Skip The New Year Goals And Resolutions. Do This Instead!

The Future-You Chronicle

The Future You Chronicle

A few years ago I started a year-end exercise. It’s sort of like a goal-setting exercise, but not really. It’s sort of like a five-year plan, but not really. You’re going to write a day in the life of your future self. I’m going to give you a series of questions to answer that will simplify the exercise and make it fun.

The Questions

We’re going to focus on the seven major areas of your life: professional, relationships, health, financial, personal development, environment, and lifestyle.

Professional

How will you earn your living?
At what level do you see yourself in your profession or business?
What achievements will you have made in the next five years to justify your position?
What obstacles have you overcome?
What is still missing from your professional desires? Or, what do you want to achieve next?

Relationships

What does your romantic situation look like in five years?
What will have happened between now and five years from now to justify this future?
What new friends have you made? What are they like? What about them made you want to befriend them?
What relationship obstacles have you overcome?
What does your family relationships look like?
What’s still missing from your various relationships?

Health

What foods do you eat to maintain or improve your health?
What activities do you do to maintain or improve your health?
How has your desire to improve your health influenced the choices you’ve made in your life?
What major obstacle have you overcome?
What have you yet to achieve as it relates to your health goals? Or, what do you wish to accomplish next?

Financial

What does your personal finance balance sheet (assets, debt, cash) look like?
Where do you stand on each of your financial goals, whatever they are for you (cash, emergency funds, retirement, college, second home, etc…)?
How much money do you make each month?
What will have happened between now and the future to justify this income?
What major financial milestones will you have hit five years from now?
What financial goals remain?

Personal Development

What spiritual practices have become part of your daily or weekly routine?
What skills have you developed?
What learning opportunities will you have undertaken in the next five years?
What personal development practices have you tried but did not like?
What causes have you become involved in?
What do you hope to achieve next in the area of personal development?

Environment

Where do you live?
What is the climate like where you live?
Describe your home. Is it a house, apartment?
How is it furnished?
If you’re living in the same home you are currently living in, what renovations have you made?
Who is living with you?

Lifestyle

What do you do for fun (on weekends, nights out, after work)?
Do you own a car(s)? What kind? If not, how do you get around?
How have your fashion choices changed? How do you typically dress for work, on your days off or for a night out?
What’s your most prized material possession?
Where have you vacationed? Do you have a second home or a timeshare?
If you have kids, what kind of activities do you do with them?
What pets do you have?
What lifestyle desires are still on your wish list?

Writing Your Story

Did you have fun answering those questions? Now the super-fun part begins. Start your writing exercise by imagining yourself five years from now. Pretend it’s a Friday night. Since lifestyle is a significant category, Friday is a useful assumption since you include both work and a typical night for leisure activities.

Draft Two

You should have written at least two-thousand words in your first draft. Now you’re going to fill in some of the gaps. If you look back to the list of questions, you’ll see ones like this.

Final Draft

Put your finished product away for a few days. Reread it and edit for clarity. Look through the answers to your questions one more time and make sure you’ve covered all seven categories to your satisfaction.

Your Eyes Only

Do not show this to anyone. If you know you’re going to share it with others, it will inhibit your thinking. Fear of criticism and embarrassment will creep in. That fear will temper your output.

Written by

Experimenter in life, productivity, and creativity. Work in Forge | Elemental | Business Insider | GMP | Contact: barry@barry-davret dot com.

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