Forget Goals; Find the Happy Place!

I'm usually a goal-setting fiend. But for some reason, as New Years rolls around and everyone's talking about goals and resolutions, the old goal-setting routine just hasn't seemed very exciting to me. If you're in the same boat, try coming up with a visual representation of what you want in 2009 instead. A little background: In college, my friend and I had a great stress-relieving technique. When things got rough or we became frustrated, impatient, angry or sad, we would tell each other to "go to the happy place." The happy place was an imaginary blissful scene of our choosing (with a little humor mixed in). At the time, my happy place was on an island with Vin Diesel.

Today I found a new happy place while driving (when I get my best ideas). I was thinking about what I wanted for myself in 2009. All of a sudden I got hit with an image -- bear with me because it's a little cheesy. I was standing on top of a mountain, clear blue skies, hands raised in the air, breathing deeply with my eyes closed and a smile on my face. BOOM! That's my vision for 2009. To me, it stands for fearlessness, endless possibility, the feeling I can do anything, and stopping to enjoy the world at the same time.

Create a Visual Representation for Your Life in the New Year:

  1. Close your eyes. Where's your happy place? What image or visualization represents how you want to feel in 2009? Give yourself some quiet time to reflect. Once you connect with that vision, setting goals will be easier and more meaningful.
  2. Next, figure out how to capture your vision. Write it down, or try making a vision board (a collage or visual representation of your dreams and goals).

If you're looking for another alternative to goal-setting as you get ready for 2009, try some of the following exercises (from previous posts):

If you do want some goal-guidance, check out:

Happy New Years Eve, and may good things come to all of you in 2009!