“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”
It’s hard to believe that 2023 is in the books, but 2024 is here! And with the almost-quarter-mark of the 2000s (crazy, right?!) comes new opportunities, new hopes…and annoyingly repetitive new annual goals.
I don’t mean to sound harsh, but let’s be honest; many of us start January 1st with the best of intentions every year. We promise ourselves that we’ll finally lose weight and get in shape, finally save more money and pay off debt, and finally start setting better habits…only to give it all up by the time the calendar flips to February.
But this year will be different, we keep telling ourselves. This year, we’re going to push through and achieve our goals on sheer discipline alone!
And that’s not an indictment of your desire or discipline, but the fundamental problem is that you’re going about achieving your goals all wrong!
Therefore, no matter how often you set New Year’s resolutions or goals, you’ll probably fail over and over.
And that’s because you haven’t done the hard work of getting ready to receive those victories yet – your mindset, vision, and actions aren’t aligned.
(To read more about mindset, self-sabotage, and changing your belief system, check out my resource section at the end – that takes a deeper dive into what we’re talking about.)
But unless you get those things rock-solid first, it’s like trying to cross an ocean in a boat with holes – you can keep bailing water as fast as you can, but sooner or later, you’re going to sink.
There are endless blogs about how to set goals and even the best practices for achieving them (such as the SMART method). So, we’ll skip that part and instead focus on the foundation you need to build before you’re ready to tackle any such goals or dreams.
In this blog, I am going to present a thorough, science-backed, no-nonsense checklist for you to get ready for all of those life changes you want to implement.
I will outline the mindset, vision, and choices you NEED to set in stone BEFORE you can realistically accomplish your biggest goals.
Once you have those down, the rest comes easily and in-flow!
So, buckle up, get ready to do some hard work (mostly on yourself!), and let’s get down to the task of aligning yourself for a breakthrough that will really change your life this time!
Believe it or not, your actual goals are almost irrelevant, and even your habits and actions are not at the crux of making a vision a reality – but your mindset is.
If your mind isn’t right, your life can’t be right. It’s just impossible.
But when your thoughts, beliefs, and actions are all in alignment, the world is your oyster, you naturally flow into achieving your goals and dreams, and nothing is unachievable.
So, to start our Vision 2024 project, let’s plug those leaks by doing the hardest work of getting our minds right.
✅ Pay attention to your negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, and especially negative self-talk. Track it, be conscious, and even write it down.
✅ Then, start intentionally countering those negative thoughts and beliefs with new, shiny, optimistic ones. Don’t try to suppress or not think those bad things (that will never work); just let them pass through and immediately replace them with more positive, useful, and even accurate thoughts.
✅ This is at the foundation of all the changes you want to see. Change your thoughts and change your life.
Some other things to change with our mindset:
✅ Turn emotional weakness into emotional control.
If your emotions are out of control and you react to every little feeling or perceived slight, you’re setting yourself up for misery. Emotions aren’t necessarily accurate (ok, they usually have nothing to do with reality!), so you need to exercise prudence, temperance, and control when it comes to your emotions.
✅ Change your mindset of lack and competition to a mindset of abundance.
If you feel like there’s not enough to go around (whether that’s money, love, food, or whatever else) and you constantly have to fight and claw for everything in your life, you’re probably in a mindset of lack. Shift that to a mindset of abundance (again, check out my links in the resources below) and watch everything in your life blossom and grow in beautiful, unexpected ways.
✅ Stop expecting things and start adopting a philosophy of gratitude.
Many of us expect certain things in our lives and become sourly disappointed and even depressed when we don’t receive them. (A lot of that comes from FOMO and comparing ourselves to everyone else’s highlight reel on social media.)
✅ Instead, start with a baseline of zero: the world, the universe, and no one in your life owes you anything. But when anything good happens, like you wake up healthy, you have enough food on the table, you have a loving family, etc., consider it a miracle and a huge blessing. Your expectations, disappointment, and bitterness will cease almost instantly (and you’ll no longer even keep score).
✅ BE GRATEFUL for everything and the universe will keep providing more!
