08 Jan Creating memories to a more fulfilling life
It’s great to be at the point of a fresh start, a new beginning, to have something exciting to look forward to and be able to make new dreams come true. When was the last time you felt the anticipation of something new? I love a fresh start, they come in many shapes and forms such as a New Year’s Resolution, the start of a new school year, getting fit or learning a new sport or hobby, tackling a new subject or even starting a job.
A new beginning is a time to give up bad habits and seek different behaviours that are positive and allow you to be the best that you can be. Creating a vision board or setting goals will help you to focus on what you really want to achieve. Making something solid like this will help to keep you on track and act as a reminder for you to stride forward and reach out for what you truly deserve.
“Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.”
Goal setting to make your future how it should be
Let me share a super simple template so you can create a set of goals for the next year. This is a great exercise that will get you thinking innovatively and show what is important to you. Grab a fresh notebook or a journal that you can keep as your all-important goal book. You can do this electronically or on a phone but I recommend a traditional paper and pen. Research suggests that you will retain your goals better this way and refer to them. Create your goals around the following titles:
- Super Six – six goals focused around your education, your career, your future professional self
- Fantastic Four – four personal goals centred around your social life, emotional, physical and mental wellbeing
Splitting the goals so that you have more geared towards your future career is ideal because it is one of the main driving factors in being able to achieve your personal goals.
These ten goals are what you want to achieve over the next twelve months so make sure they are realistic and achievable. A dream job or getting onto the ideal university course may still be a couple of years down the line, so be careful not to set yourself up for failure because your goals are unachievable. Many people make this mistake and it kind of defeats the object because you will feel sad or angry at the outcome.
These ten goals will be your prime focus over the next year. Yes, other things will come along and you may need to re-prioritise but you have to start somewhere. Remember that you won’t need to achieve all ten goals within the next two months. Take some time to ‘chunk them down’ so that you have a quarterly, monthly, weekly, even daily focus that will take you one step further to achieving each goal. And it’s OK to shuffle things around a bit, obstacles will happen.
Some examples of your targets could include achieving a certain grade in your exams, starting an after-school course, reconnecting with a friend, securing your first Saturday job, attending a further education open day or visiting an attraction you’ve never been to before.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
Focus on the celebration of your achievements
If you’re still struggling for motivation to draw up your goals, think back to what you accomplished last year. This is another great exercise to do every year before you plan what you want to achieve for the future year.
The process of taking some time to stop and reflect back to truly appreciate what you’ve done is extremely fulfilling. It is another chance to reward yourself and take pride in how you came to this point. Pick up your phone and look back at your photos on camera roll, check your social profiles online, review your calendar or journal, even pull out the photo albums (if you still have those!)
Think about the following:
- What did you do last year?
- Who in your family or your circle of friends did you participate with?
- How did you celebrate what you achieved?
- What places did you go to?
- What experiences did you encounter?
- What people did you meet?
- How did the above make you feel at the time and now?
When remembering the super exciting and special things that you’ve enjoyed over the past few months, think about what fun you had along the way. Maybe there was someone you’d not spoken to for a while, a family holiday of a lifetime, an exhilarating day out, a new hobby or academic subject that you started where you met new friends too.
I guarantee this exercise will make you smile and it will also reinvigorate something that you may have forgotten. Savour each memory and relive the enjoyment, fun and laughter that took place – these memories should be proud moments and they are worth celebrating over and over.
Close your eyes and see the faces of all the people you were privileged to meet, to share time with and be inspired by. These memories could be of romantic moments, insightful moments, future-changing moments or fist bump moments.
Do this exercise before you set your next goals and you will be inspired more. There may be something you achieved last year that you actually want to do again. Add it to your list.
“I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.”
Capture your memories daily – it will change your life
You won’t be able to take a quick snap on your smartphone in every situation but it’s important to capture every moment in order to cherish them later. What if you could make it really easy to capture more moments this year so that you could revisit them quicker, more often and appreciate everything you’ve achieved? Well, there is a great way to accomplish this and it is easy – create a magical memory box or a jar.
You may have come across this concept before but did you actually do it? It only takes about ten minutes to get started so there’s no excuse – start today. Find a big glass coffee jar or an empty shoebox and create a label ‘my magical memories [year]’. Personalise it and make it yours by decorating it to your individual taste. Use glitter, ribbon, wrapping paper, stencils, paint or printables. If you put some effort into it, unconsciously, you’ll want to use it more. Put a post-it note pad or a pad of paper next to the box so that you have everything close to hand.
Make it a daily habit to put something in your box. Fill it with awesome things to remember such as a movie ticket, a visitor pamphlet, a keychain, a compliment someone gave you, a sentence you particularly liked from a book. Add all these memories, no matter how small, to your box. It’s a box dedicated to happy thoughts.
“I don’t focus on what I’m up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest.”
Creating a memory box or jar is also great if you’ve had a day where you feel a bit down or something just hasn’t gone your way. You can reflect on your memories and feel great again.
Go on, do this now, take a picture and share it on Instagram or your preferred social media profile. Commit to doing this and share your expectations. It’ll be amazing!
Choose the life you want to lead
Look back and celebrate. Look forward and celebrate. Light up the world around you and discover your bright spark today – be amazing.
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Please do share a photo of your memory box or jar and make it real. Start your journey into goal setting and make your aspirations a reality. Remember, you can only change what you can control so take charge of your future – find your spark.