4) Brainstorm the things you’d like to bring into your life.
What are the things, experiences, qualities, and ways of being you’d like to experience more of in the future. Make a list of these.

These can be quite general: Do you want to spend more time with your family? Get fitter? Enjoy earning more money? Spend more time in the present moment? List the things you’d like to attract into your life.

5) Make a list of your goals for the year ahead.
What would you like to accomplish? What would you like to learn? What would you like to get? Who would you like to meet?
There are all sorts of claims made about the power of goal setting, but I’m going to spare you the rhetoric. Instead, I’ll make a blindingly obvious point: you have a much better chance of hitting a target when you know what it is. Human neurology is goal-seeking, so get your unconscious on your side, and make a list of what you’d like to achieve in 2009. (For more about setting goals, go to the Salad archive – http://www.saladltd .co.uk/archive. htm )

6) Read through the your list of accomplishments and congratulate yourself for them.
Put this list (#1) on your left. Read through the list of things you’d like to leave behind. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you feel you’ve made, and put this list (#2) on your left also. Take the materials relating to your dreams (#3), and place them in front of you. Review the list of things you’d like to attract into your life, and put this list (#4) on your right. Read through your goals for the year ahead, then put this list (#5) on your right also (if you are left-handed, lists 1 & 2 on your right and 4 & 5 on your left).

7) Sit quietly for a few minutes. Imagine all the good feelings,
thoughts and energies from your accomplishments coming into your body (you can visualise this as a stream of light, sparkling dust, or anything else you imagine). Then become aware of any of your energy that’s tied up in the things you want to let go of, and see it returning to your body. Look to your dreams, attractions and goals: any of your energy that is tied up in those (eg. in wishing or wanting) can also return to you in the present moment. Notice how it’s possible for you to feel even better about those dreams and goals when your energy is in the present.
A great deal of people’s awareness is often wrapped up in wishes for the future, or memories of the past. It’s great to have access to these dreams and memories, but it’s also good to have our energy available to us in the present moment.

8.) Allow yourself to be fully present in this moment. Become aware of the fact that all your accomplishments and activities of the past year were accomplished in an earlier present. Become aware of the fact that all your future accomplishments and experiences will take place in a future present. Really experience how it feels to be fully present (For more tips on getting into the present moment, see http://www.saladltd .co.uk/nlp_ tip_55.htm ).

Dikutip: dari salah satu milis

~ oleh oretankoe pada Januari 2, 2009.

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