How To Prepare for the New Year: The Old Man/Old Lady Journey

Leadership

Don’t miss the video version of this post, that includes the 3 reasons why you’ve failed to change in the past!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcMJ4H4UYpY

One thing I love about the end of December is the chance to lift up out of daily life, look back and look forward in order to enter intentionally into a new year.

Think of this as a mental summit. We are taking a journey together, climbing to an overlook, sitting for a moment and reflecting on where you’ve been and where you would like to go.

I always like to start with the highest level questions and then use a series of drill-down exercises to clarify the actual steps you will need to take to move toward your preferred future. You might find that you prefer to start with a different prompt and then work forward/backward as you discover more insights about yourself.

One more thing–I like to start with a new journal and devote the first few pages to this exercise so that I can look back at my musings as the year progresses.

Prompt #1: You as an old man/old lady

Try to imagine yourself in your seventies (for most of this, it’s incredibly challenging to vision beyond a year or two, so this exercise is designed to stretch your thinking and expand your understanding of the path you are on). When you imagine yourself at a Thanksgiving dinner, what kind of person are you? Think in terms of the following categories:

  • My prevailing emotions: how do I show up in the world?
  • My hobbies/habits: what do I enjoy with my leisure time?
  • My stories/legacy: what do I share about my life?
  • My relationships: who’s around me/with me?

Spoiler alert: the person you are in your twenties, thirties, forties….is the person you are becoming for your seventies. Building the pathways toward the old person you want to be starts now. Don’t worry — the next prompts will help you toward that end!

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