The first week of a brand new year is wrapping up.
For many of us, memories of holidays are still fresh. Perhaps we took time to reflect on our lives and whether or not our actions and results are congruent with our priorities. Transitions — whether they are to a new year, a new phase of life, new job or career, or a new relationship — are powerful times to take stock and determine whether or not a course correction is in order.
I say course correction, because I often imagine life as a journey. We can choose to be intentional about how and where we travel on that journey, or we can go whichever way the wind blows us. Neither way is "right", but the traveling experience is quite different depending on what we choose! In reality, I suspect it is rare for anyone to be completely intentional (or unintentional) about every aspect of their life. Perhaps we are more likely to be purposeful about the things that matter to us most.
For example, when it comes to my wellness journey, I choose to be an intentional traveler. Good health is important to me, and to the extent that I am aware and able, I attempt to make choices that will protect and nurture my well-being so that I can enjoy life and fulfill what I feel called to do. Although I know that I can't control everything, I'm also unwilling to leave everything to chance.
In your journey, where do you choose to be intentional?
If you are using this new year as a time to recommit to what is most important to you — congratulations! Having that clarity is the first step towards aligning yourself with the path that inspires and fulfills you.
To take the travel metaphor further, having clarity about what is calling to you (your vision), and why it is important (your values) is like the fuel that propels your journey. It is the first essential for any intentional traveler.
Example: I want to create more time together with people that I care about. Sharing experiences with my friends and family is important to me because it helps me feel happy and connected.
The next essential is to determine your route. What path will help you attain the growth or change that is calling you? Mapping it out will make it easier for you to break your journey down into manageable steps and measure your progress. This is not to say that you can't change the route along the way — but it is important to have a starting point and work from there.
Example: I will have a visit with out-of-town friends or family at least once a quarter.
The final essential step is to take stock of your travel gear. What resources will help you stay on track? What assets will help you overcome known obstacles? What tools will help you assess your progress and perhaps reveal the need for adaptations to your travel plan?
Example: I will use emails, texts and phone calls to arrange visits, and I will put them on my calendar. I will block out time for all the visits at the beginning of the year to minimize scheduling conflicts.
As you can see from the examples given, being an intentional traveler isn't necessarily hard. Even small journeys can contribute to the quality of your life in meaningful ways, and the scope of what you undertake is entirely up to you. In any case, they require a willingness to plan ahead and take aligned action.
Whatever journeys you are imagining in this new year, I wish you much success. If you would like more information about how wellness planning can support your journey to greater well-being, please check out my free wellness toolkit, or contact me.