There’s something about the turn of a new year that signals “fresh start,” do-over, or reset. It presents the coolest design project imaginable, and you get to be the focus piece. Wiping the slate clean and preparing for the new year ahead can be simultaneously thrilling and terrifying, so wherever you find yourself right now, expert “life designer” Renessa Boley Layne (and author of Fast Lane, Wrong Direction: Insider Secrets to Redesign Your Success) offers five strategies to design more of what you want this year –- in life, love, work… and, yes, decorating!
Take inventory of what you want this year -– be it more energy, wealth, laughter, connection, joy, relaxation, adventure or freedom. Do you want to complete more crafts, plan more parties, or accomplish a specific goal? Whatever it is, own what you want to experience without apology.
Simultaneously, take inventory of what needs to go –- any unproductive emotions, bad habits, or toxic relationships that drain you. Avoid focusing on how you’re going to make a change at this point. Simply decide what you want more (or less) of, then commit to opening yourself to the conversations, books, products, events and random opportunities that will show up in support of your goal.
When taking inventory of the year, many people make the mistake of focusing on what went wrong while minimizing what went right. Instead, take stock of your wins, big and small, and celebrate them. What bad habit did you break? What did you accomplish that surprised you? What can you be proud of personally or professionally? Whose life did you impact? Your win could have been as basic as finally clearing out your basement or as monumental as writing the first chapter of your book. The adult in you has a tendency to just “get on with it,” but the kid in you needs a moment to take a bow.
You are your greatest design project this year, but you’ll fail to get what you want if you simply go with the flow or react to whatever urgency calls your attention in the moment. Instead, design with the end in mind. Who do you want to be this time next year? What project do you want to complete? What value do you want to add to your family, community, and world around you? Be specific about what that finished goal will look like. More importantly, how will you feel when you’ve nailed it? This level of intention will streamline your decisions and keep you focused during the inevitable challenges, delays and detours common to us all.
The fastest way to mental, emotional and physical burnout is to take on too many new goals at once. Take inventory of all that you want, then choose one goal to master at a time. Instead of radically changing your family’s diet and working out five days a week and going to bed earlier all to improve your health, simply focus on drinking eight glasses of water for one week straight. That’s it. Next week, build on that. Spin one plate first, then add on others bit by bit. Your sanity will thank you!
There is no such thing as a DIY project when it comes to designing your life. You can have whatever you want in your work and life this year – if you’re willing to ask for the help. So, open your eyes (and your mouth!) to the myriad of friends, family, colleagues and strangers available to support you.
ABOUT RENESSA BOLEY LAYNE
Renessa Boley Layne is creator of the Success & Happiness Test and author of the book, Fast Lane, Wrong Direction: Insider Secrets to Redesign Your Success. Through her signature coaching programs, she helps people discover, design and get highly paid to do work they love. To learn more, stop by Renessa’s official website or follow her on Facebook.