We often lament the circumstances of our lives like they are pre-ordained or as if they happened by accident. But, in short, the state of our life currently is nothing more than the sum total of all of our past choices.
When you realize this, in offers an incredible sense of empowerment, as you can start redirecting the path of your life based on making better present and future choices.
You can steer the ship of your life wherever you like! And that all starts with these conscious choices:
✅ When “bad” things happen to you in life (as they always will), do you choose to be wounded or choose to be wise?
✅ You either win or you learn, and our past traumas and low points always offer a silver lining – if nothing more than a chance for you to be a better, more empathetic human being.
✅ Do you want to keep reopening your old wounds or choose to let them heal and move on?
✅ What (or who) is really holding you back? Is there something or someone in your life that’s blocking your path to your goals and true fulfillment? If so, work on removing them (or finding a way to move around them).
However, when you go through this introspective exercise, you’ll usually end up staring at only yourself in the mirror!
✅ Stop trying to make big changes – and shift to subtle micro-adjustments. You can’t take one huge leap to the top of the mountain, but you can take the first step and put one foot in front of the other. You keep abandoning your goals and getting frustrated because you’re trying to make massive leaps – not making micro-adjustments to your habits and actions.
✅ Use the 10% rule – focus on changing your habits or seeing results by only 10%. That’s far more achievable and realistic. Then, when you see those results and those habits are ingrained, move on to the next 10% improvement!
✅ Are you giving energy to your problems or focusing your time, energy, and thought on the solutions? Whatever you think about and focus on grows, so be careful where you shine your inner light!
✅ Are you actively trying to get out of your comfort zone every day or choosing to play it safe, sticking to the familiar and routine (no matter how unfulfilling)?
✅ Do you choose to focus on the future? Or keep obsessing and ruminating on the past? You can’t drive this car where you want to go while constantly looking in the rearview mirror!
✅ Are you choosing judgment and the negative, or applauding yourself for progress? Point blank: at the end of every day, do you focus on the progress you’ve made and play the highlight reel? Or do you continually chastise and judge yourself negatively by replaying the bloopers of your day?
All progress is good progress, so let go of the judgment and guilt that you’re not perfect!
Now, with a fresh perspective and new outlook, you’re ready to undertake the next step in any transformation: crystallizing your vision.
✅ First off, instead of making the mistake of just focusing on what you want in terms of material things, focus on how you want to feel. This subtle but important shift will make all of the difference in refining your vision! Focusing on how you want to feel will also put all of our further conversations about vision (below) in context.
✅ Quite simply, what is it that you want? What do you want your life to look like? And when do you want it?
✅ Too many people have pie-in-the-sky goals but never take the time and effort to actually specifically define them down to the smallest of details. (And why would they, since they never truly believe those goals are achievable?!)
✅ But clarifying our vision down to the smallest minutiae is essential to actually get all of this done – sort of like the indispensable bridge between what you want and finally ending up at the top of that mountain.
✅ So, write down exactly what you want your life to look like – your vision. (And, again, how you want to feel – not just the things you want in your life.)
✅ If it’s money in your life (many of us start there, although that’s probably not the most important thing if you truly think about it), then define:
✅ How much you want to receive (down to the last penny!),
✅ Exactly when,
✅ What you are willing to give in return (there are no free rides!), and
✅ Even the action steps to making that happen.
✅ More important than just financial goals, envision your ideal life in terms of health, happiness, the people around you, and the legacy you’re going to leave.
✅ How are you making a difference in other peoples’ lives?
✅ How are you following your passion and living your life’s purpose?
✅ What does your relationship look like?
✅ How about your family?
✅ Friends? And those around you that you truly love – your inner circle?
✅ Write all of this down, very clearly and with as much description and details as possible. You’ll be amazed at how the universe starts working to provide those exact things if you’ll only clarify your vision!
Are you ready to do this hard, introspective work of getting your mindset, your vision, and your choices all in alignment? By doing so, I promise you that you’ll be able to finally achieve those long-elusive goals and build the life of your dreams!
Let’s get started!
Here are more resources that you’ll want to read before you get started: