How To Plan a New Year's Quest
NEW YEAR, NEW YOU & OTHER BS:)
Yeah, you heard me. The new year doesn't automatically trigger a lasting "new you" change. Sure some people can say "starting today I'm going to be different, things are going to be different", but for the rest of us we tend to fall back on old habits and ways, or make other things a priority.
I'm not being a grump, honestly, I'm just taking a different approach. And while I'm not saying I found the solution, I am going to attempt something a little different this year...
THE HAPPINESS OF PURSUIT
We're about two weeks into the new year and I'm sure you've already done one or more of the following:
a. wrote down your new year's proclamations in your new journal/planner/diary for the year
b. made a mental list of aspirations that grows every time you check out Instagram
c. created a vision board of picture perfect magazine cut-outs + pics of your ideal celeb husband
Well year after year I've done the same but when I look back I seldom achieve even one. So for the past two weeks I've been thinking on why that was and what I could do this year to make things turn out differently. After all this is a big year for me - I'm turning the big 3-0, and I feel more pressure than ever to make a drastic/lasting/permanent change in my life. So here goes...
I've recently read a few books on money, tidying, and pursuing your dreams. While I truly enjoyed all of them there was one that left the biggest impression: The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau. This book is all about finding and pursuing a personal "quest" and from it I learned 3 important things:
- to achieve something great you either have to set a time limit, create a measurable goal, or outline specific restraints in order to define something clear
- you have to do a great deal of planning according to the constraints or time line that you've specified in order to follow through with your quest
- be willing to roll with all the ups and downs that come with the huge commitment that you've made - in other words "keep moving forward"
SO WHAT'S A QUEST?
According to Chris Guillebeau a quest is about finding a purpose that will bring meaning to your life. It has a clear end and a beginning. It's something that is measurable, takes time to complete, and ensures struggle (aka something worth fighting for - why does Mulan pop into my head every time I hear those words?). It is much like the stories of old and new where we follow a hero on a journey through unexpected turns, pitfalls, and plot twists that teach, add value, and lend something special to the overall story.
As you can imagine, the entire time I was reading this book I was inspired to start a personal quest of my own. It baffled me that I couldn't think of one goal or find one passion that had been on my heart for years to pursue. I then remembered a video I saw a few weeks before I read the book. The video is called Achieving Your Childhood Dreams and its by a man named Randy Pausch who was dying from a terminal illness. He set out to achieve and live all his childhood dreams, and *spoiler alert* he did - even the ones that seemed impossible like being in zero gravity. The video is funny and touching and by the end I definitely shed a few tears, but it is also so inspiring.
Remembering this video I decided that my quest is to achieve all the dreams that I've ever had - and trust me - they're numerous and seemingly unattainable. And yes, I know it sounds a little idealistic but hear me out...
WHAT'S THIS HAVE TO DO WITH 2016?
Since my quest of pursuing all my dreams will take years and possibly decades to achieve, I know I need to start now - working on this year by year, one dream at a time. I don't care if it's almost two weeks into the new year or six months into it - at least I'm starting. And you should start too. If living and achieving your dreams are really important to you then you should start working on them one year at a time. Which brings me to The Yearly Quest...
THE YEARLY QUEST
For you to follow suit I recommend choosing a dream that can be achieved within a years time or one that is the first step/smaller dream inside of a larger dream.
I created a 3 page workbook that you can type directly into to help you out with this, but here is the gist of it below so that you can do the same.
DREAM | First outline all the dreams that you have. I mean EVERY. DREAM. THAT. YOU'VE. EVER. HAD.
CHOOSE | Then pick one goal/dream you can work towards in a years time. It may actually be a smaller component of a larger dream.
OBSTACLES | From there, and this is key, outline what usually stops you from following through and achieving what you want.
SOLUTIONS | Next, based off what usually stops you from achieving what you want, brainstorm solutions that you can actually follow through on to keep you moving forward. You can see my personal completed workbook as an example (p.s. it's a little embarrassing how honest I am in here, but if I want it I need to declare it, right?).
SOLIDIFY | Then pick a time line, completion date, or a measurable outcome within this year's timeline. For example launch first product in February, or every Sunday I will work on this. Again you can see mine as an example.
PLAN | Lastly, make a plan to follow throughout the year. I set mine up with weekly practices, then monthly practices, followed by goals to reach each quarter through these practices. You can look at my personal Yearly Quest answers here and get your own workbook sent to your inbox here.
ONE MORE THING BEFORE YOU START...
When I was doing these exercises I noticed that two areas continued to halt me from completing much of anything - money & living better. I either didn't have the money to do things I wanted or felt guilty if I wasn't trying to generate more money in my spare time. I also felt guilty not living the lifestyle I "should be" by working out and eating healthier. Strangely enough, I realized the latter was also related to me worrying about money.
To remedy this I realized I need to Earn More, Spend Less, and Live Better to provide a proper foundation for pursuing my quest. I think this is not just true to me, but to many of us. Sometimes feeling that we aren't living our current lives the way we should can distract us from achieving greatness. We feel guilty because we know we should be doing other things that can also help propel and move us forward.
MY PERSONAL YEARLY QUEST
Because my dreams are the things I want most to happen in my life I decided to put them out here on the interwebs as a proclamation to the universe (dramatic, I know), and I invite you do to the same (aka blog tag)! So without further ado here are my life dreams (my life's quest) accompanied by my dream of the year (aka my 2016 yearly quest) broken down for you by category:
I want to be financial stable. Money has been my biggest obstacle in life and has lead me to many hardships, struggles, and missed opportunities. I want to overcome this and my money mindset. I want to pay off all my debt as well as all my family's debt - I want to give them a fresh start. I want to free myself from financial burden so I can focus on creating the life I've always wanted & pursuing all my dreams. I want to build wealth and sustainable means of perpetual passive income. I want to master money instead of it mastering me.
I want to be physically fit and healthy. I want to intuitively eat right while still indulging from time to time. I don't want to constantly worry about what I eat or my weight. I want to be comfortable in my own skin and hair. I have a dream of being a great dancer. Thought I'm not necessarily a natural, I know I have it in me to do it. I want to pick up choreography easily and have it look good. I want this to be my main form of fitness and to use it as a hobby but to also perform for fun from time to time.
I feel vulnerable saying all of this, but I want to find a great group of people where I feel I belong - both in my career and my friends. I want to employ my parents, siblings, & other family members and provide for them any way I can. I want to find a husband that I can trust - one that is loyal and truly in love. He is intelligent, cultured, takes good care of himself, and cares about the world around him. I want him to support my dreams and my many successes and have amazing ambitions of his own. I want him to be okay moving from place to place with our family and living a potentially unconventional life.
- I want my own Design & Production Company that allows me to create tangible spaces, products, events, shows & experiences. It starts with interiors and branches off from there...
- Write a Novel Series (the one that's been inside me for as long as I can remember) and have it become a great success. It may be co-authored with my great friend.
- Turn this novel series into a major motion picture or an awesome mini series. Perhaps this is even something that my Design & Production Company produces itself.
- Develop an innovative paid internship program that is powered by STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math). It's a series of collaborative projects that combines education + entertainment + action - all through hands on experience. I want this model to be adapted into other industries as well. Included in this internship are required classes about personal finance, health, and perhaps more as I want them to learn about building a stable foundation for achieving all their dreams. I want it be open to those who have graduated college as well. This internship program helps fuel my next great dream which has always, always been...
- I want to turn my novel series into an Experience Park. This Experience Park is not just about entertainment and novelty, but about exploring and developing ideas and solutions to sustain our world's future through entertainment. It's like a giant research center inside of an innovative entertainment park achieved through design & STEM (aka STEAM) working together. Perhaps this is a collab between Disney & my Design & Production Company, or maybe this is something that my Design & Production Company creates itself. This is my ultimate life goal.
- Have all my personal belongings fit into 2 checked bags and 2 carry on bags - I need to feel mobile for some reason.
- Help write & possibly perform in a musical that could make it's way to Broadway.
- Have several self propelled projects through my business (rental properties, restaurants, cafes, bookstores, retail spaces, etc.)
MY 2016 YEARLY QUEST
I WANT TO CREATE A STABLE FINANCIAL FOUNDATION. For once in my life I want to reach the money goals I set. Following through on this goal for the first time in my life would be an amazing dream & achievement and will lead to confidence that I can accomplish the other dreams that I've set for myself in life. My ideal financial foundation for this year is to have $6,000 in personal savings, my credit card debt paid off, have funds for 3 trips (Japan, Southeast Asia, and back home to the States), have cultivated all my essentials kits, & purchased the Lo & Son's Pearl & 2 Spacepaks from Flight001.
THE BLOG TAG & YOUR YEARLY QUEST
Now it's your turn to decide your quest for the year. Just remember that no matter when you read this it's never too late to start - just adapt it to your current timeline. Hell, I'm starting mine almost two weeks into the new year. All you have to do is this:
- Click here to get The 2016 Yearly Quest Workbook and I'll send it to your inbox.
- Take your time filling out the workbook and really think about everything you want to achieve in your life. If you need help you can even use mine as an example.
- Post your results on your website, or send it to a friend for accountability. Get it out into the universe!!!
- Spread the word by linking back to this post so others can get inspired and take action of their own - this is a BLOG TAG after all!!! Also make sure to link back to this when you post yours on your site and message me on twitter @_YuriGibson.
BEFORE YOU GO...
Wooooo, this is a long post.
I can't wait to hear from you! Please write in the comments below your first life dream that comes to mind. Mine is the "experience park" I told you about - I'm uber curious what yours may be. And don't forget to come back and post a link to your personal quest post (the blog tag) in the comments below so I can go and check it out!
Until the next time...
READING THIS AFTER 2016?
HERE'S AN UPDATED YEARLY QUEST WORKBOOK
Remember it's never too late to start...
*On my quest to earn more & spend less I try to maximize passive income. In this post some links may be amazon affiliate links which means I may receive monetary compensation - at no cost to you - if you make a purchase through my link. Don't worry, all thoughts and experiences on my site are of course my own. Thank you for your support:)