Today’s episode of Taking Back Friday is focused on this one practice that I’ve been doing for about ten years now and a practice that I want to share with you. I was inspired by a recent video by filmmaker Matt D’Avella called “Watch This Before You Die” where he talked about the importance of making bucket lists. It made me think of the “vision & goals” reflection that I’ve been doing every year and how it’s helped me tackle the big things that I’ve wanted to tackle in my life. This practice has been so fundamental to setting direction and focus for my energy in both personal and professional life that I really felt compelled to share it with you, so that it might help you too.
About ten years ago, I read a blog post on the Lululemon website about goal setting and I downloaded their “vision & goals” worksheet to “fill in the blanks” about my vision for a life ten years into the future. Handwriting it all out, I brain dumped all the things I envisioned in my life… how I spent my days… what I did for work… what work looked and felt like… what home felt like… who was at home with me… and I wrote in great detail about how it would all feel. Using their framework, I listed out all the things that I wanted to achieve in my personal and professional life as well as my health. Each item was measurable and achievable, and I listed them with dates that they should be done by. Early on, I was so in love with and compelled by this vision for the future that I frequently reviewed this handwritten sheet of paper. I kept it by my desk all the time and read and re-read it over and over.
As time went on, I would review this sheet every year during the downtime between Christmas and New Years. This practice became ingrained in my life and my husband started to join me in “planning day” too. It’s just been so helpful to take this time to reflect on the year and show gratitude for the things that happened and meditate on the things that have not yet happened. During this planning period, I journal about what was successful, what was frustrating, what I could have done better, and what I have learned. I also project forward another one, five, and ten years to see if what I’m envisioning is still aligned with what I original wrote. Have things changed? Have plans or circumstances changed? Are the things that I listed still priorities? The “checklist” of questions to ask isn’t set in stone. This practice simply requires a quiet spot for a couple of hours where you can think and write. That’s it.
I felt a bit hesitant to share this practice because achieving your vision and goals is not an easy thing. You can have the ideas, but you still need hard work/luck/the universe to help you get to that goal. In the video I mentioned how pretty much all the things I wrote down, I achieved, and I say that with the deepest gratitude for the people around me who have helped make those things happen… but the direction would never have been there if I hadn’t written it down in the first place. And so, that’s the whole point of this practice… to simply envision your life, incorporating all your passions and hobbies, friends and family, adventures and learning objectives, and write it down to make it real.
This is the last video or vlog that I’m making for this decade and it’s crazy to reflect on how SweetGeorgia and I have changed over the past ten years. In the photo at the top of this page, you’ll see the photo of all of us at our holiday dinner at Nuba — our team at SweetGeorgia, including all the spouses and partners, and this year also including the instructors that have joined us to create content for the School of SweetGeorgia. What a blessing to work together with this incredible group of people. That, in and of itself, is a dream come true.
From the SweetGeorgia team and myself, we are wishing you the warmest and most wonderful holiday season. We hope you have plenty of time to spend with your family and friends… and also plenty of time to Knitflix and rest. And if you’re interested, you can join me during the downtime to do a little reflecting and planning too… for the next decade. Happy holidays!