My son-in-law, Joe Bunting, is wise beyond his years. And he is a steward of two people I would die for – my oldest child Talia, and their son, Marston.
Joe has made me a happy man in a lot of ways. He dreams, but he is practical. For example, if you were a writer, what could be better than to spend Paris in the springtime writing?
So that is what he and Talia are going to do for a few months. No joke. It’s been a dream, and by squirreling away their pennies, it will soon be a reality. They are trading in the apartment in GA for one in Paris. And I imagine that, like Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, he’ll write the great American novel there.
Joe writes The Write Practice and Story Cartel. And today he shares the best advice I’ve read about how to use this new year as an opportunity to take stock and improve.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions. Why would you want to create goals around things you don’t want to do?
Instead, I like spending this time reconnecting with my desire. What do I really want to do in the next year? What do I really want to accomplish? How do I want to grow, and who do I want to become?
This isn’t a time for half-hearted dreams. I only focus on my deepest desires.
As I reconnect, I set two to four goals for the next year. Why so few? Because resolve is a limited resource, and if you really want to accomplish your goals, it’s important to put all your desire behind just a few dreams that are really important to you.
What Are Your Dreams?
So how about you? Ask yourself the following questions to spur your dreaming:
- What do you want, really want, in 2014?
- What do you want to accomplish this year?
- Who do you want to become?
- This time next year, when you look back at what you did in 2014, what stories do you want to be able to tell?
- And how will it feel once you accomplish these goals?
One final note, as you dream, make sure to focus on each area of your life: personal, professional, physical, emotional, and spiritual. Most people focus only one or two of these areas when they dream (I tend to focus on the professional aspects and especially neglect personal goals), but to be happy and healthy, it’s important to plan for the whole of your person.